The key to creating an amazing wedding is to focus on the little details and how they fit with the overall vibe of your celebration, starting with your wedding invitations. Adding a few simple touches to personalize your wedding invitations will wow your guests and get them set for the celebration to come. The best wedding invitations are those that stand out and often it’s the simplest elements that make the difference.
However, here are ten easy ways to wow your wedding guests:
Anticipate Their Needs Before They Do
You’re not the only one who needs a day-of emergency kit. Having a basket in the restroom filled with essentials – from those handy wipes that remove red-wine lip stains to mints – is a great place to start. Then put some thought into what they may need outside of the restroom. Baskets of flip-flops (in your wedding colors, of course) make it easy for guests to remove their shoes and give their feet a break. And if it might be breezy, keep guests warm by offering up some cozy pashminas. For an outdoor summer afternoon ceremony, provide a station with spray-on sunscreen and a stack of inexpensive sunglasses.
Make It Social
Inevitably, your guests will be on their phones at some point during your wedding, so make it part of the party. Create a wedding hashtag and post signs to let guests know. Then, project a live stream of the photos. You and everyone else will enjoy seeing how much those around them are hamming it up for the camera and having so much fun they just can’t help but document it, whether it’s a silly bathroom mirror selfie or a slo-mo reel of your cake face smash.
Make Them Feel Taken Care of by Reception Ushers
You may already be planning to have ushers help guests to their ceremony seats, but consider having reception ushers too. These “live escort cards” walk guests to their tables for an upscale restaurant experience. Ask your reception venue or caterer if their waiter can perform this duty, or assign a few ushers to do the job.
Make the Drinks Interactive
Having a bar at cocktail hour or dessert where guests can customize their own bites or sips turns eating and drinking into an activity. Go simple with a bubbly bar before toast time, where guests can come up with their own twist on the standard Bellini or mimosa. Dishes full of fruit purees, lavender sprigs, citrus twists and flavored ice cubes that can be spooned into glasses of bubbly will make the toast that much more fun. Another idea we love? Have a pro on hand to lead them in the ins and outs of tasting beer, wine or whiskey!
Give Them a Break from Kids with Convenient Child Care
Kids at a wedding are pretty darn cute until it’s past their bedtime and crankiness sets in, which won’t be fun for you or their parents. Hire a babysitter (or two) and set them up in a room, so your youngest guests have a place to go when they’re tuckered out. If it’s possible, pick a space near your reception location, so parents can stop by to check in on their kids and then return to the party easily. Stock the room with snacks, games and a portable DVD player to keep them entertained, and make sure there’s a soft sofa and blankets for those inevitable naps.
Serve Foods They Will Recognize in a Gourmet Way
You don’t have to serve foie gras for your food to be fancy. In fact, if you serve foods that suit a variety of palettes, you’re more likely to have guests dig in. We’re not recommending takeout from the pizza place next door, but work with your caterer to come up with creative ways to serve everyone’s favorites. Even simple grilled vegetables can wow when served in a cool color-coded design, and mini anything is always a hit.
Give Them a Place to Relax with a Luxe Lounge
Your guests are going to be hitting the dance floor hard. So give them a place to relax during dance breaks by creating a lounge area at your reception. The key is comfort: Fill the space with couches or chairs and plenty of pillows. Do this and you’ll keep everyone partying longer because they’ll have a chance to recharge. Really want to wow them? Close off the area with curtains, or, if you’re outdoors, set up “glamping” lounge tents to create a VIP vibe.
Give Them a Say
Use your RSVP cards or wedding website to get your guests’ input on a fun element of the wedding, like the music or the food. One classic way to do that is to ask for song request write-ins on the response card, but you can take it a step further and have the DJ only play guest requests for a half hour and do a shout-out to the guest or couple who submitted it. You could even have guests vote on your top tier flavor or signature cocktail. Everyone will love seeing details they helped to choose at your wedding.
Thank Them with Valet Gifts Instead of Traditional Favors
Instead of giving guests keepsakes that might not even make it into their suitcase, have your valets hand out gifts they can actually use the night of or morning after your wedding. No valets? Set out baskets of gifts, such as soft eye masks with notes that say “Sleep tight!” or even hangover kits, for guests to grab on their way out of the reception venue. If you’ve arranged bus or shuttle transportation, have a favor waiting on board for them.
Keep the Party Going with a Hip After-Party
Instead of ending up at the hotel bar when your venue closes, plan a true post-wedding bash for you and your hardest-partying guests. Book a space with a completely different vibe from your reception and keep the party going into the wee hours.