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Tips for Welcoming Guests to Wedding Festivities

Whether welcoming guests to town for your destination wedding, welcoming them to the ceremony or introducing them to the reception space, a warm welcome goes a long way with guests.

While you’ll want to visit with each guest at some point during the wedding weekend, providing simple interactive moments and meaningful mementos can make guests feel welcome and appreciated.

Signature Drinks

Photo courtesy of Woodland Fields Photography

Save the open bar for the reception. Having a glass of champagne available at the hotel check-in or one signature drink available per guest upon arrival to the ceremony is a nice touch.

Welcome Bags

For destination weddings or any wedding where guests travel to attend, have a welcome bag awaiting them in their hotel. Fill a gift bag, tote or basket with local treats, waters, an itinerary, a map, brochures, guides to local attractions and a welcome note.

Live Music

Guests will enjoy entering the ceremony to hear live music in the air. Enlist a string quartet, jazz trio or acoustic act to set the tone for the festivities.

Beverage Station

While libations are readily available at the ceremony, a beverage station would be greatly appreciated by guests. The beverage station could include still water, flavored water, tea, lemonade, coffee or any drink that’s special to the couple. Maybe they are Diet Coke fanatics, or hot cocoa would be cozy at a winter wedding.


Photo courtesy of Cedar Relics Photography

Arriving from out of town often includes a long day of travel. At the front desk or in each room, provide your favorite treats from a local bakery or business. Granola bars, bags of pretzels, chips or popcorn, and any grab-and-go snacks are great options. Before the big meal, whether before the ceremony or at cocktail hour, serve mini charcuteries, bite-sized tacos or finger sandwiches.

Photo Opportunities

Photo courtesy of Pure 7 Studios

Whether it’s a photo booth, a photo wall, an LED sign, a floral wall or scenic vista, encourage your guests to take photos, use your hashtag and tag you. Props can be a fun addition. Some of the best wedding favors are ones with photos — film strips, magnets or prints that arrive in the mail with a thank you card.

Portrait Artist

Having a portrait artist to capture sketches of your guests is a fun activity and a treasured keepsake. Another option is to have an artist that paints a scene from your wedding. That way, guests can observe the artist at work.

Lawn Games

Photo courtesy of Alicia Osborne Photography

Cornhole, croquet, horseshoes, chess, checkers, Jenga, Connect Four and more are all lawn game options that can easily be set up. A little friendly competition before the reception makes for fun memories.

Guest Book Station

An interactive guest book is fun for all and makes for a great keepsake. Versions could include Polaroid guest books, audio guest books, video guest books, postcards, signing a record, signing wine corks, puzzle pieces and more.

Feature image courtesy of Alicia Osborne Photography

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