{Advice} How to Make Your Out-of-Town Guests Feel Special

By now you may have your wedding date settled, venue booked, and even know your color palette.  The next part in your process is getting your cherished guests to come and celebrate your big day.  Have you given much thought yet as to what to do for those coming from great distances? We have some tips to share with you today to help make those out of town guests, be it 2 or 20, to feel welcome in your town or at your wedding destination. We hope you find this info helpful:

There were more than two million weddings in the U.S. in 2012, according to The Wedding Report. Of those, 350,000 couples opted for destination weddings, reports The Knot. Whether you are getting married on a beach halfway across the country or in a chapel a few blocks from home, it is important to make your out-of-town guests feel welcome.

Give Plenty of Notice

It all begins with save-the-date cards. It costs time, energy and resources for your out-of-town guests to come to your wedding, so make sure you give them adequate notice. Send out the announcements at least six months prior to the event.

Make Arrangements

Your out-of-town guests are likely to feel more comfortable if they know that you have checked out hotels and can recommend a safe, comfortable place to stay. Make sure to reserve any rooms that will be needed to accommodate guests with special needs, such wheelchair access. Remember, there are fewer of these rooms and they tend to book up quickly.

Reserve a block of rooms at a nice hotel, so your guests can enjoy a group discount and potentially spend time together. Finding a hotel that includes complimentary amenities—such a breakfast buffet or evening drinks—can help take the sting out of the cost of travel.
While you're at it, ask a rental car agency at the airport to set aside a group of cars for your guests and negotiate the best possible price.

Show Appreciation

Have goody bags prepared for the hotel staff to present to your guests as they check in. Or, have gift baskets delivered to their rooms. There is nothing nicer than a welcome gift after a long day of travel. Thoughtful gifts include small bottles of wine, nuts and other snacks for the room, chocolate-covered strawberries, a map of the surrounding area and discount coupons to local attractions. You can also include items designed for pampering, like special soaps, candles and oils. Most important: Include a note thanking your guests for their attendance.

Acknowledge Their Presence

As busy as you are on your wedding day, it is important to acknowledge each guest individually, paying extra attention to those who made a long trip to share in your special day. You may also want to mention them by name during the reception toasts. You don't have to do anything extravagant, but make it a point to make out-of-town guests glad that they made the trip.

Follow Up

While you will send a thank you note to everyone who brought you a gift, send one to your out-of-town guests whether they gave you a wedding present or not. The fact that they went to the trouble to be there says a great deal about their affection for you. Acknowledge that affection with a follow-up note.

Which of these tips did you find most helpful? Please share with us which tip, and how you plan to welcome your guests.

This article was written for Savvy Deets Bridal anonymously. 

Photo Credits:
Group Photo by Ashley Paige Photography, Save The Date by Minted.com, Out of Town Gift by Kristin Spencer Photography, Thank You Notes by Target