Eight to nine months before the wedding send Save-the-Date cards. Include travel and accommodation information so they are able to make plans well in advance.
Let out-of-town guests know about area attractions and the locations of points of interest. Maps, guide books and directions are helpful for those unfamiliar to the area.
If you have many guests from out-of-town, set aside a specially priced block of hotel rooms. Some hotels require a deposit while others may simply offer rooms at a special rate until a specified date. Some hotels also offer a free room for the bride and groom or a free meeting room for a gift opening party.
Leave special goodie bags or baskets at the hotel to be given to the guests when they check in. These thoughtful packages may include candy, snacks, bottled water, a gift certificate for a nearby restaurant, an area tour book, a map, or even a simple card thanking them for coming from so far to attend the wedding.
Include out-of-town guests in many of the pre- and post-wedding festivities. Invite them to the rehearsal dinner (if budget allows), a special brunch, or the gift opening party. If other special activities are planned, consider extending an open invitation to distant travelers.
Set your guests at ease by preparing for every possible need. Put baskets of toiletries in your reception facility’s restrooms that contain helpful items such as hairspray, disposable combs, bobby pins, hand lotion, chapstick, mouthwash, toothpicks, bandaids, static guard, nylons, feminine products, etc.
If having a formal reception, carefully plan the seating arrangement. Place guests in comfortable situations with those they know or with whom they share similar interests.
If the reception dinner guest list includes children, consider ordering kid-friendly meals. Your younger guests will enjoy them and their parents will be grateful.
When giving toasts, remember to include a heartfelt thank you to everyone for attending your celebration.
Send a hand-written thank you note for every gift. You must follow e-mails, form letters, and a verbal thank you with a hand-written note.
Keep in mind that out-of-town guests may have spent hundreds of dollars just to get to the wedding day. They certainly deserve the extra attention to help them feel welcome!