Post # 1
For those with OOT guests coming in — what are the best ways you’ve found to actually get to spend time with them? The one thing I’m most excited about (besides marriage following the dang wedding) is getting to see friends and family from all over, but I keep hearing that during the wedding itself, you barely get to breathe, let alone actually spend time with anyone. It makes sense, a few hours in a room full of food and dancing and 200 of your closest… I can see where you’d have 30 seconds with each person, or a minute with each couple.
So… if I’m asking these beloved people to spend hundreds to fly across the country, how can I make the most of it for them?
Ideas we’ve had include
-an afterparty for the under 40 crowd (daytime wedding in that case),
-having a second reception (most of them live in southern CA) instead of asking them to come out at all,
-having a destination-type wedding, just in my hometown, with activities planned for whomever is around,
-or having a night-before-the-wedding party for the under 40 crowd, maybe just at the hotel bar or a restaurant with a dance floor (i.e. we’re not paying for everyone, just hanging out with them).
Thoughts? Suggestions? Reasons any of those ideas will be highly regretable in the long run?
Post # 3
I voted for the after-party only because I think the night before you might be a little pre-occupied with wedding stress and you might not be able to relax and be yourself!
Post # 4
A girl on my local knot board did a Welcome Dinner and said it was the best part of her whole wedding weekend. She liked relaxing and being with friends and family prior to The Big Day. She was a VERY organized bride.
I am not an organized bride, so there’s no way I’d be cool, calm, and collected enough to relax and enjoy a pre-party like that.
We are doing a morning-after brunch, hosted by my future in-laws, in their home. It’s open house style, so people can stop in whenever. They’ll serve coffee and pastries/donuts/bagels – no hot food that would require someone to be in the kitchen the whole time! My sister did the same thing and the really enjoyed it!
I have heard some people are too tired to do a morning-after thing though, that all they want to do is sleep and chill with their new husband.
Post # 5
The majority of our guests (at least 90%) will be out of town. We are planning on having a weekend full of activities: including a dinner/bbq at family friends house the night before the wedding, morning activities before the evening wedding for guests & a brunch/day on the lake on the Sunday. Over 50 of our guests will be coming from England, so we want to make sure that we spend lots of time with our friends & family who are travelling so far to be with us on our wedding day.
Post # 6
@thefuturemrsjewell – who pays for all of those brunches and parties? I love love love the idea of having a whole weekend of stuff, but it doesn’t fit into our budget, I’m afraid. 🙁
Post # 7
is it rude to bump my own posting? I sometimes feel like with the time zone differences, my questions get lost way down in the list… and I really want insight from all of you!
Post # 8
The activities you plan don’t have to expensive. Consider doing something like a tour of your city/town (you could negotiate a good rate with a tour company or rent a bus and do your own) and you can have activities like a softball game, volleyball match, etc. You could arrange a craft activity related to the wedding and then have an inexpensive welcome dinner. These are just some ideas that I am hastily throwing out right now, but the more you have planned, the more people will want to attend, IMO. Good luck!
Post # 9
I love the weekend full of activities idea because you can incorporate everyone, of all ages too. Maybe one afternoon you could do a spa day with just the women, then some kinda activity the guys would like (whatever that is lol) and if you’re including children, be sure to consider child friendly activites too. I think its a great idea!
Post # 10
My suggestion would be to have events before the wedding, if you have an after party, most guests will expect for you to pay for whatever drinks/food are at the party, since its part of the wedding day.
If you do events ahead of time & if you don’t want people to have to pay alot, you could do more affordable things such as a BBQ or pizza night at your house (given there is room) or even reserve a room at a resturant (should cost nothing) and just let your guest know ahead of time that due to the budget you can’t flip the bill 🙂
Post # 11
We are anticipating many cross continental guests as well At this point, we are thinking of having a BBQ on Thursday (2 days before the wedding). We would finance this and keep it casual/simple as a welcome party, anyone who is in town would get an invite but I would not anticipate locals who have to work the next morning to be able to attend. As it gets closer and we know where people will be staying, we can decide to do this in either my aunt’s back yard, a local park, the beach or somewhere else. I feel like it can be done cheeply and everyone will enjoy meeting and greeting in an informal atmosphere. We have also tossed around the idea of organizing a tourist activity like a harbor cruise by simply setting a date and a time and everyone who wants to go goes and pays their own way (if we have time we would like to join them but if not, they can mingle together). Regardless of planned activities, we have listed a lot of local attractions from history to shopping along with some of our favorite restaurants so people can plan their own vacations around the wedding. I figure if they are going to fly for 8-9 hours then they will want to see more than just our wedding so I’m trying to play travel agent as well since the wedding is in my homestate. Frm talking to our guests, we are begining to get an idea of who will travel when and what they want to do, maybe you can do an informal poll or set up a Doodle for your friends and see what they have to say. We are also planning to do some sort of day after brunch so we can say good bye to everyone before our honeymoon but I’m not sure how early in the morning it will be.
Post # 12
I’m Australian, with lots of familiy and friends in Australia who won’t be able to make it to my London wedding.
We’re doing two of the things you suggested — having a weekend full of activities specifically for guests who’ve come a long way (Friday lunch — want to keep the night before quiet and calm! — and Sunday brunch after the Saturday wedding). But a lot of people won’t be able to come at all, so we are incorporating a trip to Australia in our honeymoon so we can have a big party there for older relatives, extended family and friends for whom the cost or the flight time (24 hours on a plane is a bit long for the 80+ crowd!) means they just couldn’t come.
I’m really, really looking forward to spending the extra time with my out-of-town (out-of-country!) guests, both around the wedding and afterwards.
Post # 13
Fiance and I are not doing a morning after brunch … I have also always heard from Brides and Grooms that they wish they could’ve slept in and had their “First day as a married couple” together …
I think a welcome dinner is cool. I just am worried that it is the night before … I will be so nervous! Lol. I don’t want anything to do the night before.
I even want to have the rehearsal dinner the week before.
Post # 14
My FI and I are both from NYC, and we’re having the wedding here, but it’s basically a destination wedding for everyone else in our family. In my family, it’s traditional to invite all OOT guests to the rehearsal dinner. FI and I have been butting heads on that, since his family is paying for the rehearsal dinner, and they just want immeadiate family and bridal party there. I’m hoping that they’ll agree to have the OOT guests invited if I/my family pay for all the OOT people.
It’s pretty traditional in his culture for all the young people to have an after party after the party where we all go to a bar and party more, but everyone pays their own way for that.
My family also does a casual brunch the day after for OOT guests. I’m thinking we’ll just do bagel platters with coffee and juice since NYC bagels are amazing.
Post # 15
Thanks you guys 🙂 🙂
I’m definitely leaning towards a weekend full of activities, whereas before I never seriously considered it! You bees are great 🙂
Post # 16
i like the idea of a welcome dinner!