For a significant number of your friends and family members, showing up for your nuptial celebration may mean hopping on a plane to cross state lines. These out-of-towners will go to a lot of effort and expense to share in your momentous occasion, so it's your job to welcome them, help them get around, and keep them entertained.
Be aware that since many of your guests are taking to the skies, they may be turning your nuptial event into a weekend getaway or part of a vacation. Also, remember that some of your guests may never have visited the area before. You may wish to add in "travel guide" bits of information to your pre-wedding itinerary to get guests excited about the journey. For example, if there are some great sights to see or points of interest to visit, tell your guests in case they'd like to do some exploring.
Do some research and investigate which museums will have amazing exhibits showing, whether or not the local sports team is playing a home game, and what musical or other cultural performances will be happening.
Though footing the bill for travelers' overnight accommodations and flights isn't your responsibility, you and your fiancÚ should offer suggestions for how to find both (and tips on how to score good deals will no doubt be appreciated by guests). It may be a nice idea to put important details for airlines and hotels (website and street addresses, phone numbers, directions, and cost information) on an insert sent out with your invitations, or post it separately on your wedding itinerary or web page so guests can book their flights and rooms early and know how to get around once they arrive.
Recommend different places for guests to stay. Look for locations near your ceremony and reception sites, and start calling around about six months beforehand to check on large-scale availability for the days surrounding your wedding, and to inquire about special group rates. To get the best deal for your guests, reserve blocks of rooms at a couple of hotels. Keep your guest's probable budget range in mind, and recommend both fancy fare for those flush with cash and a less expensive alternative for the budget-minded.
Comfort the jet-lagged and travel-weary with a little something left in their hotel rooms. Imagine their delight -- walking into their temporary living quarters and discovering a basket of fresh fruit, a bouquet of flowers, a tin of local chocolates, or a bottle of chilled bubbly. What you choose to give depends on your resources, and can be as lavish as a free massage at the hotel spa or as simple as a plate of home-made chocolate-chip cookies. The purpose is to let guests know you appreciate their effort to join you for your special day.
Create welcome packets of relevant information (phone numbers of the families of the bride and groom, the names of the other guests staying at the hotel, nearby hot spots to check out) to leave in guests' rooms with another copy of your wedding itinerary, plus local brochures and sightseeing maps. Enlist the aid of your wedding crew to assemble and distribute all these treats.
Finally, add that finishing touch and pen a personal note thanking each guest for coming to celebrate with you.
The highly trained, professional and friendly staff at the Holiday Inn Elmira/Horseheads will be more than happy to block the room reservations for your Out-of-Town guests. We would love to be part of your special day memories.
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