For those that are familiar with our blog, you know there’s more than a few things that go into planning a wedding. Hiring vendors, wedding registries, wedding websites, you name it! Throughout all of this, there’s going to be important details you’ll want to communicate to guests. And when things don’t go 100% as you had initially planned, you need to update your guests on said changes. This is true for those planning an intimate ceremony of only 20-30 guests, as well as those throwing a huge celebration with 200-300 guests! Obviously, doing so is a little easier for the smaller events, but the underlying point holds true!
One of the things we’ve always taken pride in here at Madera Estates is making our couple’s lives easier! As a luxury wedding venue in the Conroe/Houston area, we want to make the entire process as stress-free as possible. Having said that, over the years we’ve seen first-hand how couples have utilized various forms of communication to spread important details to their guests, as well as provide updates of any alterations to the original plans! In this week’s blog, we’re going to take an inside look at some of the best practices to ensure your wedding communication plan is on-point! We’ll give tips on the platforms you should be using, how to make your message perfectly clear and how to determine how much information is too much!
Where to Communicate?
To kick off this post, we’ll examine the communication tactics that the majority of weddings always employ. Some of these have been mainstays on wedding planning for years, while others have gradually grown in popularity over recent years.
In 2020, it’s safe to say wedding websites have firmly entrenched themselves as a must-have for any wedding. While the actual percentages vary slightly based on the report, Wedding Wire’s 2019 Newlywed Report found “nearly 3 out of 4 couples create wedding websites to share information with their guests.”
So, what should you be sharing on your wedding website? First off, this is the perfect place to list all of your registry information. Common wedding planning etiquette categorizes registry information as a no-no to include with the invitation itself! With that said, your wedding website is the perfect place to include all of that! If a decent percentage of your guests are traveling from out of town, you’ll want to include some sort of travel details as well, such as directions getting to the ceremony/reception and any relevant hotel room blocks. Lastly, make sure to include all of the general details. Date, time, venue address and any other basic info! As briefly mentioned in the introduction, there could be changes leading up to the big day. Considering the majority of your guests might not have this link bookmarked on their computer, we’ll have a better spot for those updates later on! You can certainly still upload these details to your website, but you’ll get more eyes on them elsewhere.
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Invitations are obviously a must, but at the same time, they shouldn’t be stuffed with information! Traditionally speaking, most wedding invitations are going to be mailed out roughly 6-8 weeks before the wedding day. With this in mind, they should be reserved for all of the finalized details. Include basic wedding info, RSVP instructions, clearly state who is invited and possibly include an insert with registry information. Remember, with wedding invites, less can be more!
Our final must-have is a “Save-the-Date!” These are typically going to be sent out 6 months in advance of the big day. Keep in mind, if you’re going with a destination wedding, you might want to consider 9-12 months, as there are a few more arrangements your guests may need to make! Nonetheless, your save-the-date is meant to provide those details you have initially set, like date and venue location. Realistically, you don’t really need to provide much more info beyond that. It’s simply intended to serve as a heads up to your guests and permits them plenty of time to make the proper arrangements to attend your celebration.
What if something changes or updates are needed?
In the months leading up to your big day, there’s always going to be that possibility of either your guests having questions or you having updates that you’d like to notify them of! Having said that, it’s important to keep open various communication lines, so you can easily spread the word. While each of the items above are certainly must-haves, they have clear goals behind them and intended uses. For those updates that aren’t covered above, you’ll want to consider:
Utilize Social Media
It’s no secret that social media has completely changed the landscape of the wedding industry! As a luxury wedding venue in Conroe, we’ve seen this transformation first-hand! Simply put, social media is the quickest way to stay in contact with all of your wedding guests. Considering how big Facebook has gotten, chances are most of your guests will be on there. Once you get engaged, create an event page on Facebook for your wedding. You can go ahead and then invite family and friends to the page. While you can certainly include the general details, this is the perfect spot for providing updates leading up to the big day!
Just as social media can reach large audiences in a hurry, so can a simple email. While there’s a number of terrific website builders you can utilize, many of the wedding-specific options are truly meant to be used for planning a wedding. Take The Knot’s platform for example. In it, you’ll notice they have a feature called The Knot Wedding Guest List Manager. This app syncs with their website builder and allows you to have the ability to send a mass email to all of your RSVP’d guests. So, if there’s a last minute update to the wedding day schedule and you need to reach everyone in a hurry, it’s tough to go wrong with an email.
As a side note, make sure to include some urgency in the subject line! You don’t want it to get overlooked with various other random subscriptions the individual may be receiving! Think of something along the lines of, “URGENT: Last Minute Updates to Wedding Schedule.”
In 2020, we feel pretty confident in saying the majority of your guests would rather receive updates digitally, whether that be email, text or social media. However, not all of your guests are using these modern forms of communication. To spread the general information and any updates that follow, you may need to give a phone call to your older guests. If you have too much on your plate at this particular moment, consider delegating this responsibility to a family member or someone else in your wedding party! You will know your guests best though and can probably determine the appropriate forms of communication for each of your loved ones.
There’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared!
When it comes to your special day, there’s no denying the fact that you want everything to be just right! While we certainly hope everything goes exactly according to plan, having a communication plan to notify everyone will make your life a whole lot easier. A communication plan allows you different avenues to spread the word about basic details, as well as last minute changes.
If there’s looking like potential rain in the forecast, follow your plan to fill everyone in on what plan B entails. If they are starting road work on one of the main highways and traffic could ensue, send an email with alternate routes. All in all, it never hurts to be over-prepared. A communication plan is yet another tool you can utilize to ensure you know how to get a hold of everyone if something out of the ordinary were to occur.
Working With the Team at Madera Estates
Having worked with hundreds of couples over the years, we understand this exciting time leading up to your wedding day can also be stressful! The easiest way to alleviate any stress is to stay prepared! From working with your vendors and planning everything out to providing your guests with any updates along the way, it’s important to work with a wedding planning expert that’s done this before! As evidenced throughout this article, we’re lucky to have so many lines of communication at our disposal in 2020 to keep guests up-to-date!
Ready to tour Madera Estates? As we often tell recently-engaged couples, a great first step in the planning process is to tour venues! Not only does this simplify future decisions, it’s important to select a venue that perfectly resembles your dream wedding! As one of Conroe’s most popular wedding venues, we serve couples from all over Houston, College Station, The Woodlands, Sugarland and beyond! If you would like to schedule a free champagne tour of our venue, click the link HERE. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and show you around the many backdrops that make up Madera Estates!