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15 things to help your out-of-town wedding guests feel welcome

I truly believe that when you invite a guest to a wedding you should be treating them with the same hospitality that you would give them if you had invited them into your own home. With out-of-town guests this concept becomes even more important as you have not only invited them to your wedding; but they were kind enough to travel to a far off location to attend. I've compiled a list of 15 nice gestures that can be made to help your out-of-town guests enjoy their stay more.

1. Get a group rate at a nice hotel. This way they can all be together, mingle, and when you visit them they are all in one location.

2. Host a special out-of-town guests dinner to welcome them to your city/town.

3. Book a hospitality suite in the hotel the majority of guests are staying at. Fill it with snacks, drinks, magazines, newspapers, games for the kids, etc.

4. Hire a shuttle bus to take them to and from the wedding.

5. Offer them the opportunity to take a tour of the place they are visiting.

6. Create a welcome package that includes maps, information on local attractions, restaurant recommendations, and anything else you think they might find useful. Arrange with the hotel to have this package waiting for them in their room when they arrive.

7. Arrange for a gift basket or gift bag to be waiting in their hotel room.

8. Write them each a hand written card before they come to tell them how excited you are they will be traveling to attend your wedding.

9. If possible pay for all airline or hotel bills. Nobody expects this; but it is a very polite thing to do if you can afford it.

10. Purchase carbon credits in the guests name as a thank you for flying in to attend your wedding. This helps the environment and shows the guest how truly welcome they are. Have a card waiting for them in the hotel room saying "In honor of your joining us for our wedding we have off-set your travel by purchasing carbon credits in your name".

11. Host a little mix and mingle cocktail party in the hotel on the night your guests are arriving.

12. Get a hold of some discount coupon books for local attractions, shopping, and restaurants that your guests can use during their stay.

13. If you live in a city that is involved in the CityPass program then purchase them one. This will get them into various museums and attractions free.

14. Let the concierge at their hotel know the details of your wedding; such as where you are registered, the time-line, and where it is being held. This way if guests have questions the hotel staff is prepared with the answers.

15. if you live in the Greater Toronto Area area hire a Wedding Concierge® by Mindless Sophistication to oversea many of the above mentioned tasks and to field other requests your guests might have during their stay. A Concierge will personally be on call for your guests during their stay. Wedding Concierge® will be expanding to other cities so please be sure to ask if it's arrived in your city yet.

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