5 Ways to be a Gracious Host

Your wedding is an amazing chance to gather everyone you love in one place and celebrate a truly special occasion. As host, you’ll have so much to plan and a lot on your plate leading up to the big day, and it can be easy to forget about the guests who are coming from far and wide to be there with you. So when you’re thinking about all those little details, from day one to your late-night exit as newlyweds, keep your guests in mind: You’ll be a gorgeous bride and a gracious host. Here are 5 things to make sure you remember.

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Stick to the timeline.

Your friends and family have gathered from far and wide to witness your vows and celebrate with you, so don’t make them wait! Do everything in your power to head down the aisle at the time stated on the invitation, and try not to run any more than 15 minutes behind schedule. Keep to the timeline throughout the evening, from the first dance to the last call, so that your guests always know where to be, what’s coming up next, and when it’s time to party. Bonus: your vendors will love you for it, too!

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Offer options.

Dietary restrictions are almost the norm these days, so be sure to keep track of any guests who have things they can’t eat, whether it’s due to an allergy, religious beliefs, or a personal choice. An easy way to do this is to work with your caterer to create a mouthwatering alternative entrée that’s both vegan and gluten free, which will cover a range of restrictions all at once. Be particularly careful of nut and shellfish allergies – if a guest (especially a member of the wedding party) is severely allergic, try to avoid these ingredients altogether.

Be respectful of budgets.

While a wedding registry is a great opportunity to think about the things you’d like to have in your home or upgrade items you might already have, make sure you look beyond the newest Kitchenaid, fine china, or luxe linens. Include a variety of gifts under $50 so that guests on a budget can purchase a more affordable item or buy a few things to create a combination gift that’s more personal (like measuring cups, a spatula, and a cookie sheet, for example). And remember, it’s the thought that counts.

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Be the guest you want to have.

Whatever you do and however you’re feeling on your wedding day, your guests will follow suit. Smile and laugh even if it starts to drizzle at your outdoor ceremony. Mingle with guests during cocktail hour. Hit the dance floor when your favorite song is on. If you’re having a great time, your guests will, too.

Say thank you!

At some point during the reception, make a point to grab the mic and thank everyone who made your wedding day possible. Thank your parents, family, and friends for supporting the two of you as a couple, and all your guests for coming together to celebrate with you. And don’t forget the vendors who’ve spent the whole day working to bring your wedding dream to life. A simple handwritten note about how wonderful the day was is all it takes.

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