Ask the Expert: Are We Expected to Entertain Out-of-Town Guests?
Question: We have a bunch of guests coming in from out of town for our wedding, some of them a few days before the main event. Are we expected to plan activities to keep them entertained?
Answer: If you have invited your guests to a “wedding weekend” rather than just a wedding, then yes, it is expected that a variety of activities will be planned, says Chrissy Lehman of Truly You Events. But if this isn’t the case, “then it’s a very nice gesture to plan gatherings on the days before and after the wedding, but it’s certainly not expected,” she says. “At a minimum, I always recommend adding a personalized note or map to the welcome bags and on the wedding website with your suggestions for things to do in town. Philadelphia has no shortage of cultural institutions worth seeing and a growing list of foodie destinations.”
And along those lines, in case you’re worried about how to keep guests entertained if you’ve got a long break in between the ceremony and reception, in this situation, Lehman suggests setting up a trolly tour of historic Philly or a guided visit at one of the local museums: “For one wedding we planned in PAFA’s Hamilton Building, we helped to organize a guided tour of PAFA’s Historic Landmark Building for guests immediately prior to the cocktail hour.”
As a general rule of thumb, she says, it’s always a good idea to keep the guest experience in mind when planning a wedding. “When you take great care of your invited guests, they’ll end up dancing the night away and raving about your wedding afterwards.”
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