Wedding guests may not be the main actors of your special day, but they fill the day with magical memories. Some guests travel far to attend the wedding of a friend or a relative. While the bride and groom have a wedding budget and a specialist wedding planner to organize everything, many guests need to improvise. Getting married on a strict budget might be challenging. But it doesn’t compare to attending weddings on a budget or a strict schedule. Indeed, your guests have a life outside the wedding. They willingly decide to interrupt their day-to-day life to join you on your special day. We believe they deserve a heartfelt thank you.
Wedding guests are precious. They go above and beyond to fit your wedding in their schedule. Many guests take a proactive role during the wedding planning, helping you choose the bridal gown or the groom’s outfit, or even volunteering to try out buffet options. Friends and relatives alike check up on the couples during the wedding preparation, offering help and advice when required. Your guests are involved at every step of the way. They provide emotional support, listen to your fears, help you with tough decisions, and cheer you up on the big day. It goes without saying that guests truly make your wedding more beautiful and magical. So how can you show your gratitude to them?
Don’t forget the thank-you note
As you plan your wedding stationery, you need to think of paper use before, during, and after the day. Wedding invites are a no-brainer. But how about your wedding day program or your menu? If you plan ahead, you can make sure to use the same design and paper at every step of your wedding. That’s precisely why most couples choose to order all stationery from the same supply. If you are going to grab your wedding thank you cards from MagnetStreet, do make sure you can keep the theme consistent with your invites too. Thankfully, custom cards typically refer to your color palette, theme, and font, even though they might use different imagery. Couples often choose to capture the moment with a glamorous wedding photo, which they print out on the thank you card. As a rule of thumb, you want to send the card within weeks of the wedding reception. Similar to the invites, guests expect to receive the card 8 to 12 weeks after the wedding.
Personalize presents for some guests
Presenting your guests with gifts can be expensive. However, it is a popular choice to thank guests who have been part of the adventure from the start. When a guest helps prepare for the wedding, showing appreciation is the least you can do. If a guest has offered to bake a wedding cake, you can surprise them with baking gadgets to enhance their kitchen. As for the bridesmaids, why not build up on the hen do’s presents. More often than not, the bride-to-be receives unique gifts from her bridesmaids, such as branded merchandise with her future name. Inspired by the same idea, bridesmaids could also receive presents stating they were at “Mrs. X’s wedding” or that they were “Mrs. X’s preferred bridesmaid”. By matching former presents, you can show your gratitude and attention to detail. There’s no need to spend a lot. You can create custom mugs and phone cases that will be just as meaningful without breaking the bank.
Take pictures of everyone
While the thank you card tends to include a picture of the couple, you can also print individual guest photos to add to each envelope. This can take several weeks to organize, but you can work closely with a photographer to plan things. A wedding photographer can help you capture memories of your special day, focusing on the couple during the ceremony and at the start of the reception. But you can also ask the photographer to take photos of all your guests. For small parties, the photographer can also create spontaneous portraits or group portraits. Large venues often prefer table pictures, which are easier to organize.
Small to mid-sized parties can also create their own pictures using a self-serving photo booth with a series of props. Set up the booth so that you can store all photos digitally. When you check your digital storage after the wedding, you can select photos of your guests to add to each thank you note. This makes the message feel more personal.
Prepare cute wedding favors
Wedding favors are tiny gifts that mark the day for your guests. They do not need to be expensive, but they should be stylish enough to be something someone would be happy to receive. Everyday household items are a fantastic idea as your guests can carry on remembering the day when they use the item. Grown-up gifts for the kitchen are a favorite. They can be safely stored inside a drawer but still keep the memories alive. Guests love a custom bottle opener or a wine stopper with a personalized text. You can also share the love with small houseplants, such as flower seeds to be planted after the wedding or small succulent plants. If you are giving potted plants, succulents are typically a good choice as they are sturdy, safe, and can survive in most environments. Cute salt and pepper sets will also complete your guests’ interior decor in style and put a smile on their faces every day.
Have a thank-you speech
We get it: Sometimes, your shoestring budget can make it hard to show your appreciation. However, you can seize the opportunity to hold a thank you speech at your wedding. While it is tempting to turn to a professional speechwriter to make the best impression, a thank you speech doesn’t have to be complicated. It consists of 5 distinct parts:
- A brief introduction welcoming your guests to the wedding
- Thanking everyone for being present
- Mentioning specific guests who have been helpful
- Letting your guests know what they can expect for the rest of the day
- A brief conclusion to wish everyone a lovely time.
Putting your thoughts in words can be highly effective, even if it doesn’t last more than a few minutes. Most couples speak for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, so you don’t need to worry about the length of your speech. Keep it short, sweet, and meaningful.
Create a social media event
Social media is a wonderful place to build an online community. You can create a unique hashtag for your wedding, such as #John&RoseAugust2021 or #TheSmithsAreGettingMarried, or even #MrAndMrsTaylor2021. Most hashtags need to be recognizable and easy to remember. You can print them out on your invitation cards and the wedding signage on the day. Alternatively, you can also use a social media pod with free WiFi, your social media profiles, and the wedding’s hashtag to encourage your guests to post photos. The practice enables you to tag guests or to upload pictures to write a grouped thank you message.
The best social media platforms for this purpose are Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. You can create a private Facebook page for your wedding. TikTok also uses hashtags, but they are integrated into short videos rather than photos.
Prioritize their comfort
Sure, the rustic barn wedding theme can be appealing. But how about Aunt Agatha’s hayfever? Getting married on top of the mountain? That sounds fun. But Grandpa Henry will be exhausted by the hike. A Marvel-themed buffet? Yet please, who doesn’t want a superhero burger? But it could be tricky for your niece Ellen, who’s allergic to most food groups. The problem with exciting weddings is that they can become highly uncomfortable for your guests. As much as people want to celebrate the special day with you, they deserve to be comfortable. Perhaps, the simplest way to show your appreciation is to make sure you can plan for accessibility, mobility, and allergy requirements.
Don’t turn it into a dictatorial invitation
We appreciate that you want to feel like a princess on your special day. However, extreme rules and requirements can put off your guests and make you appear ungrateful. The news is full of brides of hell stories, where couples establish a very strict set of rules. A specific dress code can be problematic, but more guests will follow your requests. However, demanding wedding gifts of a high value or asking your guests to contribute to the wedding costs can be frown upon. The more difficult you make it for your guests, the less likely they are to want to celebrate with you.
Let the DJ do the hard work
If you have live music at your wedding or a DJ sorting out the music requests, you can arrange for individual tastes and choices. Indeed, the wedding invites include an RSVP card for the response. You can also use the response card to ask your guests about their favorite songs. It’s the perfect way to show your gratitude by playing the compiled lists of songs throughout the evening. You can even make sure the band of the DJ adds a personal mention before each song.
A wedding is a celebration of love. But, it makes sense to include your guests as you spread love. Guests make the day memorable and magical. So, it’s worth thinking of the many ways in which you can make them feel valued.