Brenda's Wedding Blog | Fresh Ideas for Creative Weddings
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wedding blog + planning guide for creative weddings | inspiration for DIY Brides

Brenda's Wedding Blog is your online resource for planning your dream elegant wedding. Helping you find the "wow" in weddings.

Posts tagged welcome bags
Top 4 Ways to Take Care Of Guests At Your Destination Wedding

guest blogging with Nusair of Group Travel

What is your number one responsibility towards guests as they arrive? To make sure that their experience is stress free and filled with fun. From the moment they touchdown at the airport, they become your responsibility. And guess what? They will look towards you to provide them direction on where to go and what to do.

Today, we are going to go over the things you need to do to ensure that your guests are comfortable when they arrive at your destination.

1. Arrange for airport transportation
Remember that most of your destinations wedding guests have traveled a long distance to get there so it would seem rude to let them fend for themselves once they arrive.

Ideally, you want to have someone from the bridal party or the family greeting guests at the airport. This person should know most of the guests and should have a welcoming personality. They should be someone that your guests would be glad to meet. In many cases, brides will have an immediate family member (brother, father etc.) take care of this responsibility.

As wedding guests arrive at the airport, they can coordinate shuttle runs, help with luggage and make arriving guests feel welcome.

As for transportation, make sure to arrange for either the hotel shuttle to pickup guests or rent a van. Doing so will alleviate any stress that wedding guests may have about getting lost if they rent a car or getting ripped off if they use a cab.

2. Arrange for express check in at hotel
The last thing you want guests to do is to have to stand in line at the hotel to check in. An easy way to avoid this is to ask the hotel to provide express check in to your wedding group.
— How can you set this up?
When you are reserving your room block, ensure that your hotel sales manager can guarantee express check in for the group. Let them know that this is very important to you and that you really need guests to be able to bypass any long check in lines.
— How does it work?
As soon as your guest arrives, inform the front desk so they can provide a registration card to sign. Once signed, they will hand over a room key, with nothing else needed. The process should not take longer than thirty seconds. Note that you will need someone near the front desk that knows all the guests and can help make the process smoother.

3. Welcome bags for wedding guests
As part of the check in process, hand out a welcome wedding gift bag. This should contain some of the following:
- An itinerary or agenda of the destination wedding weekend with all events, timings, dress code, and directions
- A welcome letter from the bride and groom thanking guests for making the trip
- Contact information should they need to speak to someone on the bridal party
- An area map
- A list of things to do in the area, along with any coupons to nearby restaurants and activities
- List of local restaurants that deliver. Make sure to include distance, and telephone number
- Snacks and bottled water
- A themed gift or item that is reflective of the destination itself.
  {ex: if you’re getting married on the beach, then provide sunscreen and a pair of flip flops}

4. Wedding get together
Host a small get together on the night that most of you wedding guests arrive. Most couples will ask guests to meet them at the hotel or resort pool at a certain time. This way, the couple getting married can say hello to all their guests in one place rather than having to visit each one individually.

In addition, the welcome get together also provides guests a chance to mingle, catch up, and get to know new faces.

By arranging for transportation, putting together welcome bags, and setting up a welcome party, you will have accomplished your task of ensuring that guests are comfortable and having fun. Moreover, you will have set the right tone for the rest of the destination wedding.

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Nusair Bawla is the founder of GroupTravel.org. They help brides reserve a block of hotel rooms for wedding guests without making a single phone call. Fill out one form and hotels will email you their group rates in less than five minutes.

Photo Credits: "Love is Sweet" Welcome Bag, "Plan to Get a Tan" Canvas Bag,
South Carolina Welcome Bag, Destination Wedding Welcome Bag, Hello Sunshine Tote,

Friday Favor of the Day : Personalized Bicycle Tote Bag

Looking for a unique favor for your guests, or a way to add a personal touch to your welcome bags or even a perfect tote for filling up with gifts for your bridal party? Consider this adorable New Arrival from The Wedding Outlet - the Double Bicycle Personalized Totes. They are so cute and colorful. The totes are made from 100% cotton and are available in two sizes and two color combos. Browse their New Arrivals for even more tote designs. They are quickly becoming a best seller for 2012 Brides. * You must purchase a minimum of 12 totes

The Wedding Outlet is a sponsor of Brenda's Wedding Blog

Valley & Co. Tips: Making Your Guests Feel Special

guest blogging with Valley & Co.

So happy to welcome Aleah and Nick of Valley & Co. back to the wedding blog today - it's been a little while since they were here last to share their terrific wedding tips with my readers. And, today they have great tips for making guests feel special and welcome at your wedding.

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At most every wedding and event we plan there are a number of guests traveling from out of town. It's so important to make them feel special and appreciated from when they arrive at their hotel to when they leave your bash.

above photos courtesy of BHG and Kirei Nest {featuring a Wedding Chicks tote}

Welcome bags placed in each hotel room needn't be over-the-top {though we've created some really incredible goodies!}; stock baskets or bags with travel sized lotions, bottled water, a map of your city, an itinerary for the wedding or event, and some snacks. You can theme your welcome bags around the city you are in or the theme of your wedding: think Washington apples, Tim's Cascade chips, and Fran's chocolates in Seattle. Stock bags with gourmet cheeses and crackers and a small bottle of wine and opener for a winery celebration. Your guests will surely enjoy this treat.

above photo courtesy of Brandon Kidd Photography

Whether you have guests traveling from out of city, state, country, or continent, don't forget about them at your wedding! We know this can be easier said than done but visiting with each guest, even if it's brief, speak volumes.  Yes, this is your wedding day, but your guests care about you enough to make it to your wedding and they're here to see you. Consider giving a welcome toast that thanks each group who came. Talk with your photographer ahead of time to schedule group photos with each family, group of college friends, or work colleagues so that no one is left behind.

Send guests off with a thoughtful and usable take-home gift or late-night snack post-bash. We've coordinated everything from Philly cheese steaks and French fries to an espresso stand, milk and cookies, and a gourmet hot dog stand upon exit! Guests young and old will enjoy a little refueling after a day of celebration.

above photo courtesy of The Sweetest Occasion, photo by Jennifer Williams

The day flies by in a flash of fun, emotions, and celebration, and planning ahead makes all of the difference! We're sure you'll look back fondly on the memories and photos as well.

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Thank you Aleah and Nick of Valley & Co. for joining me today on my blog to share your valuable advice and tips with my readers.