One thing I like to remind my couples time and time again, is that the weekend of your wedding will be the ONLY time you will have the two sets of friends and family in one location, at any given time of your life. There will be other momentous life celebrations for sure, but nothing to the level of your wedding day! So I say while everyone is in town, make the most of it! Before I walk through how to have a phenomenal Welcome Party though, let’s be clear on one point. Not every wedding has one and that’s ok! There are a lot of moving parts during your wedding weekend so in some cases it may not be a necessity. It’s always great to have one though if you’re having a destination wedding, or a lot of out-of-town guests. Now if you’ve come to this point in the decision making process and you’ve decided you’re having one, read on to see how to make your Welcome Party as stress free as possible in three easy steps:
Make Sure Guests Know the Welcome Party Details
As the Welcome Party is typically held the night before the wedding (after the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner and party), make sure your guests know you’re actually have one and make the distribution of this information as simple as possible. Include it in their Welcome Bags when they check in, or make it the Wedding Party’s jobs to distribute this information via word of mouth. Just make sure everyone is invited!
Choose a Convenient Location for Your Guests
Unless transportation will be provided, choose a location that’s super easy for your guests to get to. The best option for you to do this would be in the lobby bar/restaurant of your hotel room block. Hotels are usually to accommodate this request for you if notified in advance and will typically provide an incentive or discount for doing so. Your guests can easily come downstairs for the festivities and head back upstairs afterwards.
Provide Light Sips and Bites
If you’re inviting guests to a wedding-related event, then you (or whomever chooses to host) should provide them with something to eat and drink. We can’t stress this enough: A welcome party is a super-casual event—and while a sit-down meal isn’t required or expected, it’s polite to set out a small spread. We find it so fun for our couples to tie in a theme into the drinks and menu, like a fiesta complete with margaritas and mini tacos. There’s also nothing wrong with keeping it classic with one signature cocktail or just wine and beer (as well as nonalcoholic options, like soda and water) and a table filled with simple but filling foods, like hummus and veggies, chips and dip, or cookies and brownies. The simpler the better!