Your wedding is a time when all your friends and family come together to celebrate your unity of marriage. Some of your friends or family are coming in from out-of-town and you want to do your best to keep them happy and busy during their stay. You should be sincerely flattered that these out-of-town guests are spending the time, money and effort to attend your wedding. Obviously it is very important to them and in return you want them to feel just as important.
It isn't necessary for you to provide constant entertainment for them, but it is common courtesy to give them information about accommodations and activities they can attend if they so choose. This can either be placed in their wedding invitations in advance or you can provide them a list of things they can do when they arrive.
It is usually the responsibility of the groom to make arrangements for out-of-town guests, but if he is too busy with last minute details, ask a family member or wedding planner to assist. Out-of-town guests are expected to pay for their own lodging, but you can arrange for a block of hotel rooms under the wedding name offering a discounted room rate. Try to select two hotel options, one being more affordable and one upscale. Everyone's budget is different so you want them to make their own decision on which hotel to select. Call the front desk and ask for the sales manager.
If your budget warrants it, a nice touch would be to place a welcome basket in their hotel rooms outlining the details for the weekend. Most guests want to spend time with the family and attend the various parties but at the same time don't want to over stay their welcome. By you inviting them to certain parties it will definitely make them feel comfortable and welcomed. Sometimes, family and friends might offer their home for specific guests that they know well.
If these guests are coming in for the weekend (depending on how many) you could invite them to the rehearsal dinner. On the day of the wedding, in between the ceremony and the reception, a family member may open up their home and offer light refreshments and snacks. If possible, try to order this in to help alleviate the stress of preparing the food yourself. You can also arrange for an outing at a sporting event, shopping, or wine tour. On the Sunday, it is great to book a Sunday brunch for them to attend with you and reminisce about the wedding reception. You may be tempted to postpone your honeymoon for a day and attend. Some of the best family time takes place the day after!
You want to do your best and include these out-of-town guests in the weekend festivities and arrange for them to visit with family and friends during their stay. Because many do not have transportation, and don't know your city well, you should make traveling to and from wedding events easy and convenient. and of course supply maps. See if any family and friends would be willing to take a few extra in their cars.
The entire weekend of the wedding is so much fun being with friends or families that you may not have seen for a long time. As stressful as the final few days can be before the big day, remember to stop and enjoy some of the fun with them.