Whether you are planning your wedding with a planner or with just your family, there is often one key component that is easily missed and this is your guest experience. Often times, this can be a crucial component overlooked. As an Event Designer, I always keep the guest experience in mind throughout the planning process. As many know, your guests have a unique perspective and you as the host of an event do not want to be the focus of the family holiday talk in a negative way?
Your guests may never communicate what they really think of your big day, but when hiring a professional event designer or planner, that person will ensure that you keep your guest experience in mind. However, what does keeping your guest experience top of mind really mean? One way to ensure you keep your guests at the forefront of the planning is the mindset of putting yourself in the shoes of your guests and walking through every logistical component of the day to ensure they have a great experience as well. The top specifics to this mindset include these following ideas:
Consider the potential needs of your guests. Do you have guests that may have physical limitations such as needing wheelchair access, visual and or hearing instrument assistance? Are there adequate bathrooms to accommodate the number of guests? Will guest be able to access the venue without needing a special vehicle? For example, when planning a rustic wedding do guests need a tractor to get through the field of hay or walk a long distance to get from parking to the ceremony site?
Are they clear and informative? Do they include a map of the venue and any special attributes or amenities that guests may need to know? If the event is an outdoor experience, does the invitation include tips on the proper shoes, attire or bug spray needed to ensure the guests have a great experience? Is it a federal building and your guests can’t bring wrapped gifts? Or is it a barn and not heated when the sun goes down?
Is the location easy to find or will you lose guests from the ceremony site to the reception? Do you have proper road signage to direct them to your venue or access codes if needed? Will you provide a contact, other than you, as the host in case they need additional directions the day of the event? This would be your planner if you have one.
How will the guests be greeted? For example, guests love to have a complimentary beverage as a way to welcome them to your event and it is a very nice touch. For adult guests, alcohol is a great way to welcome them. Another example is to ensure that during meal service there is not a long wait for guests to retrieve their food. How you thank guests is also important. The happy couple should always thank everyone for attending. And, if you decide to have favors, please note that edible favors are more received than any object. You, as the couple may be in love with a luggage tag, but your guests may not share the same love. The universal method to most people’s heart is through their stomach!
This is the most important thing, ensuring that your event begins on time. There are often things that occur the day of the event that may delay the start of an event. Hair and makeup is always an issue to manage and the number one thing that will cause a late wedding, even for professionals. However, make sure that within the planning stage you as the planner/host do everything you can to begin your wedding or event on time. One of the biggest pet peeves of guests is when events do not begin on time.
Ready to book your next event and create an amazing guest experience? Check out Blue Wings Events to find the perfect fit for your next successful event.