Throwing a great event is a seriously great feeling, and attending one is even better. When you think back on the very best weddings and parties you've been to, they probably all have one thing in common: attention to detail.
From well-ironed travel logistics to that personal touch of a letter from the soon-to-be-married couple upon arrival at your hotel, a great event is all in the details. The other thing about the little wedding details that your guests will love? The more personal to the marrying couple, the better.
Did you meet at grad school? A homage to your alma mater will remind guests how you met, and what they've traveled to celebrate. Both love margaritas? The DIY frozen margarita machine at your cocktail hour is a shout out to that time you and your partner met over sugary bevs. A great band hired from that Jersey shore bar you both love? YES. And in terms of technical details, are you having an after-party? Definitely hire that school bus to make things easy for your party people.
Here are 12 other details that can make your wedding the shindig of the year.
1. Stock guests' hotel fridges with beer or wine
Your guests won't even mind if it's just a six-pack of cheap beer, because the gesture of plying your guests with in-house booze says: "You're here, unwind!" Plus, booze will be used.
2. Serve a Tiki drink in an *excellent* cup
There's something magical about Tiki drinks, from Painkillers to Mai Tais, and including a tiki bar station of even just a frozen daiquiri machine provides of pop of festive energy your guests will be eager to indulge in.
3. Ask everyone in your wedding party to add a fave to your playlist
As an extra special shout out to the people who helped make your celebration come together, That bridesmaid who loves Ludacris? Put "Stand Up" on the "must play" list.
4. Have at least one late night solution
Whether you have Domino's pizzas delivered to the reception or a fancy French fry bar that's open all night long, make sure your guests have access to sustenance after a long night of dancing. Alternative idea? A cutely designed card with all the local late night options.
5. Organize a next day activity — that's not brunch
Brunches are fine, but what people really want the day after the wedding is some QT with the bride and groom, bride and bride, or groom and groom. Heading to a local brewery or organizing a low-key beach day for anyone sticking around is a great come down from the reception.
6. Host welcome drinks at the scene of your first date
If you happen to be getting married in the city where you met your partner, why not have your welcome drinks at the place you had your first date (or an early one). Oh, you met at a dive bar? Even better.
7. Organize a next-level photo booth
The best wedding photo booths have incredibly enthusiastic photographers along with epic props. And when it comes to props, the more personal, the better. Did you meet at college? Have some swag from your alma mater on hand.
8. Write a heartfelt note — make it personal, make it a surprise
There is a seemingly endless flow of thank you's to go around on the big day, but never enough time to give every one of your guests the attention they deserve. Leave an extra special handwritten note in a Lovepop on each place setting to share your gratitude and make the day even more magical for them. (Need an amazing card to go with your loving words? We've got a few ideas... )
9. Have toiletries stocked in the bathrooms at the reception
From deodorant to hairspray to bobby pins to lipstick, stocking baskets full of items guests might need over the course of an evening is a great detail. Don't forget the mouthwash for those single and ready to mingle guests, either.
10. Exit the reception to a sparkler-lined runway
Guests will love holding flaming sticks near your faces to celebrate your love! Sparklers also make for excellent photos. Going big for your wedding? Consider fireworks instead.
11. Name signature cocktails after your parents
The days of naming a signature cocktail after yourselves are mostly over, but a "Dorothy" or "Ron Punch" actually sound quite delicious. This is a sweet way to show appreciation for the people who got you to this day.
12. Designate a wedding attendant
You know that bus you organized from the hotel? You're not going to have a moment to think about making sure everyone's on it come your wedding day. Choose a friend who loves to help out, or who maybe felt left out of the wedding party, and ask them for help with day-of logistics.
Written by Kimmy Foskett