Top Ways to Enhance the Guest Experience

Ceremony guestsToday we’re excited to welcome back guest contributor Meghan Ely. Meghan is going to share some tips on how you can ensure your guests have the best time possible at your wedding. Take it away, Meghan!

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Increasingly, weddings are starting to focus on the guest experience and couples are taking more strides to provide their guests with a once-in-a-lifetime experience, rather than just a wedding night. Here are some great ways to spoil your guests and give them a wedding to remember:

1. Pick out great accommodations
Even though the wedding is the main event, you’ll want to consider guests’ accommodations to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible – and perhaps throw in a little something extra! “Your wedding starts when your guests check in, so be sure to keep them in mind when booking your hotel room blocks,” shares Melanie Marconi and Amy Green of Where Will They Stay?. “It’s standard to research pricing and location, but consider their comfort, as well as their interests. It adds a special touch when you select a property that factors in your guests’ lifestyles, such as a historic property for the history buffs in your family or the unique boutique hotel for the eclectic out-of-town bunch.”

2. Greet them with a warm welcome
What’s nicer than checking into your hotel and receiving a customized welcome kit? “Customized gift bags can be a thoughtful gesture to begin your guests’ experience upon arrival,” shares Rebecca Hochreiter of Destination Weddings Travel Group. “Include everything from sunblock, koozies, sunglasses, and local snacks to give your guests a ‘starter kit’ for their vacation! Don’t forget to add an itinerary and any other relevant information to keep your friends and family updated on all of the fun plans, whether it’s a catamaran cruise as your rehearsal dinner, a group snorkeling or parasailing adventure, or breakfast the morning after. Plus, they’re easy to personalize!  We see couples include monogrammed initials, wedding hashtags, or any number of other creative options.”

3. Treat their indulgences
Who doesn’t love a late-night doughnut or a delicious nightcap? “Being in Wine Country, most of our weddings have a strong alcohol presence, and guests love nothing more than a late-night snack when they’ve got a little buzz going,” explains Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services. With that being said, don’t forget to take care of your guests! “Having a small hangover remedy kit with Gatorade and Advil waiting for them in their room is an excellent touch,” shares Dennis.

4. Show them you care with personalized favors
There’s nothing nicer than going to a wedding and taking home a keepsake that can be used at home. “Personalized favors are a great way to leave a mark on guests,” shares Audrey Isaac of 100 Candles. “Whether it’s a small candle or a tasty treat, adding the guests’ names to it shows that they’re in your thoughts – and, to make things easier, you can consider utilizing them as escort cards as well!”

5. Give them something to talk about
More and more, couples are adding an element of adventure to their weddings to turn a celebration into an experience. For out-of-town guests especially, it’s a nice touch to provide them with walking maps and other special activities, as they may not be familiar with the area. “A fun activity is to create a geocache or scavenger hunt for weekend-long weddings,” shares Jennifer Taylor of Taylor’d Events. “It keeps guests involved and active throughout the weekend!”

6. Lastly, keep your guests in mind every step of the way
It doesn’t take fancy favors and over-the-top gestures for your guests to feel appreciated. Sometimes, what matters is simply that you provide them with a fun and comfortable time. “Don’t make them sit in uncomfortable chairs or be outside for an hour in direct sunlight when it’s 90 degrees,” shares Resha Zazueta of Something to Celebrate. “Supply cute slippers for the happy feet on the dance floor and be sure everyone has access to water.”

It’s easy to get caught up in all of the details that make up your Big Day. Just don’t forget to take into account the guest experience to ensure everyone has a night to remember!

Meghan Ely is the owner of OFD Consulting, a niche wedding PR and marketing firm exclusively specializing in the wedding industry. She is a highly sought after speaker and regular contributor to a number of industry publications.