We experienced the elevation in guest experience at 2020 weddings and are seeing the importance of it this year again for the right reasons. From a shift of importance on wedding components such as design and style, couples are simply looking to bring together their loved ones in a safe and entertaining way once again. In this blog, we discuss how you can enhance or elevate your wedding guest experience in 2021.
1. Your Priority Must Be Health & Safety
We know we don’t have to mention this, but health and safety should be your number one priority when it comes to your wedding guest experience. Begin outlining the safety protocols and health measurements you are taking to create a safe environment for your guests in your invitation suite or e-invites and consistently update your wedding as you become aware of any changes or enhancements. Your guests will definitely appreciate this as it will ultimately determine if they feel safe in attending your wedding. At your wedding, masks and hand sanitizer should be the obvious items to provide for your wedding guests and you can get creative with this by customizing these items to match your theme and overall design. However, you can take the guest experience further by introducing a colour-coded wristband system that indicates your guests’ comfort level. For example, you can purchase green, yellow and orange wristbands where green could mean open to hugs and interactions, yellow could mean cautious and orange could mean your guests would like to remain physically distant. Be sure to also seat your guests, both the ceremony and reception, by social bubbles and follow your city’s regulations on the number of guests that can sit at a table if this is a restriction in your area. You can also get creative by introducing cute sanitizing stations like the one we’ve shown here!
2. Emphasize the Dinner
We believe the next best way to elevate the wedding guest experience is to put focus, thought and creativity into the dinner. You don’t have to feel that dancing is the only way to provide entertainment for your guests. As your guest count is likely less than expected due to capacity restrictions, you can invest in more courses for the dinner. Think about adding in an extra appetizer or another dessert! Select the braised lamb shank infused with rosemary or the pacific halibut infused with brown butter and meyer lemon that you may have otherwise overlooked due to costs. We strongly recommend you think about how you enjoy the service at your favourite restaurants and infuse that experience into your own wedding dinner. You can ask your venue or caterer for on-site options that your guests can choose from as opposed to having a preselected menu. Think about well-designed menu and drink cards where your guests are able to order comfortably and enjoyably from their seats. It’s like having your own personal butler for the night – what’s more luxurious than this? Don’t forget to fill in the time between courses with entertainment. We’ll be posting a blog where we discuss different entertainment options for your 2021 wedding dinner reception.
3. Live Streaming
Live streaming services were incredibly popular last year and the trend will continue for this year as we continue to see guest capacity restrictions for social gatherings. Live streaming enhances guest experience because you are able to include your guests that are unable to attend or simply cannot due to capacity. It’ll make them feel included and appreciated that you went the extra mile to think about them. The advantage of also having live streaming is that you get to keep the raw footage as well in case you choose not to have a cinematographer for your wedding day.
4. Gift Boxes or Welcome Bags for Your Guests
Pre-COVID times, welcome bags were often associated with destination weddings or for guests traveling to your wedding from abroad. Why not create gift boxes or welcome bags for all of your guests no matter the situation? It’s a nice gesture and a token of appreciation as your guests have likely gone through a few rescheduling plans and have been patiently waiting to be a part of your special day. These gift boxes can be placed at your guests’ seats at the ceremony or at the place setting for dinner. Think about including components such as custom masks, hand sanitizers, favours, mini champagne bottles, chocolate and anything else that you want! Take it a set further by sending these gift boxes or welcome bags to your guests who will be joining you virtually! Wouldn’t you love to be surprised by a delivery like this? We always are simply with our Amazon packages!
5. Individually Wrapped Dessert
We see individually wrapped desserts being very popular at weddings this year! From a safety standpoint, but also from a creative standpoint too. Couples are always looking to create different experiences for their wedding guests and incorporating individually wrapped desserts such as mini cakes, macaroons, cookies, truffles and other desserts is not only delicious but also very Insta-worthy. They will also enhance your place setting and make for great professional pictures.