About 4 months before flying off for Ireland, Mike and I began formal email campaigns with all 31 of our guests. There were 3 official emails in the 4 months leading up to the wedding, plus several private emails and individual phone calls with friends and family.
The goals of these emails were three-fold:
1) To put our guests’ minds at ease with regards to travel logistics. e.g. What we are arranging for them and all that is left for them to do.
2) To be very transparent about the costs that we would pay, and what they are expected to cover.
3) To survey guests about what they want to do for fun once in Ireland, so we could coordinate the car rentals and sleeping arrangements.
Early on, we polled guests about their travel plans using Google Polls. Did they want to join in on the group flight? Would they arrive at a later date? Did they need a ride getting from the airport to the Westcove House? So many questions, and all necessary.
We also asked the guests on the group flights to mail us their $500 checks for the airfare as early as possible.
We also polled guests about if they would want to join in on the group van rentals, or want to rent their own cars (at their own cost) and travel independently of the rest of the group.
In addition to emails and phone calls, we scheduled 1 group de-briefing in person. We discussed the timeline for the week, shared important info about passports and flights, and delegated some folks to plan various day trip itineraries.
Note: We really wanted to be more involved in planning the day trips, and we certainly did research ideas late at night on our phones. But all our spare time was spent coordinating the wedding and group arrangements, so we left the day-to-day travel planning to our friends.