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bride & groom with bridesmaids and parentsAccommodating Out of Town Guests

Recently the number of out of town guests attending weddings has been on the rise. Years ago, young people grew up and got married in the town they had lived in all their lives but nowadays couples are attending out of state colleges and accepting jobs far away from their hometown. This travel leads to more and more out of town guests attending weddings as the couple may have friends from their hometown, friends from college and friends from the new area where they live and work. Wherever the couple opts to get married there are bound to be a number of guests who are traveling from out of state for the occasion. As the attendance of out of town guests is a relatively new phenomenon, there are not many established traditions regarding out of town guests and the couple has some leeway to deal with the situation as they see fit.

It has become popular for the couple to reserve a block of rooms at a hotel that is near the wedding location for their out of town guests. Many hotels will offer a discounted rate if you block out a certain number of rooms. Knowing that you can assure the hotel of a number of guests, gives the hotel the ability to offer a lower rate because they are assured of a certain number of booked rooms. Out of town guests will appreciate this gesture because they are receiving a lower rate than they would have found on their own plus they are spared the hassle and inconvenience of trying to find a hotel in an unfamiliar city.

One increasingly popular trend for accommodating out of town guests is to prepare a package featuring brochures and information regarding some of the points of interest in your city and mailing this package out to all of your out of town guests a few weeks before the wedding. Since many out of town guests may try to schedule a vacation around the wedding, this packages offers them a good starting point in their research by highlighting some of the tourist attractions in the area. You could also include a listing of local restaurants and personal recommendations for your guests.

Guests who travel from out of town to attend your wedding are making a sacrifice to do so and it is important to let them know that you appreciate the effort they are making to attend your wedding. There are a couple of ways to do this. One option is to find out where your out of town guests will be staying and when they will be arriving. Once you have this information you can prepare a welcome bag for the out of town guests and drop them off at the hotel and instruct the staff to give them to your guests upon their arrival. As your guests are likely to be tired from their trip, some suggestions for items to include in these welcome bags may include a light snack featuring local specialties and relaxation items such as bath salts and candles. This small gesture really lets your guests know that their presence is appreciated.

Another option to consider for accommodating out of town guests is to include them in the rehearsal dinner. This is a lovely gesture because it sends the message that you are glad that they have traveled to attend your wedding and that you are interested in spending additional time with them. If it is not economically feasible to include all of your out of town guests at the rehearsal dinner you should consider making another effort to spend some additional time with them such as inviting them over for drinks and hors d'oeuvres or even making a concerted effort to spend quality time with them at the reception. Although the reception can be hectic and virtually fly by, it is important to spend a little extra time with your out of town guests who have made a sacrifice to attend your wedding.

The secret to accommodating your out of town guests is to make every effort to ensure that they know their attendance is greatly appreciated. Small gestures such as reserving a block of hotel rooms or putting together a list of tourist attractions as well as more significant gestures such as preparing welcome baskets and making an extra effort to spend time with your out of town guests all contribute to making your out of town guests feel appreciated and welcomed. It is important to let your out of town guests know that you realize that they have made sacrifices to travel to your wedding and that you appreciate them just for being there.

For ideas on how to keep your out of town guests entertained, see Entertainment, Sightseeing and Travel Plans - British Columbia.

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