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Wedding Planning: Clear Communication with Your Wedding Guests
Effective communication between you and your wedding guests is essential in the months leading up to your wedding. But in this stressful time, how can you maintain healthy relationships with your family and friends when you're flooded with questions and feeling in over your head?
You know your wedding guests ask for details because they care about you. They want to feel involved and informed during this exciting time in your life. And admit it, it's nice to have all the attention focused on you and your Big Day! Yet it can often be a bit overwhelming to answer the same questions over and over again. Or maybe you're concerned that important wedding details will be forgotten or misinterpreted.
In just a few simple steps, you can create easy and accessible sources of information specifically for and about your wedding. When your wedding guests feel informed, confusion will be minimized for them and for you. Everyone wins!
Sources of Information:
1) Both Sets of Parents - Of course, your parents will probably know all about even the most minute detail of your wedding, but remember to go over the basics to ensure that they will share accurate, up-to-date information. Chances are, your parents will receive inquiries when you're not around, so be sure to advise them of any details you wish to have passed along.
2) Bridal Party - This involves everyone from your bridesmaids and groomsmen, to your ushers and guest book attendants. Your wedding guests will definitely direct questions at these individuals, and they'll want to be ready to offer assistance.
3) Bridal Consultant or Wedding Planner - Obviously, this individual will be in tune with your wedding itinerary and details, but ensure that he or she has a quick reference to any and all questions that may be presented.
4) Personal Wedding Website or Wedding Webpage- Post all essential wedding details online so accurate information can be displayed 24/7! Send the web address of your personal wedding website to everyone on your email list. Also include the web address of your wedding website with your wedding invitations so your guests can come back often to view any new details you choose to post.
Important Details to Communicate:
1) Schedule of Events - Include expected starting dates and times for the wedding ceremony and reception, along with the appropriate addresses and phone numbers. Relay maps or driving directions and if necessary, any parking specifications or restrictions for each venue.
2) Wedding Gift Registry - Tactfully and effectively share what your wedding guests really want to know: what you need and where they can go to get it!
3) Contact Info - List the "go to" person you've delegated for any further details.
4) Allergy Alerts - A must-have if your meal selections contain ingredients that trigger well-known allergies.
5) Dress Code Guidelines - If certain dress codes are in effect, it is essential for your guests to be aware of this ahead of time.
6) Special Requests - Special care needs to be given to potentially delicate information such as "adult only" requests or "invited guests only due to limited space". These issues should be presented kindly and firmly, but in a sensitive manner.
7) Travel and Lodging Info - Share special rates you've negotiated or related accommodation details such as blocks of hotel rooms reserved under your names. You may need to supply a unique code for your wedding guests to provide at the time of booking.
8) Weather Restrictions - If any part of your wedding celebration is being held outdoors, convey all back-up arrangements should the weather not cooperate.
9) "RSVP By" Date - Have a deadline by which all RSVPs must be sent in. Set your "RSVP By" date far enough in advance that you can deliver an accurate guest count to your caterer and organize proper seating arrangements for your tables.
10) Currently Unknown Details - Your input is needed, even if you do not yet have a definite opinion or a decision made regarding a certain aspect of your wedding. Sometimes it's helpful when your wedding guests can realize that you have not yet finalized a certain element of your wedding, but will be sure to share more once you have reached a decision. This can ease the pressure put on you and your decision-making process. A personal wedding website is especially effective in these instances, since you may post a "More info coming soon!" page on your wedding website.
Your wedding guests will be thankful for the lines of communication you've established for their benefit. With this in place, you can get back to enjoying your family and friends, rather than feeling overwhelmed by their questions. Clear communication is critical to effectively plan a stress-free wedding. After all, informed guests are happy guests...and happy guests are ready to celebrate your amazing, unforgettable wedding day!
About the Author
Jennifer Benson is Vice President and cofounder of WedQuarters.com Wedding Websites, a leading online wedding service provider. WedQuarters offers complete personal wedding websites, enhanced with online and toll free wedding RSVP services.
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