While guests don't need to know as many details as the bride, there are still some details that they need to know. In addition to the basic when and where of the wedding, you'll be glad you delivered certain wedding reminders for guests. Whether it's on a wedding website, as a wedding invitation insert, or even on the wedding invitation itself, here are certain details you'll want to make sure to share leading up to the big day.
1. Share the 411 on the Dress Code
Including the dress code is a key detail you don't want to overlook. "People genuinely want to arrive in the appropriate attire—no one wants to be the one guest who is way overdressed or underdressed and feeling sloppy," says Viva Max Kaley, New York-based wedding planner and creator of Viva Max Weddings. "Be a kind host and give them a little direction so they can arrive feeling beautiful and confident." Try to keep the descriptions clear (creativity is fun as long as it makes sense), and offer a more detailed explanation on your website.
Meet the Expert
Viva Max Kaley is a New York-based wedding planner and the senior event manager at Lindsay Landman Events, where she offers full-service planning and design. She also provides event day management with Four Hearts Weddings.
2. Give a Heads-Up on What Shoes to Wear
If you're getting married at a church and celebrating in a ballroom, you can skip this detail. "But if guests need to be aware of rocky paths, soft grass, or sand, mention it in advance. Think about whether your wedding could be uncomfortable (or even dangerous) for guests in stilettos, and give the fashionable a heads-up," Kaley explains. If you don't want to reveal every detail of your wedding day, a quick note on your website saying "We'll be outside for a portion of the evening, so please opt for wedges or thick heels over stilettos" will get the point across without letting them know about the sunset cliffside cocktails you've got planned.
3. Let Everyone in on the Wedding Hashtag
If you're planning on having a wedding hashtag, let everyone know well before the big day. That way, everyone can use the hashtag during all the events leading up to the big day, from the engagement party to the bridal shower to the rehearsal dinner. By the time the big day rolls around, your wedding hashtag will probably be coming up on auto-suggest for members of your bridal party.
4. Ask Certain Guests to Give Toasts or Readings
Toasts and readings are a sweet way to include people you care about in your celebration, and anyone you invite to give a toast or deliver a reading will appreciate the advanced notice so they have time to prepare. "If they're being given this honor, they are probably close family members or friends and will take the role seriously. Don't wait until the last minute to announce that you'd like them to participate—it puts more pressure on them than is necessary. Also, be sure to tell them when during the wedding they'll be speaking." Kaley says. And since speaking at a wedding is such a special role, this is the type of information you should share via phone call—or even better, over a cup of coffee in person—so you can discuss all the specifics.
5. Share Room Block Information
This is a detail that should be shared early on, especially if you're anticipating a lot of out-of-town guests. Set up room blocks in a few local hotels (consider offering a couple of hotel options at different price points). Room blocks are great, because not only do they keep your guests together, they also often come with a discount. You can include the room block information on your wedding website or a wedding invitation insert.
6. Provide a Rundown on All Transportation Information
Whether it's simply directions to the venue and parking information, or the specifics about the shuttles you'll be providing, let guests know about transportation well in advance so they don't make any unnecessary plans. "If guests are staying in your hotel block, let them know when shuttles will be leaving, or if they should drive or call a local taxi company. If they're staying elsewhere, let them know if they can park at the hotel and hop on the shuttle, or other ways to get to the venue," says Kaley. "Put this information on your website when you send out save the dates, so guests can keep it in mind as they make travel plans. You could also include an insert in your invitation if it fits in your budget."
7. Clue Them In on Other Wedding-Related Events
Are you inviting everyone to welcome drinks the night before, or a brunch the morning after? Let your guests know in advance so they can plan their travel accordingly. "Additional activities and events can impact how much time guests will want to request off from work, what time they book their flights for, and things like securing early check-in or late check-out at their hotel," explains Kaley. "Even if you aren't planning additional events, if you have a large number of out-of-town guests, be sure to provide recommendations for local restaurants and attractions, as well as practical things like markets and pharmacies so they can plan their weekend with ease."
If you're inviting everyone to join you for before- and after-wedding events, put this information on your website. Otherwise, print inserts for the invitation suite to include for only the guests who are invited to specific events, or put together an email invite.
8. Let Your Guests Know When You Get Their Gift
"Guests spent time picking out gifts for you, and want to know if it made it to you safely." says Kaley. If wedding gifts are pouring in before the wedding, don't wait until after the wedding to send a thank-you card. A good rule of thumb? Send thank-you notes within two weeks of receiving the gift. If you won't be able to get the note out within two weeks, send a quick email to say that you received their gift, how much you love it, and that they should keep an eye on their mailbox for a note from the two of you.
9. Remind Them (Again) of the RSVP Date
One thing guests are sure to forget? Your RSVP date. Yes, you printed it very clearly on the wedding invitation, but don't be surprised if your RSVP-by date rolls by with many of the guests failing to respond. People forget—it's just the way it is. However, you have chairs to order and caterers to plan with, so you're going to need an accurate guest count. Consider sending out texts with a wedding RSVP reminder. Wording on these doesn't have to be complicated—just send a quick, friendly text saying something like: "Hi there! Working on the guest list and I was wondering if you were going to be able to come to the wedding? We really hope you can make it 😉"
If you've got a lot of guests, however, it might get tricky to send out 50+ individual texts. Group texts usually cut off at 30, and, moreover, this isn't really the kind of thing you want to send in a traditional group text. Consider signing up for a service like WedTexts, which allows you to send out reminders for anything, including the RSVP date. Best of all, you can tailor the wedding reminder wording to say exactly what you want.