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Three Ways to Keep Wedding Guests Who Arrive Early for the Ceremony Busy

Can they just go to the nearest Starbucks?

Contributing Writer
summer wedding guests navy and pink
Photography by: Kallima Photography

Brides and grooms like to take care of their guests, and sometimes that means thinking of their loved ones' comfort even before the ceremony begins. Though the wedding invitation states what time the ceremony starts, more than a few guests, especially those who've traveled from far away, may get to the venue significantly early. If you anticipate this happening on your wedding day, what should you do? While some guests may be happy to head out for a latte or a stroll around the neighborhood on their own, others will look to their hosts for something to do. First, figure out where early guests can gather. Are you okay with the idea of them milling about in the ceremony space, or would you prefer to designate an empty meeting room at your church or a side yard at your catering venue for your guests? Then, consider what you can offer that will help them kill time and socialize with other guests. Here, three budget-friendly ideas we love. 

 

Related: Cocktail Hour Food Ideas Your Guests Will Love

 

Offer light snacks.

No need for anyone to fire up the grill or make nibbles that require servers. Instead, offer snacks that are easy for guests to grab and aren't messy like popcorn, nuts, pretzels, and dried fruit, or combine them all for trail mix. Serve in individual cups or cones.

 

Serve booze-free drinks.

Non-alcoholic beverages are the way to go if you're trying not to upend your budget. Instead, put out chilled pitchers of iced tea or lemonade, or small bottles of sparkling water; in cold climates offer coffee, tea, and hot chocolate in a self-serve setup. As long as you give people choices, they'll be content with whatever you offer. For an extra fee, your caterer should be able to handle setup and cleanup.

 

Go with games.

In warm months, give them the opportunity to play classic lawn games like horseshoes, badminton, and darts, during colder months, set up chess and checkers. The goal is to keep guests happy and occupied without working up a sweat or getting their clothes dirty!