Defining Guest Expectations

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Defining Guest Expectations 

You’ve booked the venue, ordered the flowers, and tasted the food. Every detail has been planned and Pinterestified. The only wild card is your guests. Will they show up wearing khaki cargo shorts to your formal event?

Since no one is carrying a copy of Emily Post’s etiquette guide around, there’s nothing wrong with a little guest expectation guidance to ensure a stress-free event.

Power in the Invitation
Use your event’s invitation to explain your basic guest expectations such as attire and any unique circumstances that may influence your guests’ attendance.

Use your RSVP return cards to set more expectations such as guest plus-ones and food available.

Remember, this your event. If you have a budget to stick to, don’t be afraid to turn down additional plus-ones.

Follow Up Email
About a month to one week before your event, send a reminder to your guests emphasizing your excitement to host and what is to be expected. This is another great space to reinforce initial expectations from the original invitation.

In your event reminder, send an FAQ with information about the venue like if there is a cash or open bar or music for the evening and what the décor is like. This is also a great opportunity to explain parking and suggested arrival times. Give specifics. As our everyday clothes have become more and more casual, it may be a good idea to include links to outfits if guests are questioning their look.

Always encourage guest questions! Include contact information on your initial invitation or event reminder for guests to directly contact the hosts.

Don’t beat around the bush when it comes to guest expectations. If you want your guests to dress a certain way or show up a certain time, it’s best to set clear expectations to avoid confrontations or awkwardness at the event.

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