7 Steps to Considerate Invitations
Hello! We are so excited to finally have our wedding website up and running. Building a website these days might seem like child’s play but honestly, there are still so many details and considerations to take into account especially if you put yourself in the user’s shoes. What seems obvious to you may not be to the reader who knows little about you or your services. A fresh eye helps catch those assumptions so consider having a third party review it.
Much can also be said for your wedding invitations! That’s right, as you spend months on planning details, it is difficult to step back and look at the invite as an “outsider” or receiver would. You already know what you know, but is it clear on the invite? Is there relevant information that has not been conveyed? Yes, its YOUR day, but it is equally important to ensure that those you have invited to this special day are given full consideration and courtesy. Afterall, they are spending a lot of money to participate, whether it be just the gift and attire or a plane trip, hotel, meals and more. You want your guests talking about your wedding long after the event because of all the fun they had, not all the things that irritated them!
Here are my 7 Steps to Considerate Invitations to consider for your guests’ attendance to be less stressful and help them celebrate your occasion with ease:
Address and Map of the Venue
Seems obvious right? You’d be surprised how many forget. Remember you may have spent several visits there or it’s a place you know well. This detail is often overlooked. Yes, we all have google maps these days but provide the actual address and a contact number for the Day of Coordinator or person designated as Point Person. Many are renting cars without navigation or the cell service may be spotty. If they are old school, they may well print a map and bring it along. Help them feel comfortable about where they are going.
Arrange room blocks at nearby hotels. This often allows your guests a special rate and they can socialize with other guests. Many hotels offer a complimentary shuttle so be sure to check on that and communicate those arrangements. It’s easier on the hotel if you have coordinated that so they aren’t bombarded with questions and shuttle reservations from many in your party when they could coordinate those trips. Provide the list of accommodations in your invite! It’s unsettling for guests to have to locate suitable accommodations especially for those traveling in. Traveling is stressful enough; if the place and info is provided, its one less thing they have to seek out and arrange.
Often guests will come with children. Have you stated that children are welcome? More importantly, if you have decided you would rather not have children, have you arranged for child care onsite or nearby? Again, many guests will be traveling in or can’t always find sitters to make it easy on your guests. Having a designated child care attendant with fun gift bags for the kiddos helps keep them included, entertained and more importantly, allows Mom and/or Dad to enjoy themselves! They will thank you, trust me. Include this info in the invitation along with some brief details of the qualifications so parents feel safe leaving their precious little ones with this stranger.
Ok, you may think we are going overboard but especially for plated meals, it helps to advise the guests of the menu so they can let you know if there are conflicts with gluten, seafood allergies or other concerns. It’s a good idea to consider vegan options so even on a buffet, your guests can find items they can enjoy. More and more, the buffet is becoming more popular for that reason – the options can be laid out and leave it up to the guest to determine what they want.
If you plan to have a cash bar, let your guests know! It helps them to be prepared with cash for tips or payment and won’t catch them off guard. Let’s face it, most of us enjoy a nice glass or two at these events so if its not being provided complimentary, then let them know. Weddings are not only expensive for the couple but also for the guests especially if travel is involved. It’s just good manners to let them know what to expect.
Point of Contact
So we will have a whole blog dedicated to the subject of Day of Coordinators and Wedding Planners so we will just focus on the obvious: provide the contact information for your contact/coordinator! Guests will have questions.
Be sure the contact method is one your designated person will check. If they don’t use email, then don’t list an email address! Nothing is more frustrating than providing the contact info and the guest hearing crickets. Text, Instagram messaging, whatever is going to best and most expeditiously get the guest in contact with the person who has the information is the goal here.
If possible, provide them a map of the venue or details on what to do upon arrival. If the gate will be closed at a certain time, let them know so they aren’t frustrated or surprised when they have to wait for the ceremony to conclude because they ran late. Let them know the parking situation. Is there a parking garage or a valet where they would be expected to pay or tip? Is there a parking lot or golf cart service shuttle? Are there accommodations for those needing special assistance? Consider Grandma in a walker or a friend in a wheelchair. Some outdoor venues aren’t paved so provide details on how they can best arrive and arrange unloading. The last thing your guests want is a big scene trying to get into the venue. And for the ladies wearing heels, hiking through gravel or dirt can be annoying or worse, cause a twisted ankle. Don’t let those gorgeous Manolos see gravel!