It’s your wedding day! It can be so easy to start thinking only about what you like, or what you want, when it comes to planning your big day. After all, everybody’s asking! The florist asks, “what flowers do you want?” The DJ asks, “what music do you want?” The caterer asks, “what food do you want?” But isn’t there more to your wedding than what YOU want?
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m all for making your wedding everything you’re wanting, and personal to you. In fact, my styling services are all about that! By designing a Statement for your wedding, we’re able to define just what you want your guests to know about you as a couple, and how to communicate that visually in every (big or little) detail.
But your wedding isn’t just about YOU – you’re inviting specific people to witness and celebrate WITH you. One of the most difficult parts of wedding planning is deciding the guest list. So what can you do to be the absolute best host/hostess you can be for the most important event you’ll ever invite them to?
Your hospitality begins with the invitation. Many of your guests won’t see you between the moment they receive their invitation and the day of your wedding. Consider what you can do to make sure your invitation is truly loving, welcoming, and lets them know you want them to attend.
One way you can do that is include options they can choose, whether from the menu (“chicken or beef” – or something with more personality, like “healthy or comfort food”) or the music (“what song should we play that you’ll dance to?”)
As you’re planning your wedding, think about it from your guest’s experience. From the moment they walk in until they head for home, what can you do to show them you’re glad they came? Can you personalize the entertainment you provide to be particularly meaningful to anyone? Think about the music, games, dancing, photo booth, and kids activities that you can provide to help them have a fun time. What about creating special moments for your guests (both with and without you)? Doing a big send-off when you leave is a great way to say “it wouldn’t be the same without you here.”
Hospitality is synonymous with food. Yes, you can absolutely host an event without serving a big meal. And you don’t even have to serve anything at all; just keep in mind that at least serving cake and punch will encourage your guests to linger and spend time with you. The food, dessert, and drinks you serve are a perfect chance to share who you are as a couple. You can feature your favorites, a special memory or time in your lives, and cultural traditions. Food is a great way to break down barriers and create conversations, which will help guests want to be there.
Giving favors has become a thing of the past in today’s wedding scene. I understand it, but it makes me sad. Our hosting manners are slacking.. A favor is a lovely sentiment that lets the host say “thank you for coming” on a personal level. But the days of monogrammed candles are no more; and truthfully, guests are thankful. Most guests would choose a more expensive dinner or fun “extra” (like a photo booth) over a trinket to take home. So to show them favor, and thank them for coming, consider having a budget set aside for “favor” (usually $1-5 per person) and decide whether your best gift would be an individual item or collective experience. The goal for either is to send them home filled to the brim with your love.