When it comes to your wedding day, it is inevitable that not everyone you wish could be there will be able to be, whether due to budget constraints, prior commitments, etc. However, there are ways in which your friends and family who are not in attendance can take part (aside from sending a gift) that will let them know they are valued and that their presence is missed. Here are a few ideas to achieve that as well make those who can be present feel special and appreciated.
Send a fabric square along with each invitation for your guests to decorate and return with their RSVPs. Let them know that they can sew, paint, glue etc. a wish for your future, a favorite memory, story or anything else they would like to share. When you get them back, they can easily be sewn together to create a quilt which can either be used for warmth or hung on a wall as decoration. It will serve as a whimsical, yet sentimental reminder of not only your wedding day but also of the people and relationships you cherish.
A similar idea (perhaps for guests who are a little bit less crafty) is to, in lieu of a fabric square, include with your invitations a blank puzzle piece. Have everyone write a wish for you both or a word that comes to mind when thinking of you, etc. Not only will your guests feel as if they were able to participate, you and your husband will have a wonderful time putting it together.
If you are going to have a yard, a great idea is to place a basket of different rocks at the entry way to the church and an empty basket next to it. Request that every guest, as they come into the ceremony site, pick up one of the rocks and make a wish for you and your fiance before placing it into the empty basket and proceeding to their seat. All of the rocks can later be used to decorate your yard or as part of a garden. Although you will likely never know what the wishes were (unless your invitees disclose them to you), each time you see the rocks, you will be reminded of your wedding day and it will be fun to spend time wondering and guessing.
Depending on an individual’s relationship to the bride or groom, there are people who might feel as if they were invited out of a sense of etiquette or obligation. Taking the small amount of extra time to show your guests, both in attendance and not, will not only be appreciated by each one of them, but it will leave you with tangible memories of both your relationships and your wedding day.