Every couple desires to create a wedding experience that guests will talk about for years. There are so many resources available to help you develop ideas that will impress your wedding guests. Keep reading as we share our top nine unique ideas to wow your wedding guests:
Show Guests Your Hospitality With a Welcome Guide
If you have the privilege of hosting wedding guests from all over the world, there are small and intentional ways to show your guests how much you appreciate them and their effort to celebrate you on your wedding day. One of the most important (yet overlooked) ways is to provide guests with a welcome guide. A welcome guide should share important information about the wedding, addresses to local restaurants, and any additional resources that could be helpful while guests are visiting (everyone needs to know where the local Walmart or Target is!).
If you opt to create a wedding website, you can post your welcome guide on your wedding site and share it with your guests. When guests arrive at their hotels, you can ask the concierge to share the welcome guide with guests attached to your room block. If you want to add a special touch, you can give guests a box of goodies to go along with the guide. You can stuff the box with some of your favorite snacks, a t-shirt with the city’s name, and even a bottle of wine.
A welcome guide can come in handy for local guests as well – depending on where your wedding venue is located, local guests may be familiar with the city but not necessarily the area of your wedding. If a guest needs to grab safety pins for a last-minute wardrobe malfunction or if they need to grab a greeting card to go along with their wedding gift (we’ve all been there), they may need to know about stores a little closer to the venue and less close to their homes.
Here’s a list of things you should list in your welcome guide:
- Your Wedding Itinerary – You may have sent the itinerary in your Save The Date or official wedding invitation, but whenever you have the opportunity to remind your guests of the timeline, take it. This is also helpful for guests who want to do other activities during your wedding weekend and need to plan around any other special events you have planned.
- Neighboring hotels – If a guest doesn’t get a hotel with your room block, you can provide alternatives. We recommend listing a high-end, moderately-priced, and budget-friendly option.
- Contact Information – Instead of encouraging guests to contact you or your wedding planner, it would be great to designate a friend to field calls and texts from guests who may have simple questions or need recommendations. Guests may be inclined to reach out to you directly, but this could become overwhelming and cause you and your fiancee’ to become distracted. Your wedding planner will be busy managing the bridal party, vendors, musicians, and you – they don’t need the added stress of handling phone calls from guests about where to go for Happy Hour too.
- Local Attractions and Things to Do – When guests travel from out of town, some turn the weekend into a leisure trip as well. They may opt to arrive a few days early or stay a few days after the wedding and may want recommendations on museums and attractions to maximize their trip.
- Maps – It may seem outdated, but it is helpful for some people to visualize where they are in order make decisions about where to go while they are in town.
- Local Department Stores & Gas Stations – List the local Walmart, Target, pharmacy, grocery store, general store, dry cleaners, and pinpoint the local gas stations.
- Luxury Options – Guests will appreciate recommendations to local spas, nail and hair salons, and high-end restaurants. Give them the 5-star treatment and if these local places offer group discounts or coupons, include them in your welcome box or official invitation.
- Family-friendly resources – For guests traveling with little ones, you can add small toys to the welcome box and list local family attractions or fun activities for parents and their kids.
Incorporate Your Vows Into the Decor
You may be thinking about your guests’ experience, but your wedding day is supposed to be centered around the love and commitment you and your spouse will share for a lifetime. A simple way to wow your guests and remember the day’s true meaning is to incorporate your vows into the decor. You can have your vows printed on a backdrop behind the sweetheart table. You can pull excerpts from your vows and hang them behind food or dessert tables in the reception hall if you have the space. Finally, if you decide to give guests wedding favors, your note or card can have an excerpt of your wedding vows printed on the back. Use Pinterest to find different methods of displaying your vows and get ideas for calligraphy there as well.
Have Fun With Cake Toppers
Traditional wedding cake toppers are out – get creative with yours and make them match you and your spouses’ personality! You can make the topper grandiose with edible glitter on a monogrammed stick, or you can make it funny with the groom running away from the bride. Whatever you do, just make it your own.
If you allow guests to take pieces of cake home or if you host a dessert table, you can also add toppers to their desserts or offer to-go cupcakes with personalized toppers as well.
Have a Fun “Guest Book” to Sign
Guests look forward to having the opportunity to offer their best advice on living harmoniously for a lifetime. Guests also enjoy sharing their love and appreciation for a new couple, and most guests do this by writing a message in the wedding guest book. Over the years, the tradition of writing a kind message in a big guest book has evolved, and couples are using new and innovative ways to get their guests to sign their wedding guest book.
We personally love the idea of a video guest book. A video guest book is an eco-friendly and technologically-advanced way to collect guest messages. You and your spouse can watch your guests express their love and well-wishes for years to come. In a post-Covid world, a video guest book is a great way to collect messages if guests cannot attend your wedding in person or if you decide to live stream your wedding. You can share the link to any virtual platform or request the way you prefer guests to send their messages in your invitation. Your wedding planner can collect the messages in advance, and you can even hire an editor to string the messages together for easy viewing.
Elegant Wedding Invites shared a few fun guest book alternatives as well. Here are our top 5 favorites:
- Jenga Wedding Guest Book – This idea is perfect for the couple that loves to host a game night. A simple and fun idea to engage with your guest is to have them sign individual Jenga blocks so that you can put together your own custom Jenga set. Every time you play the game, it will bring back all the memories for years to come.
- Wedding Guest Book Puzzle – Guests can sign individual puzzle pieces that come together to create a whole. You can keep the pieces in a box to be put together whenever you want, or frame the finished product and hang it on your wall to admire every day.
- Music-Themed Wedding Guest Book – If you two are all about the music, old albums or a guitar might be a perfect wedding day guest book alternative. This will be even more meaningful if you use albums from songs from your special dances like your first dance, father/daughter, etc.
- Message in a Container Wedding Guest Book – Ask your guests to write a message of well wishes or perhaps some words of wisdom for the years to come at your wedding, and place the message card, paper, or even stone into a personalized container that suits your wedding style. This guestbook allows your guests freedom and creativity with what they want to say.
- Signed Monogram Wedding Guest Book – If you want to keep things simple, but you’re not a fan of the traditional guestbook, a monogram letter guest book will be a great option. These monograms will later become beautiful and nostalgic décor for your home.
Book a Cover Band
Live music is always a win at any party or event. People love to hear music while being entertained by a group of professionals who can bring some of our favorite songs to life. If you want to impress your guests, book a professional cover band that can sing songs from Top 40 tunes to Big Band Swing Classics.
Here are some resources for successfully navigating the booking process:
- Wondering how to budget for a live band? Use this article to figure out the factors that affect a wedding band’s cost.
- Hire an entertainment company to help you navigate the booking process. There are five main reasons why you should not try to attempt to book a band on your own.
- Is your wedding venue even equipped to host a live band? Use this guide as a checklist to determine whether you can book a cover band.
- Learn how you can maximize the value of your band. There are several ways to do this.
Take Song Requests
Music is an easy way to engage with your guests and if you take song requests you will give them the chance to contribute to your wedding in a fun and unique way. Ask the band to provide their song list ahead of time and allow guests to make requests from that list. This will help you avoid overwhelming the band with song requests on the spot and avoid guest disappointment if they choose a random song that does align with their current setlist.
Tap Into Different Wedding Dance Traditions
Several cultural elements can be incorporated into your wedding, and wedding dance traditions are the most popular. There are dances that most couples incorporate into their wedding regardless of their cultural background – specifically, the couples’ first dance and the parents’ dance. Some people like to add the anniversary dance, where couples dance together until the “oldest” couple remains standing. Other couples love to do the “money dance,” where guests can pin money on the happy couple while they dance.
Other cultural and religious dances include the hora, a traditional circle dance performed at Jewish weddings, or the raas garba, a night of folk dances before Indian weddings. Sororities and fraternities like to perform their traditional dances at weddings, and you can also incorporate a choreographed dance number that includes your entire bridal party.
Provide Luxe Lounge Areas
Lounge areas are a great addition to any wedding reception. After guests have enjoyed their meal and are on the dance floor, you can ask the venue to create a luxe lounge space for guests who do not want to sit at the dining tables but want a break from standing or dancing. You want your guests to be able to chat with each other, so they need to be away from the DJ or band, so the music isn’t as loud. If you work with a planner or decorator, ask them about the option to create luxe lounge areas in the lobby area, near the dessert table, alongside the photo booth, or towards the exit of the reception area.
Chandeliers are an underrated yet very effective addition to the look and feel of your wedding. Overall, lighting is essential to any wedding reception because lighting helps to enhance the wedding atmosphere and guides guests to exits and other vital areas. Chandeliers are just as effective but they also add a level of class and sparkle. You can dress up your chandelier with flowers or create an outdoor chandelier installation if you are hosting an outdoor wedding. Get creative and ask for help from a lighting designer.