Over the years, I’ve found that with weddings it really is the little things that matter. You could have the most amazing band or venue, but if your guests wait too long for valet or all they can think about during dinner is how cold they are, unfortunately those are the moments that they walk away remembering. I’ve curated a list of small touches you can incorporate to ensure your guests are comfortable so they can enjoy all of the big touches you spent so long obsessing about throughout the process.
WELCOME DRINKS // Greet your guests with welcome drinks or water at the ceremony. Lavender Lemonade and F’rose are some of my favs! If you’re in a destination, use the region to inspire the drink, such as a Bellini when in Italy like we had at Olivia & Freddy’s Sardinia Wedding.
CONSIDER THE SUN // If you’re ceremony is outdoors, providing parasols or even custom sunnies can be a great touch. Your guests will appreciate the sentiment and when displayed properly they can also be part of the decor much like Samira Wiley & Lauren Morelli’s Palm Springs wedding where we had vintage french umbrellas in every shade of confetti.
WILL IT BE HOT? // Another element to consider if you’re having an outdoor ceremony is the heat. Beyond water and parasols, why not consider a handheld fan so guests can feel that much more pampered and stay cool while they’re at it. For Rachel & John’s wedding in Santa Susana, we had pretty rice paper fans in every shade of pink to compliment her Bougainvillea inspired wedding design.
HEATERS // When in doubt, rent a couple of extra heaters if your wedding is outdoors. My tip: don’t put the heaters out until the temperature drops. That way you won’t see bulky heaters in the photos of your beautiful reception. If you can tell it’s getting nippy, ask your planner or caterer to roll a few of them out before guests even realize they’re getting cold.
DANCING SHOES // Put a basket of comfy shoes in various sizes next to your dance floor. Both men and women love them and will thank you for saving their feet! We’ve done moccasins when in Wyoming, Flip Flops in Southern California and Huaraches in Mexico. You can have your planning team pass them around the dance floor or put on display for guest’s to help themselves.
VALET // I genuinely believe in the more the merrier when it comes to valet attendants. There’s nothing worse than a long valet line when you’re trying to rush to make it to the ceremony. And, when guests are ready to leave, the last thing they want to do is wait 20 minutes for their car. Tip: place one of your heaters by the valet stand to help guests stay toasty while they wait for their car. And, if a bit of a wait is unavoidable, this is the perfect spot to pass out late night snacks.
WHEN IT COMES TO RESTROOMS, GO LUXURY // Much to many couple’s surprise, a lot of venues require you to bring in portable restrooms for the celebration. If you only take one piece of my advice, make it this: DO NOT skimp on the type or restroom. Guests are already iffy about using these restrooms, and the price difference vs. value received in the levels of trailers available is huge. When possible, even go one step further by adding an amenity basket with band-aids, mints, etc or even create a chic little waiting area with lounge furniture, a vanity mirror counter and a full length mirror. And never forget the candles.
CATERING & BAR STAFFING // Invest in having extra bartenders and servers for the night. This will ensure guests aren’t waiting too long in lines at the bar, always have a full glass of wine with dinner and receive their food efficiently. You can never have too many people ready and waiting to serve your guests.
LATE NIGHT SNACKS // I shared a whole devotional to my love of the late night snack here, but I just want to reiterate what a nice touch this can be. Not only is it a place to be creative and fun, but who doesn’t want a few doughnuts like Hillary and Jonathan had at their Colony Palm’s wedding after having a night of cocktails and dancing. Late night snacks are great tray passed at the dance floor, staged near the bars and lounges or left on the passenger seat of the guest’s car by the valet attendants.
If you want to learn more about our philosophy behind guest experience design, take a peek at Beth’s recent Vlog covering this topic in more detail. It’s truly the little things that can make the celebration enjoyable for both you and your guests.