Friendship is not determined by the proximity of two individuals to each other. Distance can create added stress on relationships, but it need not break them. Distance can even make a relationship grow stronger and friends grow closer. You may have friends and family living in all parts of your state, country, and world. You would love to include many of these distant companions and relatives in your big day, and it is possible! While inviting out-of-town guests will require different preparation than that for more local guests, they are worth the effort! Ensure that the individuals that travel the furthest for your wedding feel just as welcome as those living next door with the following tips.
1. Provide plenty of information
The people you choose to invite to your wedding that live out of town will have to consider all their options before making a decision about their attendance. Make the decision easy on them by providing them with all the necessary details. Out-of-towner’s will require more information than the average guest, so create an extra piece of paper to include in the invitations of such individuals. Compile several lodging and travel options. Look for group rates at both hotels and airlines. Include a map of your town or a link to information about local shops, restaurants, and attractions. Do some research to determine if any other local events will take place during the days which neighbor your wedding date.
2. Greet them immediately
No, you do not need to clear your schedule in order to greet each of your out-of-town guests at the train station, airport, or bus stop. But you can make your guests feel welcome as soon as the arrive by letting them know that you care. If your guests are staying at a local hotel, create a basket of snacks, souvenirs, and a card that employees can place in their respective rooms. Make sure to include contact information and confirm the itinerary of all important times and dates so that they can plan accordingly. If possible, give them a phone call when they come to town and express your gratitude and excitement that they could travel for your big day.
3. Host an extra event
As these individuals have put forth more money and effort than the average wedding guest, you can thank them by hosting a party exclusively for your out-of-towners. Taking place either before or after the main festivities, hold a picnic the day before your wedding. Invite them to a day of games at the park. Give them a personal tour of your town. This extra event need not create another source of expense or stress. You do not even need to attend the event — simply make the arrangements, send of the invitations, and let your guests enjoy! Any effort put forth to make your out-of-town guests feel more at-home will be appreciated as a kind gesture.
4. Acknowledge them at your event
If you have a large number of out-of-town guests, celebrate the diversity of those in attendance by featuring a large map and asking guests to mark where they traveled from. If you only have a handful of out-of-towners or you have some who traveled an especially considerable distance, make an announcement or include them in the list of individuals you thank. Make a toast to the travelers.
5. Be aware of their schedule
Some guests may arrive a day before the wedding and depart immediately after the event. Others may arrive directly at your event and then relax the next day in your town. Be in open communication with your guests so that you know the plans of each of your guests. Be considerate of each of those schedules. Do not start the wedding festivities before the time expressed on the invitation. Do not allow the various aspects of the reception to drag late into the late. Schedule the most important events at your reception to take place at the beginning, leaving room afterwards for mingling, conversation, and dancing to continue late into the night. Try to provide your guests with an estimate of when the wedding festivities will end. Then your out-of-town guests have freedom to arrive and depart whenever they want or need to, and you reveal your respect for their own schedule.