Have you ever been to a wedding that felt a bit stilted, forced, and like the guests were just pretending to have fun? Sadly, that scenario isn’t all that uncommon. Weddings are always special for the couple getting married, but guests can get bored - and can sometimes feel like cogs in a wheel, or like photo props.
Injecting some sweet personal touches throughout your big day to make your guests feel special can really go a long way to helping them enjoy the celebration. You want the kind of wedding that your guests will remember for years to come!
The key is to do it in a way where the effort doesn't come off as forced or for show, and instead makes people feel like they're part of one big happy family. No matter what type of wedding you're throwing, there are plenty of simple and easy ways to make your guests feel extra special. Here are ten of our favourites.
1) Use Personalised Place Cards
A simple yet effective way to make your guests feel special is to set out personalised, themed place cards at everyone’s table setting. Sites such as Bride and Groom Direct stock dozens of different place card designs to suit almost any wedding theme, all of which are fully customisable.
To go the extra mile, you could hand-write your guests’ names, or include a personalised message on the back of each place card so that your guests know you appreciate each and every one of them. You could even print out little photos of your guests to place next to the table cards.
While place cards are not only a lovely touch to add to the wedding décor, they also serve as an excellent keepsake that your guests can hang onto forever. Just be sure everyone knows where their table is!
2) Provide Gifts for Guests’ Children
Unless you’re explicitly having an adult-only wedding, chances are some of your guests will bring their little ones along with them. Weddings can be supremely boring events for children – but they don’t have to be!
Kids love getting their hands on new toys and treats, and your wedding is a perfect opportunity to shower your guests’ little ones with fun treasures they can take home. This is a great way to get your younger guests involved in your wedding and talking about it for years afterward.
Include some little bouncy balls, yoyos, bottles of bubbles, or activity books at each child’s table place. If you're having a lot of kids at the wedding, you could even set up a designated kids’ table where they can all play with crafts and toys away from the grown-ups.
3) Set Up a Photobooth
Setting up a picture station, selfie station or photobooth for your guests to have fun with is a great way get everyone up out of their seats and socialising. All you’ll need is a frame – even better if it’s personalised – and some funny photo booth props (such as pretend moustaches and glasses).
Have it ready for just after the ceremony, and it’ll give everyone something fun to do while you’re busy with the photographer or setting up the wedding breakfast. And if it’s used during the evening reception, it’ll make for some hilarious shots of everyone having fun and letting their hair down!
Not to mention, having a photobooth will provide you and your guests with some great keepsake photos to print out and frame after your wedding. Don’t forget to join in and spend some time taking photos with each guest individually!
4) Let Guests Vote on the Wedding Theme
Letting your guests have a say in the theme of your wedding can be a great way to make them feel special. Not only does this get them thinking about what they're going to wear and how they're going to do their hair, it also engages their creativity and provides a sense of involvement in your big day from start to finish.
Add some fun to your wedding planning journey by setting up a poll - on your wedding website, perhaps, or on a wedding invitation note card which your guests can mail back to you. Include a selection of wedding themes, such as:
1) Nautical (seaside)
2) Vintage tea party
3) Romantic garden
4) Rustic (countryside)
5) Glitz and glam
Of course, ensure that every theme you choose is one that you’d be happy going with. Let your guests vote on their favourite theme, and they’ll feel personally responsible for the aesthetic of the big day. As a bonus, it’ll help you come up with ideas for food and décor!
5) Have Your Guests Play Photographer
Giving each guest a disposable camera to use throughout the wedding and reception is great way to get your guests up out of their seats and having fun, as well as helping them feel personally involved in the celebration.
Place a few cheap cameras on each table at your wedding breakfast, along with a little note instructing every guest to take as many photos as they wish to help you document your big day. The best ones may even make it into your wedding photo album!
Your guests will be thrilled that they get to play photographer, and will really enjoy getting together to see the pictures when the film is developed post-wedding.
6) Create a Wishing Wall
Creating a wishing wall is as simple as purchasing a few wire photo frames and hanging them up at your venue, along with a table covered in coloured paper, pens, card, pegs and craft supplies.
Throughout the course of the day, your guests can come up to the wall and decorate it with messages for you and your partner, helping them feel that they’re a valued part of your special day, and will be remembered after the celebration. It's also a fun activity that can be included in photos later on! To help your guests out, give them some ideas of what to write such as “give some marriage advice to the newlyweds” or “what was your favourite part of today?”
As a bonus, you could even set up ink pads and have your guests stamp their fingerprints onto a canvas, such as this finger print tree guest book. Your guests will love the idea that they’ve helped to create a piece of artwork for you to keep as a combined wedding gift.
7) Have Customised Wedding Favour Boxes
Wedding favours are always appreciated by every kind of guest – whether it’s a yummy treat like a chocolate truffle, or something that can be kept as a keepsake, such as a shot glass or candle.
But what turns your average wedding favour into something that will make your guests feel special is encasing it in a wedding favour box. Include a ribbon and a tag with your guests’ name handwritten on it, and a personalised message just for them – maybe mentioning something special they did to help out with your wedding, or just something you love about them as a friend/person.
Everyone loves getting little gifts, and if you give each guest their own personalised box it can make for an unforgettable keepsake that they'll treasure forever.
8) Give Out Welcome Bags
Speaking of little gifts, a great way to make your guests feel extra special is to provide them with a welcome bag when they arrive. This could be a paper party bag or tote bag containing little gestures such as:
1) A notebook and pen (personalised, preferably!)
2) A packet of tissues for when they get a little weepy
3) A mini-pack of headache tablets
5) Breath mints or chewing gum to keep your guests feeling fresh
The great thing about this idea is that it can be something very inexpensive to put together, yet your family and friends will appreciate the gesture. Don't forget to personalise the bags by including different gifts for men, women, and kids – this will show your guests you’ve thought about them as individuals.
9) Let Your Guests Pick the Playlist
This is another way to inject some more fun into your reception as well as helping guests feel special and important. Instead of simply asking guests to confirm their attendance on their RSVP card, why not give them a bit more of a role in the big day by letting them pick their favourite song for your wedding playlist?
Include a small note at the bottom of the card, saying something along the lines of "Pick a song for the evening reception!” and then include a couple of blank lines for your guests to make their request(s). This will help guests feel like they're not just a guest, but directly involved in your wedding, even in a small way.
10) Send Personalised Thank You Cards
Of course, the perfect way to say thank you to your guests after your big day is with a personalised thank you card. This will give your guests one final reminder of what they meant to you on your special day.
Whether it's thanking them for their gift or simply for being there and helping you celebrate, a thank you card will make sure that everyone feels appreciated and valued! Don’t forget to hand-write the message inside and mention something personal (such as the specific gift they gave you) to avoid sounding detached and impersonal.
Weddings are all about making memories. There's something so special about being able to look back on a day that you'll never forget and the people who were there with you. At Bride and Groom Direct, we offer a huge range of wedding stationery and accessories, including hundreds of customisable thank you card designs. Why not browse our range today and get planning for the wed