Today’s fun guest post comes to us from wedding planner Laura Lambillotte of Happy Shindigs, based in San Diego, California. Enjoy:
When you think about the end of your wedding day, when all your guests are walking back to their cars at the end of the night, what do you think they’ll say? What parts of your special day will they remember? I often see couples get stressed out about what they should put their precious wedding dollars towards (we all know how quickly those dolla dolla bills fly out of your wallet when it comes to weddings). Of course everyone wants their shindig to be the happiest (see what I did there?). But, the truth is, you only have so many hours you can spend planning and dollars you can spend on this one day. So…how do you make sure that your guests leave your wedding talking about how yours was the best wedding they’ve ever been to? What is the one thing you should focus on? Here’s the secret…(hint, it’s not really a secret)…love on your wedding guests.
Read the full post after the cut!
(I told you it wasn’t a huge secret). The truth is, your guests are there to celebrate and love you…why not love them back as best as you can? Here are a few ways you can make sure your guests feel taken care of, from when you first walk your beautiful self down the aisle until your last goodbye of the night.
- Thank them! Seems obvious, right? But, guests will appreciate this more than you know. Many of your favorite people will be flying in, taking time off work, and sending their dogs to the finest pet hotels in order to be there for your special day and they will love that you took the time to be grateful for that. Wedding favors are traditionally the way to do this, but certainly not necessary. Favors can get costly and I have seen many many favors left on tables at the end of the night over the years. If you decide to go that route, make sure they are simple and meaningful to you. Edible favors tend to be the best-received (who doesn’t like free food??). You can also say thank you by giving a brief thank you speech during the reception (right after cake cutting is a great time for this) or printing a brief but heartfelt thank you note at the bottom of your menus or programs.
- Make your day personal. The best compliment you can get at the end of your wedding day is not “You had the most gorgeously exotic flowers, did you fly those in from Africa?!” or “Your dress was so beautiful, you must have bought it from Randy at Kleinfeld’s!”. I believe the best post-wedding compliment you can get is “Your wedding was so you”. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, or what the current trends are. Guests will remember those little elements that reflect your personality and there are tons of ways to do this! I’ve seen lego cake toppers, unique videos shown during the reception, non-traditional wedding food….the list goes on!
- Surprise them! I’ve saved the best for last because this one is my favorite! Anytime one of my couples has a surplus in their budget (doesn’t that sound like a dream?!) and wants to know where they should put their money, I always suggest doing something unique…because that’s what guests will really remember. But don’t worry–you don’t need to have extra room in your budget or 147 hours for an insane Pinterest project (ain’t nobody got time for that)–to create something special. Maybe you aren’t a huge cake lover but are ice-cream fanatics. Why not do a fun dessert station instead? I’ve seen handmade ice cream sandwiches, liquid-nitrogen ice cream stations, gelato….etc. Or, maybe you do a fun choreographed dance with your bridal party or throw something unique during the ceremony recessional.
Remember, the point isn’t to break the bank or to stress about having the “best” wedding. When you shift your focus to your guests, and how to serve them well and show your love and appreciation, it takes some of the little stresses away such as picking the exact perfect shade of linen or choosing the right number of votives per table. At the end of the day, your guests are there because they love you and are so excited to celebrate with you! Focus on loving them back and I promise your wedding will be more than spectacular. Happy planning!
Thanks Laura and thank you to Happy Shindigs for this great post! Happy Shindigs is an online wedding planning company that helps couples plan their weddings through practical advice and resources so that they don’t want to pull their hair out. To learn more about Happy Shindigs, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.
Photographer: Katherine Beth Photography
Venue: Scripps Seaside Forum
Rentals: Abbey Party Rentals
Florist: Balboa Florist
Hair and Makeup: Hair and Makeup Box