Today I’m a stress head – because my brain is jammed full of other people’s concerns about our wedding. It’s coming up to four months until the big day, and as you can imagine, guests are starting to make their travel arrangements, particularly those that are coming from far away.
Naturally, the couple is expected to provide a list of local hotels, restaurants and transport links. But does your duty of care to your guests go further than just providing the requisite information? Are you meant to help guests with their arrangements?
Well, as with everything it isn’t a black and white situation. I think common courtesy dictates you should offer to help people who really do have no other options, for example people who can’t drive and are struggling to get to the venue, people who are coming solo from overseas and need help finding a place to crash, elderly relatives who need a little more looking after.
Hold on, wasn’t this wedding about us?
Image © Modern Vintage Weddings
But, brides and grooms, there are certain circumstances where other people’s arrangements start to become a bit too much. In my line of work I speak to a lot of engaged and married people, and they all have the same story – at the time when wedding planning becomes the most stressful and things are at their busiest they become inundated with calls from perfectly capable adults needing help with their plans.
So to help you out, I’ve made a little guide as to where I think your obligation to your guests begins and ends! Hope it helps anyone in our situation and takes some of the stress away!
Under the Vintage Veil’s handy guide to looking after your wedding guests!
How to help out
♥ Include a list of local hotels within varying budgets on your invites or information.
♥ Ditto restaurants.
♥ And transport links.
♥ If your venue isn’t accessible by public transport, delegate a person in the wedding party to drive stranded guests at pre-arranged pick-up times from the nearest station.
♥ If you’re not going to be eating until late, make it clear to come with a full stomach.
♥ If you have one or two close friends coming from abroad, try and find them a place to stay with a friend or family member, particularly if they’re not that well off.
♥ Make it very clear what kind of facilities are and aren’t available at the venue.
♥ Doing your best to seat people appropriately and near people they like.
Where your responsibility ends
♥ It’s not your responsibility to look up people’s flights, train times or anything else they could do themselves.
♥ It’s not your job to arrange for people to arrive several hours early.
♥ You shouldn’t put people up yourselves – your place, the week before your wedding, will be hectic.
♥ Ditto for arranging the logistics of lifts – you need to delegate and then stay well out of it.
♥ Paying for guests’ hotel rooms isn’t down to you. Unless you’re having a very intimate overseas wedding and you have prior arrangements with your friends and family, you can’t be expected to pay for people’s travel and accommodation. You are paying for a whole wedding after all.
♥ Seating people exactly where they want to be seated is an impossible task. You can do your best but in a room full of potentially 100s of people, you can’t feasibly keep everyone happy. So don’t compromise your seating plan for every single complaint you get.
♥ It’s not up to you to arrange / fund people’s hair and make-up appointments. You need to be busy getting yourself ready, not everyone else!
At the end of the day, if you’ve provided all the relevant information and help, anything else will just be people treating you like a human Google. You have enough on your plate, so be firm and make sure your head is clear for the important bit – getting married! Good luck!