10 Special Ways to Welcome Your Wedding Guests

While your wedding will mainly focus on you and your partner, it’s also crucial to consider how you’re going to welcome your wedding guests. One of the most exciting parts about your wedding will be having your nearest and dearest together to celebrate your love. So take the opportunity to make your guests feel appreciated and make your special day unforgettable. No matter how big or small your wedding is, the guest experience is what will truly create those beautiful long-lasting wedding memories.

A lot of couples end up focusing so much on their part of the wedding, that they forget that their guests are just as important. Make sure you’ve cared for the special people you’ve invited to celebrate your joy. Keep reading for our 10 special ways to welcome your wedding guests.

1. An Entrance to Remember

Your guests will have travelled from many different parts of the country or globe to admire your stunning nuptials, so show how much you appreciate them during your welcome entrance. If you make your reception entrance fun and upbeat, it’ll set the tone for the rest of the evening. While you’re planning your speech, ensure that the main theme is to give your guests a warm welcome as you start the celebration. They’ll be the ones that give life to your wedding, so a heartfelt welcome is key. Once your speech is over, take the time to greet guests individually, to properly thank them for taking the time to be there for you. It’s also useful to break the ice and get introductions going on between different guests.

welcome your wedding guestts
Photography: Holly Clark

2. Welcome Signs & Schedule

If there’s a schedule for the reception, make sure that there’s a sign indicating this to your guests. It’s likely that you’ve already given them an itinerary on your wedding website, but repeating this information on a charming sign will be super helpful! You could go for minimal and rustic wooden signposts, or go all out with dramatic neon signs. Another cute touch would be to add signposts around the venue, telling guests where different points of interest are located, such as the dance floor, the bar and the bathroom. These simple touches will show your guests that you’ve made an effort to cater to them. If you want to add more details to put a smile on your guests’ faces, you could also include quotes and heartfelt notes for your loved ones to stumble across.

3. Cheers!

Get the party going with some fun cocktails as a way to welcome your wedding guests. You could get creative with special names relating to you as a couple, and unique bar stands. Be extra original and have cocktail popsicles or shots. Don’t forget mocktail options too! Original welcome drinks will surprise your guests and liven the atmosphere. They’ll especially appreciate a refreshing drink during a warm summer’s day! If your wedding is scheduled for cooler seasons, you could choose mulled wine and hot toddy, or even a cute hot chocolate stand.

welcome wedding cocktails
Photography: Eric McVey

4. Welcome Bags

Recently, couples have opted for welcome bags and boxes for their reception and the trend is here to stay. There are so many different companies offering pre-established bags and custom made bags for your guests. You can opt for a themed bag relating to your wedding destination with local delicacies, or a bag with seasonal goodies. Another option is to spend some extra time creating a custom bag with special touches such as personalized treats. Our tip is to include a city guide with recommendations of what to do in the local area and places to eat.

custom wedding welcome bag
Custom welcome bag: Marigold & Grey

5. Essential Accessories

A great way to welcome your wedding guests is to make sure they have all essentials readily available. This includes fans, sunscreen and parasols for the summer sun, umbrellas for any unexpected weather, and blankets for cooler evenings. Definitely make sure you have flip flops ready for guests to hit the dance floor! Another fun essential to add is a hangover kit for the next day, which your guests are bound to need! You can also add a phone charging station. Even if you’re having an unplugged wedding, guests will want to make sure their battery is topped up in case they need to call taxis, ring babysitters or take a few selfies with the bride and groom. If it’s not unplugged, then include a sign with your wedding hashtag, so your guests know what to tag while they’re getting their phones ready to upload to Instagram. You can hide stations away in a corner, under tables, or near the bathrooms. Your guests will definitely appreciate the thought!

Photography: Pam Kriangkum | Wedding Slippers: Rescue Flats

6. The Power of Music

Dance the night away to your favorite tunes with a live band or DJ. Make sure that there is music for all tastes and ages so that everyone can let loose. One tip is to create a section on your wedding website or RSVP where guests can make song requests for the reception. Everyone will love the moment that their recommendation comes on! If you’re planning a destination wedding, then search for a live band to play local songs to add to the mix of styles.

Photography: Bina Terré | Venue: La Pescaia Resort | Design & Planning: SAGT JA

7. Live, Love, Eat

Food is the way to the heart! So make sure you keep guests well fed during the day with snacks and appetizers. A great way to welcome your wedding guests is to offer a boxed snack with their welcome drink, think tapas or aperitif style! It’s important to offer a mix of healthy food as well as cheeky treats, and cater to different palettes. Don’t forget to include vegetarian and vegan options too! Think of unique ideas to surprise your guests, such as donut walls, grazing tables, and a s’mores station. Another fun trend that has become more and more popular is to have a midnight food truck!

welcome wedding appetizers
Grazing table: Table & Thyme

8. Say Cheese!

Photos are going to be a key part of the day, as everyone will want to capture special moments during the celebration. Here’s where a photobooth comes in handy as a way to welcome guests. You could place the booth near the drinks station or at the entrance so that it’s one of the first things they see. There are photo booth options for all budgets and styles. You can hire one and have a professional photographer on hand, or get creative and make your own backdrop. Leave a selection of props for your guests to play around with and include your wedding hashtag too!

welcome your wedding guests
Photography: Ben Ramos

9. Entertainment Spots

Inject some fun with some party games to welcome your wedding guests. It’s an ideal way to break the ice between guests too! Think of some lawn games such as Connect Four, giant Jenga and croquet. This will be perfect for a backyard or summer wedding, and it helps to keep the younger guests entertained. As well as party game areas, consider the guests that want to relax by having some chill-out zones. Create a laidback lounge vibe, with sofas and plenty of cushions. These spots will be appreciated by guests who want to sit and talk to other guests or avoid the noise around the music area. Make sure there are drinks around this space too.

wedding reception games
Photography: Ashley Caroline

10. Thank You’s

When welcoming your wedding guests, thank you notes will be essential. Your guests will see throughout the day how much effort you’ve put into making sure they have a good time. But just like your welcome speech, thank you notes are a way for your guests to hear your appreciation first-hand. You could place thank you notes where they’re seated for their meal. If your guests are staying in the same hotel you could even put your thank you notes in each hotel room so that your guests see them before the day starts. It will go a long way if you can set some time aside to dedicate a sentence or two to each person. They’ll appreciate that you’ve considered them individually and will make them feel extra loved! Also when it comes to wedding favors, think of ones they’ll genuinely love and make use of.

welcome your wedding guests
Wedding Thank You Note: Etsy

Some more useful ways to show your appreciation to your guests are to provide transport to and from the event including airport pick ups, helping guests with childcare solutions and designating a greeter for the day.

Now that that’s all ready, the only thing left to do is to have fun! If you need more tips for your wedding planning such as Unique Seating Chart Ideas, Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid or choosing your vendors for your destination wedding, head over to WedBoard.

Featured image: Sharon Sevgi Ko

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