Your wedding is a full day (or weekend!) of celebrating you and your partner’s love surrounded by your friends and family. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in the aesthetics and operations of your wedding, it’s important to remember the critical role that your guests’ experience plays in your enjoyment of the big day. Creating a wedding day experience that is fun, relaxing, and enjoyable for everyone attending will not only take the pressure off of you, it will also ensure that you and your new forever-roommate will enjoy the day yourselves. Everyone wins when you put some extra thought into your wedding guest experience! Here are a few ways you can streamline your wedding guest experience as well as a few tips on how to get started.
The Guest Experience is YOUR Experience, Too
What you and your guests will remember most will be the vibe and energy of your wedding. Remember all the people that show up to celebrate you are the people that will be part of the happy, festive energy that will make your night one for the ages. When you get the vibe and energy right for your wedding, people (including you!) will feed off each other’s excitement. Complete strangers will find that common bond and your supportive community will be formed. We are here to help you give the guest experience the focus that it needs for your wedding!
Streamline Your Wedding Guest Experience
Your Wedding Website
To streamline your wedding guest experience, you’ll want to start by creating a wedding website. You may not have realized that the guest experience started so early on in the planning process–but it does! If you don’t have a wedding website or you have a wedding website that lacks details, your guests may feel unsure about important details (like where to find your registry).
Your wedding website will also make your life a lot easier! On your wedding website, you can manage RSVPs, your wedding registry, the itinerary, and all of the other important details that will help you and your guests plan for your big day.
Spark The Party Beforehand so Guests Are Comfortable Upon Arrival On Your Wedding Day
One of the most awkward parts of being a guest at a wedding is being unsure of whether you will know any other guests or not! The thought of going to a giant party where you may not know anyone is intimidating, so why not introduce your guests beforehand?
Our favorite way to introduce guests beforehand is with Guestie! Guestie is a digital party starter that allows the couple-to-be to put together an online event for the wedding. Within that event, your guests can update their personalized profiles that you create for them and browse other guest profiles. This way, they have a better idea of who will be at the wedding before they come! Not only that, but with Guestie, your guests can play the Name Game! The Name Game allows your guests to match each other’s face’s to their names, so goodbye to the days of forgetting someone’s name before the handshake is done .
Using Guestie will also help your single guests feel more comfortable attending your big day. With Guestie’s tagging system, guests are able to see things that they have in common. Starting conversations has never been easier. Guests will walk into a room full of familiar faces which will help streamline your wedding guest experience!
Keeping In Touch With Guests
Having a method for keeping in touch with guests leading up to the ceremony is incredibly important if you want to streamline your wedding guest experience. If a guest has a question about your big day or if you need to send out an update to everyone about the time or location, it’s best to have a plan of action. How will you get in touch with everyone regarding last minute changes? Who will be the point of contact for guests leading up to the wedding?
One way to streamline your guest communications is by using, you guessed it, Guestie! Not only does Guestie make it easier for guests to get to know each other before the wedding, but it also helps YOU streamline communication. Guestie offers two methods of communication that will make your life as the couple-to-be SO much easier: SMS alerts and a group messaging board.
With SMS alerts, you can quickly send updates out to ALL of your guests without having to send a million individual messages. With Guestie’s group board, guests can post questions for the entire group to see and you (or a guest with the answer) can easily leave an answer for all to see. This way, frequently asked questions are all answered in one place and guests have a place to refer to for said answers.
How to Make Your Guests Feel Special
Arguably the most important part of your guest’s experience is their experience on the day of your wedding. There are many things that you can do to make guests more comfortable on your wedding day and many things that you should take into consideration! Let’s chat about a few ways that you can streamline your wedding guest experience to make them feel special:
Food and Drink
You’ll definitely want to make sure that your guests are well fed and hydrated. You don’t want guests attending a long ceremony and then having to wait 2 and a half hours into the reception to receive food or drinks. Chat with your wedding planner and photographer about your day of timeline to avoid this issue. Perhaps trays of champagne can greet guests as they arrive at the reception venue.
If you and your partner plan on taking photos together or with family after the ceremony, it may be a good idea to have a happy hour for your guests with drinks and light bites to hold them over until dinner. This way, their time will be occupied and they won’t get antsy while waiting for you to wrap up! Lastly, if it wasn’t already obvious from your own experience at weddings, guests love an open bar. Just be sure to have some non-alcoholic drinks and water for those that aren’t looking to get too wild.
Respect their time
Odds are that you have wedding guests of all different ages. So respect your elderly guests by splitting your reception into two parts. It’s easy as a wedding guest to feel guilty leaving the reception early; however, some receptions can go well into the morning hours. That isn’t ideal for grandma Jean or Great Uncle Clarence! By splitting your reception into two segments, you’re giving the older crowd and the parents of younger children an opportunity to dip out respectfully. To streamline your wedding guest experience by splitting your reception in two parts, we recommend advertising the second half as “the after party.” For the after-party, this could be a planned transition to another part of the venue. It could also be a last minute decision to go to a local bar.
Play songs they love too!
There’s nothing more fun than going to a wedding–or really any party–and hearing one of your favorite songs! If you want to get your guests on the dancefloor and keep them there, we recommend allowing song requests. Allowing song requests the night of can get a little bit dicey, so you may want to take them beforehand. In order to accept song requests from guests beforehand, you can use Guestie’s song request feature. Guestie streamlines the process to your guests’ favorite songs. It also easily compiles them into a spotify playlist that you can hand over to your DJ!
Offering a digital guestbook will make your guest’s lives 10x easier. They won’t have to hunt down your physical guestbook while they’re trying to celebrate with you at the reception. Not only will a digital guestbook streamline your wedding guest experience, but it will also provide you with more thoughtful, detailed notes from guests. By offering a digital guestbook, you’re allowing your guests more time to sit down. More time think about what they want to say, and write it out thoughtfully. No more quick, scrawled out signatures because they’re rushing to get back on the dance floor for the Cha Cha Slide!
Invest in unique guest experiences
Unique experiences make guests feel so special! They also leave guests with a unique memory that will make your wedding stand out in their minds as one of the best they’ve been to. We personally love the idea of a DIY dessert bar! There’s something about a DIY dessert bar that makes wedding guests go wild. Everyone loves getting to express their creative side. Especially when it comes to creating a delicious hot fudge sundae made to their exact specifications! Having unique experiences for your guests like a DIY dessert bar, fire breathers, aerialists, or even a live painting, will make your wedding guests never want the night to end!
Don’t Forget the Thank You’s
You can do everything right leading up to and during your wedding day. But if you don’t remember to send Thank You cards out to guests who have given you gifts or traveled from afar, then your guest experience isn’t complete. Thank You cards are SO important because they show your guests that you appreciate their time. And if they’ve given you a gift, their thoughtfulness. Wedding guests take time out of their weekend, travel across the country, and come bearing gifts. So, the least you can do to thank them is write them a card expressing your gratitude!
When to Write Thank You’s
If you’re wondering when you should begin writing Thank You’s, the answer is: as you receive the gifts! This will help in 2 ways. First is that you will be less likely to forget to send a Thank You note. And second, your guest will know you received their gift to you. If staying on top of Thank You’s like this is not for you, you can still send them after the wedding! Now, we’re not saying you have to go home after your ceremony, take off your wedding dress, and get to writing. You can take some time to decompress or even go on your honeymoon before you get started. However, once you’re settled after the wedding, it’s important to go ahead and pick up that pen and paper. You want to have all of your Thank You’s sent out within 2 – 6 months after your ceremony.
Who to Send Thank You’s
Not sure who you should write Thank You’s to or how to keep track of it all? To start, you should set up a spreadsheet as soon as you begin planning your wedding. You can organize it by event (engagement party, bridal shower, wedding day), by gift type (engagement gift, bridal gift, registry gift), or you can keep everything on one loooooong spreadsheet and just track the item and the giver’s name! It’s totally up to you and how you would like to keep up with things; however, the more detailed you are the better because some people may give you multiple gifts over the span of your engagement. Don’t forget to note when you send out each Thank You so you don’t have to remember. As for who you should write Thank You’s to, we recommend writing a Thank You to everyone that gave you a gift. This includes anyone that gave you an engagement, bridal shower, or registry gift. We also think it’s a great idea to write Thank You’s to friends and family that traveled to attend!
Bonus Tip: Another great reason to keep a detailed spreadsheet for who gifted you what is that it will allow you to remember who went ALL out for your wedding gift so that you can return the favor one day for them!
With these tips, you’ll be ready to host and enjoy the magical wedding day you two have been waiting for. If you need more wedding guest experience tips or wedding planning tips, we’ve got a ton of great advice for you over on the blog. If you’re still planning the aesthetic parts of your wedding or just want to keep in touch with us, be sure to give us a follow on Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest!