9 Things Every Wedding Guest NEEDS To Know Before They Can RSVP
There’s nothing more special than getting that wedding invitation through from your friend or loved one. It’s your chance to celebrate what is likely to be the best day of their lives (unless they have children).
Not just that it gives you the opportunity to catch up with all those family members you feel really guilty about not keeping in touch with.
However, once the initial excitement and joy dissipates reality sets in. What will I wear? Will I have to take time off work? What will I do with the kids? How will I get there? How much will drink cost at the hotel? Is there a wedding list? The list goes on…
The happy couple are often too wrapped up in creating their dream wedding that it never dawns on them to communicate small things that they take for granted.
So, if you’re planning your big day, here are a few things you might want to let your guests know about when you send out your invitation:
Probably one of the most important things people need to know is whether their invitation extends to their children. If it doesn’t you need to communicate that clearly and if it does why not consider sending the kids their own invitation – make them feel special too.
2. Plus Ones
There’s always a bit of a drama when it comes to the plus one. Some people simply don’t have the ability to invite that many people to their wedding, and that’s ok. However, beware of treating members of your family differently. In some cases the rule is that if someone has a long-term partner then they are automatically given a plus one, whilst the seemingly eternally single members of the family aren’t offered the ability to bring someone. Think about asking these people whether they have a plus one rather than assuming they don’t.
For many weddings it’s just a case of driving to the local church and hotel and there’s really no need to worry about your guests in this case. However, if you are having your wedding anything more than 10 miles away from your family give people detailed information about the location. I received an invitation recently that included a little printed out Google Map as well as directions and information as to where the church and reception were going to be. They even offered an alternative route to bypass the toll bridges in Dublin.
Travelling might not be possible for some people and therefore the costs involved with staying overnight for your wedding could impact on their decision as to whether to go or not. It’s a good idea to offer some suggestions such as B&Bs in the surrounding areas and/or ask your hotel for a discounted price for your guests and give them the code.
5. General Expenses
If the hotel you have chosen charged extortionate rates for alcohol and sundries you might want to let people know. Think about Uncle George who loves buying all his beloved nieces and nephews a drink at every family function…he’ll need to know what the damage is going to be before he turns up and offers. A good way to tell people without drawing attention is to include a link to the bar menu on the hotel’s website or send them a copy of it with the invitation. Some people may choose to drive there and back if drink prices are too prohibitive.
If you are planning on having a specific theme for your wedding it might be a good idea to let people know, they may want to join in. Of course the other side of the coin is that your mum might want to warn Great Aunt Jess that there’s a good reason for all the superhero references.
7. Dress Code
Many people are now opting for a more relaxed approach for their guests. If you are happy with people to dress in smart/casual – tell them. Or if you don’t care what they wear just that they turn up, why not include a line like “dress code – be yourself!”.
8. Wedding Gifts
Ever tried to buy for a couple who already live together and have everything. There is nothing more frustrating. Consider an Amazon.co.uk “Wish List” or a traditional wedding list for your wedding gifts. If you don’t want gifts say so on your invitation. If you want donations to a charity give them the information and if you prefer cash tell them and don’t be embarrassed – people would rather give you what you want within their own budgets.
It’s a good idea to give people an idea of your schedule for the day – even if it is just a draft one. That gives them the chance to organise childcare, time off work, lifts, transport and more well in advance.
By Tina Calder, Excalibur Press