Planning a wedding can be a tall task for the non-event planners out there, and one huge piece of the puzzle is getting all the necessary information sent out to your guests in a timely manner. From paper materials to websites to phone calls, right here, we cover what is important to communicate and how best to do it.

Getting Started

While guests don’t need to know every detail (except for maybe your Mom), there are still some important details that they need to know. In addition to the basics – when and where of the wedding. They will be glad you took extra care to delivered certain wedding information and reminders. Whether it’s on a wedding website, as a wedding invitation insert, or even on the wedding invitation itself, here are certain details you’ll want to make sure to share leading up to the big day.

Wedding Guest Experience

Start with Save The Dates

A good start would be to send out a Save the Date.  Those who want to share your special day with you may need time to budget for travel expenses.  Many will have to plan and allocate time off from work far in advance. Some may need to arrange child care if this is an adult only celebration.  Respecting your guests and their obligations means giving them plenty of time to plan.

Mail out a “Save the Date” announcement with details about your wedding date, venue and how to book their travel and accommodations.  Because your guests have busy lives, a formal wedding invitation about 3-6 months prior to the wedding also acts as a reminder that they need to confirm their travel arrangements.

Room Block Information

Blocking space is the best thing you can do for your guests.  This locks in pricing for them. By nature, most folks procrastinate by nature.  In the travel business this means prices go up the closer we get to departure. As long as contract date deadlines are followed, your deposit is not under any risk.  Block space means accommodations will be available for your guests and prices are locked in for them.

Wedding Day Directions

Aside from the name of your wedding venue, you need to make the location absolutely clear on your wedding invitations or wedding website so that your guests have no difficulty in finding it. You might also want to include specific instructions if your wedding venue is hard to find, or contact details of the wedding venue so that guests can call in an emergency if they need to – or if they get lost at the last minute.

Who Is Invited

More and more people are asking the question – “how do I tell parents that we don’t want their children at our wedding?”.  Adults only weddings are not uncommon affairs, but there does seem to be a certain amount of guilt about explicitly not inviting your close friend’s kids. So the issue of how to “deal” with the children of your guests is coming up more and more often.

The very best way to avoid inviting children is to be up front and mention it in the wedding invitations. Don’t dance around the topic, hoping people will pick up on subtleties – make sure guests know where their children stand.

Couples who want an adults only wedding can do a few things:

  1. Print guest names on the wedding invites – and do not mention kids’ names.
  2. Spread by word of mouth that children are not wanted in the wedding, either by explaining to each individual family or with a polite handwritten note accompanying the wedding invite
  3. Mention the number of seats reserved for a particular set of guests. For example, on their RSVP card, Mr. and Mrs. Smith are reserved only two seats at the reception. That means that Mr.and Mrs. Smith’s five kids do not have places in the wedding.
  4. If you’re comfortable with being a bit more explicit then a straightforward  ‘adults only’ line printed on your invitations should do the trick.
  5. Being up front and calling & telling parent-guests that kids will not be welcome in the wedding can also be a viable option. For some, the gesture will not seem that polite but as long as it is done in a tactful way you cannot be blamed for someone else taking offence.
Guest Experience

What to Wear

How embarrassing would it be if your guests arrived to a black-tie reception wearing a sundress or khakis? Or to a backyard barbecue wearing a cocktail gown? Clarifying whether your event is white-tie, black-tie, cocktail, semi-formal, or casual will ensure that all of your guests are confident in their attire.  

Menu Selections

Every wedding is different when it comes to food and drink. Regarding food, it is always best to ask your guests to state any dietary requirements when responding to your invite. You should also probably offer a vegetarian option when selecting your wedding menu, as not everyone may like, or be able to eat, your chosen main dish.

Wedding Day Schedule

Your wedding day will follow a routine and even though the start of your wedding might be clearly written on your wedding invitations, the end time of your celebration may not be. Some wedding venues have strict licenses of when they need to stop serving alcohol or close by, so to ensure that you don’t get in trouble, let your guests know what time your celebration comes to an end. For example, if your wedding venue closes at midnight, it might be nice to say ‘carriages at 11:30pm’ so that your guests have approximately half an hour to find their way to a taxi or some means to a different location.

Guest Transportation

If you’re having a church wedding ceremony but holding your reception at a different wedding venue, then it might be a nice idea to offer group transportation between venues, for guests who have not arrived by car.

Some of your wedding guests may choose to arrive at your wedding by taxi, but odds are that more might need this mode of transportation to get home at the end of the night. List a number of local taxi on your wedding website or wedding invitations or at your reception to save your guests the hassle.

Parking: If your guests will need to pay for parking at your wedding venue then you must inform them in advance so that they come prepared with lots of change, or a parking app pre-downloaded!

Rule of Repetition

From the moment you send your “Save the Date” until the moment  you say “I do” there be up to a year’s worth of time or more in between.  Think about all the things that have happened in your life in the past year.  Your wedding is just one of many important things that will be happening in the lives of your guests.  

People need reminders. They need PLENTY of reminders to compete with the noise of everyday life.  Also different people remember things differently. Some do better with repetition. Younger people are in tune with social media while older guests may need an old school written itinerary mailed to them.  Even though they have a details itinerary on their phone, they will still need a printed one in their room upon arrival.

The Bottom Line

Keeping your guests engaged and informed is invaluable.  This is key to a good guest experience and a great one.  

Wedding Planner at Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events