before ever after

Host a Wow-Worthy Wedding: 9 Ways to Elevate Your Guest Experience

posted on May 12, 2023

Yes, weddings are all about you, the happy couple. It’s a celebration of your love, commitment, and devotion to one another. It’s all about your love story! So how can you incorporate your love story and elevate your guest experience? There’s so many ways you can incorporate for your wedding guests – family, friends, co-workers and more to enjoy your wedding! After all, they’ve gone through the trouble of making travel arrangements, taking time off work, and scoping out the perfect gift for your big celebration.

So, how can you make sure you provide them the best possible experience? “Today, couples are finding unique ways to go above and beyond to make their guests feel loved and thought of,” Walters Wedding Specialists say. From personalized touches and nontraditional offerings to upbeat-and-fun entertainment options, there’s so much you can do to leave a lasting impression on your friends and family. Walters Wedding Specialists weigh in on what truly elevates the guest experience – and how they make sure to deliver a memorable event every single time.

Walters Wedding Estates Ashton Gardens Ceremony Chapel
Bride and Bridesmaids Smiling Posed Outside Ceremony Chapel

1. Welcome Them

The guest experience begins upon arrival – and first impressions are everything. The way you greet your guests at the door will set the tone for the rest of the day. That said, this doesn’t mean you have to orchestrate something grand (although a pre-ceremony welcome happy hour will always be appreciated). There are lots of simple things you can do to ensure they feel valued. For example, you can offer early birds a glass of bubbly to keep their energy levels up. Set up a water dispenser, lounging nooks, and lawn games for entertainment. Oh, and don’t forget to put up a thoughtful welcome sign!

2. Add Personalized Touches

Gone are the days of cookie-cutter weddings that take a one-size-fits-all approach to planning. Today, guests are expecting something more personalized and less generic. Adding details that reflect your character as a couple is a sure-fire way to make the celebration stick in your guests’ memories. Think: handwritten thank-you letters or personalized table assignments directed to individual guests, treats from you to them, and signature drinks. Whether it’s through a thoughtful speech, place cards, or personalized letters and emails, make sure to take a moment to thank your guests for their time. (Alternatively, give them a more experiential gift by organizing a fun activity for them during your wedding weekend.)

3. Make Them Feel Comfortable

If you’re hosting an open-air celebration, weather will play a big role in determining just how comfortable your guests will feel outside. On hot summer days, offer your guests some relief from the heat with cold drinks or water bottles. Better yet, prepare a thoughtful hot-weather survival kit with travel-sized sunscreen, handheld mini fans, a small bottle of water, and tissues. On the other hand, if you’re hosting your nuptials during the winter, keep your guests warm by spacing out patio heaters and serving warm drinks (hot chocolate!).

4. Sprinkle Some Magic

Want to elicit gasps and “Oh, my Goodness!” from your guests? Add a little bit of cinematic magic with fun entertainment enhancements like the “dancing on a cloud” effect. Typically used during the first dance the effect shrouds the ground in whimsical, cloud-like fog – making you and your guests feel as though they’ve landed in a fairytale! Wow them even more by incorporating cold sparks during your grand entrance or exit. Your guests will be hard-pressed not to ooh and aah at the stunning spectacle.

Bride Sipping Cocktail Playfully Groom Wedding Party Celebrating
Walters Wedding Estates Catering Dessert Display Ashton Gardens Reception Table

5. Keep Them Entertained

DJs are responsible for more than just the music; they are wedding entertainers. Rockstar DJs have a talent for reading the room and changing course based on your guests’ energy levels. Besides getting people on the dance floor, they are also well-versed in the art of emceeing and co hosting your event. “CoHost Entertainment, one of our in-house vendors, has a variety of DJs that we handpick to best suit the type of reception style you are going for,” Walters Wedding Specialists say. “All of our DJs are very interactive and do everything they can to keep the crowd pumped up.”

6. Don’t Be Afraid To Mix It Up

Weddings inherently involve so many culinary traditions, but this doesn’t mean they are all set in stone. Remember that your wedding is your day, and your guests are more than likely to enjoy treats that feel authentic to you as a couple rather than stale ideas from an outdated wedding rulebook. “A misconception couples typically have about the guest experience is that you have to serve them cake,” Walters Wedding Specialists say. “If you and your partner prefer cookie cake or a dessert bar – do that instead! Guests are there to celebrate you and your partner and will be happy with any sweet treat you serve.”

7. Capture Their Happy Moments

Hiring a photographer is a must – not just for you, but for your friends and family’s special moments, too! On top of having a designated person to capture your guests’ beaming faces, use your venue’s decor to encourage them to whip out their cell phone cameras. “Decor is also a really big factor – but not in the way you might think!” Walters Wedding Specialists say. “Sure, gorgeous tablescapes and colored uplighting help set the tone of your wedding day, but guests really enjoy fun backdrops for photo opportunities.” From aesthetically pleasing arches and flower walls, adding photo-friendly touches throughout your event is always appreciated. Guests love being able to take photos to commemorate your special day.

8. Find The Right Vendors

This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to make sure everyone on your guest list has a fantastic time: Hire professional, vetted vendors who know the ins and outs of the industry and your chosen venue. “Walters Wedding Estates has a strong roster of in-house vendors that can help elevate your guest experience all across the board,” Walters Wedding Specialists say. “From beautiful stationery to creative food stations to fun entertainment services through our DJ, you’re bound to find the right fit for you and a way to wow your guests.”

9. Don’t Stress – Just Have Fun With Them!

You might think that perfection is what your guests expect when they attend your wedding and find yourself under a lot of stress to get everything right. In reality, your guests are there to celebrate your love story and the beginning of your journey as newlyweds. “Guests will appreciate things like cornhole during cocktail hour or a fun margarita station,” Walters Wedding Specialists say. “But whether you choose to do these things or not won’t make them any less likely to be happy and joyful on your wedding day!”

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