Being a gracious host is a big part of planning a wedding. Though it is your day, the people whom you chose to invite are your guests and should be thought of during the planning and on the day of your wedding.
Information is Power
It’s important to be as informative as possible when telling your guests about your upcoming nuptials. Save the Date cards, invitations and wedding websites are the best ways to inform your guests as a collective. Websites such as The Knot offer free hosting for wedding websites where you can provide guests with information on hotels, things to do in your city, driving directions, specific attire concerns and more. If your location is new or particularly obscure, a direction card on how to get there should also be included in your invitations. Most importantly, your invitations should indicate the formality of the ceremony and reception and should be sent out within 6-8 weeks of your wedding date.
Thank You Notes
Today, it’s not uncommon for a couple to have multiple wedding showers prior to getting married. Promptness in sending out thank you notes is greatly appreciated by everyone and it will save you for doing them all at once post-wedding. Designate one person per shower to write down who gave you what to insure personalized thank you cards and they should be in the mail within 10 days of your shower. Don’t forget, send a thank you note to the people who threw you the shower, even if they don’t give you a gift. As for guests who bring gifts to the ceremony, those thank you cards should be received two weeks after you return from the honeymoon.
Food for Thought
Receptions come in all shapes and sizes these days, particularly when it comes to food. The time of your ceremony generally indicates what type of food will be served- if your reception is at dinner time, it’s time to feed your guests dinner. Afternoon or very late evening receptions, however, have more flexibility. If you decide to serve a full meal, be mindful of your guests. If you’re a die-hard vegan, ask the caterers for a vegan plate for you but otherwise, plan your menu for the masses. Particularly in the south, most guests won’t understand what a non-dairy dinner entails and will likely leave your reception hungry and confused.
Drinks Are On the House
Imagine if a friend or family member invited you over for a gathering of any kind and then asked that you pay them for your glass of wine. Having a cash bar at a wedding is essentially the same concept. Of course, not everyone wants to or can afford an open bar of every drink imaginable but there are creative options to keep everyone happy. If it’s a conservative reception or a need to cut costs, just serve everyone a glass of champagne for a toast. Another option is to eliminate liquor and simply serve wine and beer; having one white wine, one red wine and your favorite brew is a completely appropriate way to celebrate at your reception without breaking the bank.
Keep these little things in mind and also that, while it’s a day for you and your new spouse, it’s also polite and expected to remember the guests with whom you’ve decided to celebrate this amazing occasion.