Posted by: Jamie Kutchman | Founder
We’re back today with Part Two of our three-part Wedding Series and if you didn’t catch Part One it’s not too late to catch up here with tips on what to include in your wedding welcome bags. Today, we’re talking about one of our all-time favorite topics…welcome letters! One of the best ways to make your out-of-town guests feel VIP is to include a wedding welcome letter or booklet inside your wedding welcome gifts. But it’s not just for show. These letters and booklets are useful too! They guide your guests around unfamiliar territory (especially if you are having a destination wedding!) and most importantly, provide them with all the details of your wedding weekend itinerary. Wedding welcome letters can also offer a sneak peak into the design and overall feel of your wedding as well as sincere messages of appreciation from you. And who doesn’t want to feel appreciated as they’re welcomed to town?
Here are some of the items to include:
Write a gracious and heartfelt note to your guests. Convey your thanks for making the trip to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion that surely wouldn’t be the same without them there with you. While most all of your guests know you well and are familiar with your love story, there may be “plus ones” who don’t know you as well. You might reference a special detail or two about how you met or why your wedding location has special significance to you and your relationship.
One of the most common items to include in a welcome wedding letter is the itinerary for the wedding weekend. Make sure to clearly state the event, venue location, address, time, and don’t forget to specify attire. The ceremony and reception locations are most commonly included but don’t forget the smaller events surrounding the wedding such as welcome dinner, wedding after-party, morning-after brunch and/or any other group activities and excursions.
Bus pick-up times and locations! This is SO important. We’ve heard horror stories of guests not knowing where or when to be picked up and getting left behind. Just like with the wedding itinerary, clearly state the pick-up locations and times. If you’re not offering group transportation, that’s okay. You can still offer your guests help but offering phone numbers to local, reputable cab companies and of course, Uber and Lyft if available in the area. Uber even offers options specifically for events, info found here.
Things to Do
This part can be a lot of fun! When guests are coming in from out of town, they may have some downtime during the wedding weekend especially if they decide to extend their stay beyond the weekend. In your ‘Things To Do’ section, spill the beans on your favorite restaurants, bars, activities, and opportunities for sightseeing. If any of these places have special meaning to you, let your guests know why. It will mean more to them when they visit.
Custom maps are not only unique and memorable but can be extremely functional. For example, for weddings in cities where guests have the ability to walk from place to place, we love the idea of a custom-designed walking map. Include the basics such the ceremony and receptions venues but also notable landmarks and useful locations such as pharmacies, Starbucks and other frequently-visited spots your guests may need during their stay.
If you’re the one getting married, please please please resist the urge to offer your contact information in the welcome letter! Even if you have an award-winning wedding planner, you will still be busy. Why add a number at all, you ask? Well, emergencies can happen. Someone gets lost or issues may arise with the hotel. While it’s not up to you to fix it, it’s up to you to provide an emergency contact. The best point of contact is your wedding planner or someone not in your wedding party but reliable and familiar with the wedding weekend schedule. But pretty please, anyone but you!
Wedding guests tend to have a better time when they know other people who are attending! It can be fun to clue your guests in on who’s who ahead of time. This can mean introducing the wedding party in your welcome booklet or taking it a step further and offering a guide of who’s coming to the wedding. Guesterly does an awesome job of this and makes it incredibly easy for you to pull the guest info together and even helps you present it in a fun, creative way.
Make it Blend
Once you have the important content figured out, now you can focus on the aesthetics of the welcome letter. This is the fun part! Make sure the design coordinates well with the style and color palette of your welcome gifts. Ideally, your welcome inserts can be designed along with your other wedding paper…invitations, signage, day-of paper, etc.
We hope these tips have helped you map out your welcome letter and get started! Often times, getting started is half the battle. For more information on our signature Custom Gift Design Service, including welcome letters and booklets, visit us here.