One of our very own is getting married in a couple of weeks! We asked her if we could take an up close look at her plans for the big day. We wanted to know how she plans to keep her guests fed, happy and how she plans to give them the. Best. Party. Ever!
Can you tell us a bit about your wedding?
I come from a big Ukrainian family and you can bet that the day is going to revolve around food, drinks and good fun. It was really important to me to get married in my hometown, but in order to make this happen, many of our guests will be traveling quite a ways to celebrate with us. It is so important to us that they feel appreciated and welcomed.
What kinds of things have you done to make the trip easier for them?
Since it is a very small town and an unfamiliar place to many of our guests, we put together a wedding website that had everything they needed to know. We placed maps, hotel accommodations, camping sites, contact information, and a few things they can do for fun before the wedding.
We wanted the hotel arrangements to be as easy as possible for our guests. We got in contact with one of the local hotels and negotiated a discounted price for our wedding guests. This helped in 3 ways: the rooms were reserved and ensured that everyone had a place to stay. It was easy and saved them a bit of money. And it will be more fun to have everyone together in the same place!
My fiancé and I know that after a long drive we are both ready to just kick back and relax with a snack and cocktail. We wanted our guests to be able to do this as well. That is why each hotel room will have a welcome bag. We included some special local favorites from my hometown, personalized wine and water bottles, as well as some treats that we knew our guests would love! See some of our favorite welcome bag stuffers here!
Because there was travel involved, everyone needed to have enough time to make arrangements. We sent out our save the dates a little earlier than usual to ensure that everyone could come celebrate with us.
How do you plan on making your guests comfortable and happy?
We figured we would just keep feeding them! Because the reception and the hotel are quite far apart so we wanted to give them somewhere to go between the Ceremony and Reception. My parents offered to host a mid-day reception. Our guests will be having cocktails in their backyard where there will be lots of shade and places for them to relax. I think it’s going to be nice that they can have a drink and enjoy some music before dinner.
One of the things I heard the most on Weddingstar’s facebook, twitter and blog are the best and worst things you can do as a Bride. So, I’ve learned a few things and my fiance and I decided we must have a bridal party hang out. If you have ever been a bridesmaid or groomsman, you know there there is always a point where the couple goes off to take pictures alone or to enjoy a little time to themselves. You also know that with so much excitement, eating sometimes gets forgotten. We didn’t want anyone fainting on us! So while we take our individual pictures at our lake lot, there will be food and drinks waiting for our bridal party at a separate location from our mid day reception so that they can relax and enjoy the afternoon and feel fresh for the big party to come!
I think everyone has been in this situation. You get to the wedding reception and you look at the seating plan and you aren’t sitting with anyone you really wanted to sit with. We didn’t want that to happen to any of our guests so we are letting them pick their own tables. We will be reserving seating near the front for immediate family and made sure there were a few extra tables in case there are a few empty seats left here and there.
With the added cost of gas and accommodations, we didn’t want our guests to have to pay for drinks on top of it all so the drinks will be on us that night!
Since it going to be an open bar, it was really important to us that everyone have a safe ride home. We have hired a shuttle service to take guests from the reception to the hotel at no charge to them.