Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How to Be an Amazing Wedding Hostess (or Host)

These days, many couples are foregoing a lot of traditional aspects of the wedding day- from more casual attire to unique venues and just about everything else you can imagine. Because of this, it's harder and harder for guests to know what to expect. While you certainly can't expect to please everyone, there are some steps you can take as a couple to ensure that your guests are comfortable throughout your wedding day.

1.) Remember why they're there. You invited these guests hopefully because you are looking forward to having them be a part of a very important day in your life. You want to celebrate with them, right? And even more importantly, the guests at your wedding are the witnesses to your commitment and your marriage. They are there for more than the chicken piccata and the Chicken Dance. They are family and friends who have been there for you in the past and who you hope to have by your side in the future as well. You will undoubtedly be the center of attention on the wedding day (for obvious reasons), but you need to immediately dismiss the idea of it being "your" day.

Photo courtesy of Joseph Prezioso Photography

2.) Respect your guests' time and money. While you are focused on wedding planning and all the associated costs, it might be easy to lose sight of the fact that your guests are going to spend quite a lot as well- and not just on their gift for you. The travel expense, the time taken off from work, hiring a babysitter, purchasing a new outfit- all of these expenses add up, especially if they don't live close by. Take extra time to ensure your guests are as informed as possible, allowing them to make decisions to best suit them. This includes the timeline of events, the expected attire and of course information to familiarize them with the area. Don't assume or pressure your guests to be at every single event from the rehearsal dinner to the morning-after brunch. Do, however, make sure that you've provided all the necessary information for them so that they can decide which events outside of the main event of the wedding they will be able to attend. Which brings me to...

3.) PLAN. In fact, over-plan. A detailed timeline of the wedding weekend will not only be helpful for yourself and all of your vendors, it's a great way to ensure your guests always know what is happening as well as when and where. Your wedding invitation and your wedding website should have relevant information, or should at least point your guests in the right direction to find that information. Hotel accommodations, airport information, local restaurants and hot spots, etc. Many couples go so far as to create an "out-of-town" gift bag for guests with snacks, bottled water, toiletries and additional information about local attractions as well as appropriate phone numbers to call with questions. (A good guest would never call the bride before the wedding with a question about local eateries and such, but it's a nice courtesy to provide them with the right number to find the answer they need.) Even something as simple as letting your guests know the closest gas station and pharmacy is something many people don't even think of, but it just might make or break the weekend for them.

Finally, the best way to be a great host or hostess is...

4.) Say "Thank you." These two words will go a long way to making your guests feel welcome and appreciated.

Check the blog again soon for our compliment to this post, "How to Be an Amazing Guest."

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