Modern-day weddings have an average of 133 to 143 guests, according to the 2012 Real Weddings Survey. While some guests may live close enough that they can easily commute to the venue, others aren’t so lucky and will have to book a flight or arrange others means of transportation. So, what can you do accommodate out-of-town guests at your wedding?
Sending save-the-date cards is proper etiquette when planning a wedding with out-of-town guests, because it notifies them about the wedding date well in advance. According to TheKnot, couples should send invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding, which may or may not be enough time for out-of-town guests to clear their scheduled. By sending save-the-date cards at least eight months before the Big Day, however, guests will have more than enough time to make arrangements.
Book a Hotel
You should also consider booking a hotel for out-of-town guests. Not surprisingly, hotels are one of the biggest expenses associated with wedding travel. By booking a room for your out-of-town guests, you’ll make the experience more affordable and enjoyable
When choosing a hotel, check to see if they offer complimentary shuttle services. Many hotels have their own in-house taxis that will shuttle guests to and from various points of interest. If you’re getting married at a popular venue, then perhaps a nearby hotel will shuttle guests to and from the venue.
Arrange for Transportation
If the hotel does not offer on-site shuttling, you’ll need to arrange some other means of transportation. Depending on how many guests need transportation, you may be able to score discounted “bulk” fares from a local taxi company. Let the taxi company know how many guests need transportation to and from the venue. Alternatively, you can rent a van or even a school bus to shuttle guests around.
Create Gift Bags
Couples can make gift bags for their guests, complete with items like a local map, list of nearby attractions, personalized water bottles, snacks, lint rollers, over-the-counter pain reliever, sunscreen, and other knickknacks. While all guests can use these gift bags, they are particularly beneficial for out-of-town guests.
Thank Guests with a Toast
Be sure to thank all of your guests, including those who had to travel long distances, when making a toast during the reception. Doing so shows that you appreciate the sacrifices they made to attend. It only takes a second to give a “special thanks” to your out-of-town guests, but it leaves a lasting, positive impression on everyone who attends to your wedding.
These are just a few tips to better accommodate out-of-town guests at your wedding.
Photo credit: Craig Edwards