It’s that time again babes — fall wedding season! If you’re on the hunt for 2019 fall wedding guest dresses, you’re in luck because we’ve rounded up 50 — yes, FIFTY — gorgeous dresses to wear to those upcoming nuptials. This list includes ’70s vibes, classic glamour, velvet, ruffles, florals, and all your favorite autumnal tones to help you nail the dress code in style.
Yellow, summer is calling! Orange you shopping for something to wear to upcoming summer weddings? Rust us when we say we’ve got all the summer wedding guest dresses you’ve been searching for! From citrus hue wrap dresses to floral printed midi dresses, we’re poppy sure these summer wedding guest dresses will have you feeling hot (and staying cool) all season long!
The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the wedding bells are ringing! Wedding season is upon us, but do you know what to wear to a spring wedding? Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up a fresh bundle of our favorite 2018 spring wedding guest dresses to help you on your hunt!
Chances are some of your wedding guests don’t live in the city where you’re getting married, and there are some important things to keep in mind especially for them. From logistics to tokens of appreciation, these are all the things you need to make your out-of-town wedding guests feel right at home.
When it comes to accommodations, the closer you can get to the venue the better. If your venue provides accommodations, obviously you should start there. Contact the venue manager and ask about availability, room rates, and discounts. If your venue doesn’t provide accommodations — or they are too expensive — pick 2-3 hotels closest to the venue and book a block of rooms at 1 or 2 of them. When you’re ready to book, you don’t have to know the final number of out-of-town guests, but you do need a pretty good estimate. A general rule is to cut your out-of-town guest list number in half and book that number of rooms. (So, if you have 20 out-of-town guests, you would block 10 rooms to start and add more rooms later.)
The most important thing to note is that hotels vary in terms of how they block rooms. Some hotels require you to block a set number, pay a deposit, and be financially responsible for all unsold rooms you blocked. That’s not an ideal situation, but it might be necessary if your wedding is in a town with limited accommodations or coincides with a huge event. Some hotels can be more flexible and offer a discounted rate to guests without blocking a certain number of rooms, but you run the risk that the hotel could fill up before all your guests make a reservation. On the bright side, some hotels can block a set number of rooms without a deposit and will guarantee those rooms and rates until a specific date. Because there are so many possibilities, we suggest you start your search early and encourage your out-of-town guests to reserve their rooms as soon as possible.
Some hotels provide shuttle service to/from the airport, and some even provide shuttle service to/from certain destinations if they are planned in advance. When you call to reserve your room blocks, ask about any transportations services they can provide, as well. The prices will vary by hotel, so make sure to ask the rate so you can let your guests know in advance. If the hotel(s) don’t have a shuttle, take some time to consider how your guests can get to the hotel and to the venue. What is the best form of public transportation, where are the pick up and drop off points, and what are the rates? Is ride-sharing available in your city? Would it be possible to connect your out-of-town guests with in-town guests to set up carpools? Do you have a rental car company to recommend? Most of your out-of-town guests can probably figure those out on their own, but it is nice to provide guidance so they can plan ahead and don’t have to stress about it on the actual day or weekend.
Compile a list of meaningful places to eat, drink, and play
While you’re focused on your big day, you’ll want your out-of-town guests to have plenty of things to do once they get into town. So, put together a list of your and your fiancé’s favorite places to eat and drink and activities around the city. You could even do a little research to find out of if there are any festivals, live music, or special events that they might want to check out. Sure, they could use Google to find places to go, but this is a great way to not only introduce your city to your guests but you also get to share little nuggets of your everyday life with them. Anyone can find a Starbucks for their morning coffee, but not everyone will know which coffee shop you and your fiancé love for your lazy Sunday coffee dates. And we bet most of them would love to know that! So, when you’re compiling your list, consider adding a little note about why you recommended those places. It’s that little something extra to connect with your guests and help them feel totally welcome.
Plan a pre-wedding and/or a post-wedding get together
Inviting your out-of-town guests to pre-wedding and/or post-wedding get togethers is another surefire way to make them feel welcome. Do you and your fiancé love the outdoors? Invite your guests to go hiking or kayaking a day or two before the wedding. Are you beer lovers who spend your weekends enjoying local breweries? Ask your guests to join you for a mid-afternoon pint. We’ve even seen couples skip the traditional rehearsal dinner all together and open up dinner to anyone who is in town. And the party doesn’t have to end with your reception send-off. If you’re a night owl or just don’t want to the party to end, ask your guests to head to your favorite bar for an after party. We also love the idea of wrapping up your perfect wedding weekend with a day-after brunch to spend quality time with anyone who is still in town and say your final goodbyes in a more casual setting.
One of the best ways to eliminate stress and limit the number of calls to your designated contact is to create a comprehensive timeline of your wedding events. Whether your guests are invited to events over multiple days or just the wedding day itself, organizing everything into a visual timeline is key. For each event, you should include the following: name of event, name and address of the venue, date, time, and dress code. We even recommend including the ceremony and reception information so your guests have every detail they need in one handy place. If your out-of-town guests are invited to pre-wedding or post-wedding events, make sure to let them ahead of time so they can pack appropriate attire. Not sure where to start? There are some great wedding timeline templates on Etsy to help you create beautiful printables in no time!
Your out-of-town guests will be making an extra special effort to attend your wedding, so we think welcome bags are a must to show your appreciation. The best part is that you can really flex those creative muscles and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to make something truly special. At a minimum, you should include a little something to eat and drink to ease your guests out of their travel day. Bottled water is a must, but you could also include a local beer, a bottle of bubbly, or another local favorite. As for snacks, make sure to give a savory and a sweet option to satisfy every craving. Then add a couple of personal details, such as a cute souvenir, a candle, or even a stamped postcard they can send home. Round out all those goodies with the information essentials: a map, the weekend itinerary, your list of local recommendations, and the information for your designated contact. Finish it all off with a personalized thank you note and wrap it all up in a cute paper bag or reusable tote. A welcome bag is a simple, thoughtful gesture that your guests will love! Just make sure to let the hotel know that they need to give each guest a bag when they check in.
One of our Junebug couples created wedding weekend mix CDs and sent them to each of their guests a week before the big day, and we absolutely fell in love with the idea! You and your fiancé could make it a pre-wedding date night where you go through all your favorite music and create either physical CDs or a Spotify playlist that sets the tone for your weekend. It’s the sweetest, most unexpected finishing touch that will make your out-of-town guests’ travel day so much more enjoyable, whether they are flying or driving.
You’ve got your hotel blocks set, your transportation ideas brainstormed, your schedule ironed out, and your list of recommendations ready. What do you do next? Put all of that information your wedding website! Yes, all of it! Even if you created printable itineraries and lists for your welcome bags. Your website should be your one stop shop for all your wedding details — trust us, this will be your out-of-town wedding guests’ most used resource. If you’re not sure something should be included, the answer is probably yes. But we’ve also got this handy checklist that has everything you need to include on your wedding website so you can triple-check yourself.
Looking for more ways to impress all your guests? We’ve got just what you need:
Choosing your wedding size and creating a wedding guest list with or without a wedding guest template can be one of the most stressful parts of planning. There are many factors to consider like your and your fiancé’s vision, your families’ expectations, and your friends’ feelings. It seems impossible to please everyone—because it is! After creating an all-inclusive list it’s time to do the dirty work: narrow down the wedding guest list.
Unless you have an unlimited budget and unlimited resources you will never please everyone. When all is said and done, your guests will affect how you and your fiancé feel on your wedding day and be part of your precious memories forever. Since it’s much easier to stay firm in your decisions when you have a plan in place, here are some tips to help you narrow down that your wedding guest list.
Pick a Venue That Aligns with Your Vision and Your Budget
Vision and budget are arguably the two most important pieces of the wedding planning puzzle. Once those connect, everything else can begin to fall into place around them—including your guest list. If visions of a cozy ceremony in a greenhouse and a dinner-party style reception at a local restaurant fill your wedding mood board there will be a natural cap for your guest list.
Even if your dream venue can accommodate hundreds of people, a more intimate gathering might be all you’re looking for. In this case, book the venue and set a cap yourselves. This is your special day and you want to get married somewhere that is meaningful that captivates you. Don’t let an inflated guest list, of all things, dictate where!
Divide and Narrow Down the Wedding Guest List by Tiered Categories
Trying to cut people from one long list can be both intimidating and down-right uncomfortable. One way to make the process easier is to divide everyone into categories: immediate family, close relatives, extended relatives, close friends, family friends, coworkers, acquaintances, children, and so on. Then rank those categories in order of importance and start cutting from the bottom.
There may be potential guests that fit into two different categories, such as a close coworker that consider a friend. We recommend putting people in the highest category you feel comfortable with. Using this divide-and-cut method allows you to cut more people at once while also decreasing the risk of hurting anyone’s feelings once they realize they were not singled out.
Consider the Present and the Future
Keep from looking back at wedding photos and wondering, “who is that?” by only inviting people known to both you and your fiancé. A wedding day is not the time for introductions—couples divide their time and need to find ways to stay present as it is. While taking personal relationships into account, also identify people you haven’t talked to in the last year or people you don’t see yourself keeping in touch with 5 years from now. This will help focus the guest list on the people who mean the most now and who likely will in the future.
Allocate a Percentage of Invites for Your Parents’ Friends
It seems to go against the last tip, we know. One of the hardest issues to navigate when creating the guest list is dealing with parents’ expectations. Keeping both families happy and sticking to a vision is easier said than done. There are a few ways to handle this split, and the conversation. If you are paying for the wedding yourselves, up to 20% of the invites can be allocated to your parents.
Parents Who Pay Should Get a Percentage of Invites
If parents are helping pay for the wedding, a fair split could be 50% for you and your fiancé and 50% for your parents combined—whether that means 25% and 25% for either set of parents, or a smaller percentage for multiple sets of parents. If one parent is paying for the majority of—or the entire—wedding, they might get a larger percentage. However you decide to split it, make sure not to give up more than 50% of the guest list. Your guests are the top priority.
Limit or Eliminate the “Plus One” Option
This is one of the easiest ways to cut a guest list almost in half. Either make plus ones exclusive for the wedding party and immediate family or make a general “no plus ones” rule for everyone. It should be enough to address your invitations to just the people who are invited. For example, “Mrs. Jane Smith and Guest” vs “Mrs. Jane Smith.”
Guests may assume a plus one is included. If you receive an RSVP with a plus one that wasn’t offered simply call your guest—yes, call don’t text or email—and be honest about your decision. When it comes time to create your reception seating chart, consider putting single friends together so don’t feel left out of the couple crowd.
Adults-only weddings will never go out of style, especially if budget or venue constraints mean choosing between inviting friends or inviting children. While it would be great to invite everyone’s families, often it’s not realistic. If you decide to have an adults-only wedding, make it clear on the invitation and on your wedding website so there’s no confusion. If there are too many children in your circle for an adult-only wedding, consider hiring a babysitting service to take care of the children at the venue so they are nearby but don’t require an extra seat.
Stagger the Invites
If all else fails and the guest list isn’t quite down to the number you set, be sure to send invitations in waves. Break up the final list into two groups: people who must attend and people who would be missed. Send invitations to the first group 5-6 months before the wedding. As you begin to get RSVPs, send out invitations to the next group of guests in an agreed-upon order. Make sure you give the second wave of guests enough time to RSVP and make travel plans. Make sure all the invitations sent no later than 8 weeks out.
Turning folks away from your joyous day will never be fun, there’s no getting around it. We hope these tips helped cut through some of the noise and made those tough decisions a little easier. Once you’re able to narrow down the wedding guest list the next step is invitations. Luckily, our vendor list includes the world’s best custom wedding invitations. Check them out, you’ll be glad you did.
Wedding guest books typically happen one of two ways: you stress to find the perfect book before the wedding, only to leave it in a box in your garage OR you forget until the last minute, and whatever you end up buying ends up in a box in your garage. Today, we are here to end garage guest books, once and for all! These wedding guest book alternatives are creative and practical, and we promise you’ll love revisiting them for years to come!
What better way to look back on who celebrated your big day than to see their smiling faces! We are positively obsessed with this picture perfect wedding guest book alternative. Provide an Instax camera, a sharpie, and either a place to hang or stick the photos, and your wedding guest book is taken care of!
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a memory of all the love you felt on your wedding day hanging right in your home? Enter the framed guest book option. There are endless options for prints to hang in your home with all your besties’ John Hancock, but we’re especially big fans of these by BirdAndKeyUK because the signatures really become a part of the art! Looking for something even more unique? Check out these cool 3D option by CeladonHome. Any of these would look SO much better in your living room than in a box in your garage!
Are you a big game night couple? This guest book alternative is perfect for you! Take a trip down memory lane every time you pull out your signed Jenga set for a fun game. Now the only decision you have to make is this: a small set for indoors or giant Jenga for patio parties!
This guest book alternative makes for a sweet activity both during and after your wedding! On the day, have guests fill out a vintage postcard of their choice with their names and a message. On your first anniversary (or any ol’ time!), pull them out and read what your friends and family had to say! These could also make for a cool art piece in your home if you want to display them in your home!
This alternative wedding guest book is perfect for adventurous couples whose love is bigger than all the countries combined! Some of our favorite guest books we’ve seen are actually the furthest possible from a book — a globe! Not only is it fun for guests to decide where in the world they want to sign their name, but a globe guest book looks great in your home too!
Image by Sophia Veres. See more of this real wedding here. Read on about your wedding guest list
Your wedding day should be 100% about you–and we’re not just saying that. We truly believe it. However, we know the challenges you may be up against when planning a day that doesn’t cater to other people’s opinions. One aspect of your planning that can be especially uncomfortable to maneuver is your wedding guest list.
Whether you’re inviting two to 200 of your closest friends, there are bound to be hurt feelings over who makes the cut and who doesn’t. Despite the unfortunate sad/frustrated feelings you may encounter if you’re confronted by someone who didn’t make your official headcount, we’re here to let you in on a little secret–you never have to feel guilty about your guest list.
Why You Don’t Need To Feel Guilty About Your Wedding Guest List
So you’ve found the perfect venue, only to find out that it only accommodates 100 people. Without even sitting down to start a list of friends and family to invite, you now have a set number you need to work within. This can feel like both a blessing and a curse.
You may have to make cuts to your list that you’d rather not, but you also have a built-in excuse should anyone question why they didn’t receive an invite. You simply can’t put more people in the venue than it allows. If someone gives you a hard time about this, you can tell them that it’s technically out of your hands.
Your wedding budget is one of the most obvious reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty about your guest list. It’s also one of the most reasonable. No one expects you to have a disposable income when it comes to planning your wedding, and it’s generally understood that throwing a wedding is quite an expensive ordeal.
From the meal they are served to the chair they sit in, each guest–logistically–comes with a price tag. There are people in your life for whom you are happy to pay that price. For others, you may not be so willing. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
When you’re building your wedding guest list, we recommend taking a moment to envision yourself celebrating your day with each and every guest as you add them to your spreadsheet. However, if you have a larger wedding, your wedding day timeline may not give you the time to say hello to all your guests–much less spend more than a few moments with them. So although it may be surprising, choosing your wedding size and your wedding day timeline go hand in hand.
If sharing moments with every one of your guests is a priority for you, you may want to keep your list smaller. If you’re happy to have more people present who will participate in your day, possibly without one-on-one time together, then you have the ability to increase your headcount. It’s all about fulfilling your expectations, not theirs.
Speaking of your expectations, the bottom line is that your guest list is all about your vision of your day. How big or small your wedding is and who’s there should always be up to you. Whether your future mother-in-law has her own list of people she wants to invite or you promised your college friends that they would be invited years ago, at the end of the day, this is about you. It’s about who you will look out to see in the audience when you’re speaking your vows, who you’ll hug and dance with at your reception, who you’ll look back and see photos of when flipping through the album of your day. Every aspect of your wedding should be about your vision, not someone else’s.
To make putting together your wedding guest list a piece of cake, we’ve put together a free wedding guest list spreadsheet with everything you need to keep track of along the way.
Don’t like the thought of your wedding guest book gathering dust over the years? Try something less traditional and more personal by creating a guest book worthy of displaying in your home or somehow using in the future. We hope you can gather some inspiration from these alternatives to the run-of-the-mill guest book.
Try using something that you could turn into a piece of art, such as a crafty wall piece, like this Texas shaped hardwood wall art above. Have guests sign their well wishes, and showcase your favorite state and guest book in your home. You’ll have a great memory hanging on your wall for years to come!
Love playing games? Turn your favorite game into your guest book and all future games will bring back fun memories of your wedding day. Jenga is the perfect game for this, as the wood blocks are long lasting and just the right size for a congratulatory note!
Have guests leave a visual signature by incorporating some sort of photo guest book. You’re more likely to keep these photos than a few pages of signatures. Remember, a photo is worth more than 1,000 words, anyways!
Find a fun bottle or your favorite drink and have guests sign their well wishes to you. On your anniversary, you can drink up and reminisce as you read over your guests’ words of wisdom, congratulations, and humorous anecdotes.
Have guests leave their mark with a fingerprint and each signature will truly be unique. The overall effect is artistic and creative. You can also use your fingerprint guest book as a wall piece for your home.
We hope you found some inspiration in these creative wedding guest books. Just remember to keep it personal and useful!
If you’re looking for an alternative guest book idea for your wedding, take a look at these fun recipe card and Rolodex style guest books from Cut the Cake Designs on Etsy! Great for weddings or wedding showers, some designs come with invitations that double as recipe cards so your guests can leave you with instructions to make one of their favorite tasty treats. Others contain simple address cards to record everyone’s contact information (helpful for all those thank you notes!) and they leave room for sweet words of advice and encouragement. Fun! What kind of guest book are you picturing for your wedding day?
Most couples want to host a fun wedding. Of course, you want the cake to be delicious and your florals to be amazing, too. But when it comes to your big day, it’s also a unique time to show off your dance moves with the help of a professional. After toasts are done and dinner has been served, it’s time to open up the dance floor with amazing wedding reception songs. Thankfully, you don’t have to go at it alone—as long as you’ve already hired a professional wedding DJ.
When discussing your wedding reception playlist with your DJ, make sure to include a mix of songs that you like. Cover various genres, tempos, and eras to encourage people to shake their tail feathers. We mean it. You should include something for all your guests. That’s why we recommend including a section on your RSVP cards where guests can request their favorite songs be added to your playlist. Ready to get dancing? Then keep scrolling to see some of our favorite wedding reception songs!
These are classic wedding reception songs. Folks will know how to dance to them, you won’t risk offending your new in-laws, and these are sure to inspire some singing on the dance floor. Throw a few of these into your mix, and even your great-grandmother will get up to show off her moves.
Mambo No. 5 — Lou Bega
Shout, Pts. 1 & 2 — The Isley Brothers
We Are Family — Sister Sledge
Don’t Stop Believin’ — Journey
My Girl — The Temptations
Signed, Sealed, Delivered — Stevie Wonder
I Want You Back — Jackson 5
Play That Funky Music — Wild Cherry
Boogie Shoes — KC & The Sunshine Band
September — Earth, Wind & Fire
Sweet Caroline — Neil Diamond
Dancing in the Moonlight — King Harvest
Love Shack — The B-52’s
Stayin’ Alive — Bee Gees
Respect — Aretha Franklin
Build Me Up Buttercup — The Foundations
(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life — Bill Medley, Jennifer Warnes
If you’re not personally into country music, that’s okay. These carefully selected country songs are crowd-pleasers and many of them have built-in dance moves. Throw a few of them in and watch your dance floor expand.
R&B music is perfect for your wedding reception. Some of these have different tempos that will keep some of your guests dancing and allow some of your guests to take a quick break to hit your reception bar.
Down – Jay Sean
Blinding Lights – The Weeknd
I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
Good Feeling — Flo Rida
My House – Flo Rida
Family Affair — Mary J Blige
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough — Marvin Gaye
The Business — Tiësto
24K Magic — Bruno Mars
Love on Top — Beyonce
Yeah! — Usher, Lil Jon, Ludacris
I Feel Good — James Brown
Forever — Chris Brown
Celebration — Kool & The Gang
No One — Alicia Keys
Want to Want Me — Jason Derulo
Nothing Can Come Between Us — Sade
Jumpin’, Jumpin — Destiny’s Child
This Is How We Do It — Montell Jordan
Mi Gente — J Balvin, Willy William
Better Now — Post Malone
How Will I Know — Whitney Houston
Rhythm Is A Dancer — SNAP!
We Found Love — Rihanna, Calvin Harris
Crazy In Love — Beyonce
If I Ain’t Got You – Alicia Keys
You’re The First, The Last, My Everything — Barry White
There’s no getting around it, hip hop songs are a surefire to get your guests dancing. Whether it’s Missy Elliot encouraging your guests to lose control on the dance floor or Lizzo announcing the results of her DNA tests, hip-hop wedding reception songs are some of the most fun.
I Like It – Cardi B
My Chick Bad – Ludacris
In Da Club – 50 Cent
Swimming Pools (Drank) – Kendrick Lamar
Pursuit Of Happiness (Steve Aoki Remix) – Kid Cudi
Don’t forget about your rock and alternative loving friends when it comes to wedding music. Sure, they might not be confident in all of their dance moves, but they’ll get on the dance floor for songs they know. These songs will offer a fun mix to change up the mood and keep everyone dancing–even those who claim they hate dancing.
Just like Cyndi Lauper suggests, wedding guests just wanna have fun. Light-hearted pop hits from multiple eras are the key to success for your wedding reception songs. Don’t just turn on Top 40 to get inspired—those aren’t necessarily good dancing songs. Use this list instead.
Shivers – Ed Sheeran
Get Lucky — Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers
Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake
Electric Love (Oliver Remix) – BØRNS
Stay – Justin Bieber, The Kid LAROI
The Middle – Zedd, Maren Morris
Give Me Everything – Pitbull, Ne-Yo
Roses – The Chainsmokers
Beautiful Now – Zedd, Jon Bellion
Don’t Start Now — Dua Lipa
Levitating — Dua Lipa
Girls Just Want to Have Fun — Cyndi Lauper
Heat Waves (Oliver Heldens Remix) – Glass Animals
Clarity — Zedd
Shake It Off — Taylor Swift
I Gotta Feeling — Black Eyed Peas
Despacito — Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee
As It Was — Harry Styles
When Love Takes Over — David Guetta
I Love It — Icona Pop
Vivir Mi Vida — Marc Anthony
We Can’t Stop — Miley Cyrus
Party In The U.S.A. – Miley Cyrus
Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough — Michael Jackson
Toxic — Britney Spears
Since U Been Gone — Kelly Clarkson
Uptown Funk — Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars
Suavemente — Elvis Crespo
Wannabe — Spice Girls
Let’s Go Crazy — Prince
Higher Love – Kygo, Whitney Houston
Dancing On My Own — Robyn
Livin’ La Vida Loca — Ricky Martin
Everybody — The Backstreet Boys
Turn Down For What – DJ Snake, Lil Jon
Bye, Bye, Bye — *NSYNC
Single Ladies — Beyonce
Danza Kuduro — Don Omar
SexyBack — Justin Timberlake
One More Time — Daft Punk
Dancing Queen — ABBA
Slow Songs To Dance To
Slow songs are important for your dance floor. Don’t sleep on them and make sure that you include a mix of them for all of the couples attending your wedding.
All of Me — John Legend
At Last – Etta James
Make You Feel My Love — Adele
Kokomo — The Beach Boys
Can’t Help Falling In Love — Elvis Presley
The Way You Look Tonight — Frank Sinatra
Because You Loved Me — Céline Dion
Dream a Little Dream of Me — Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong
I Choose You — Sara Bareilles
Being With You — Smokey Robinson
You Send Me — Sam Cooke
We Danced — Brad Paisley
From This Moment On — Shania Twain
Perfect — Ed Sheeran
Paper Planes — Alexander Jean
First Day of My Life — Bright Eyes
Keeping your guests in mind when choosing your wedding reception songs will ensure you create a collection of the best wedding reception songs. If you’ve hired an expert wedding DJ they’ll also help you curate the mood on the dance floor with their extensive knowledge of both popular and classic wedding reception songs. This is one wedding decision, thankfully, you won’t have to handle by yourselves.
Now that you’ve got your wedding reception playlist rolling you can focus on the other important musical elements of your wedding like your first dance song.