Image: Lauren Love Photography
The weekend was anything but restful. Being a single parent to a toddler is HARD and I really don’t know how full-time single parents do it, because I am dying after 4 days. I caught up best I could on emails & CapRo things, but would lie if I didn’t say I spent a chunk on the couch catching up on Jane the Virgin (MICHAEL O.M.G.). Attempting to get back into the routine this week, and we have a guest post today to help!
Our bride to be blogger, Becca, is back sharing tips on hiring/using a Washington DC Tour Guide! We def thought this might be something worth checking out for you couples that aren’t from here and have a boat-load of relatives & friends coming in for the weekend. DC is a great place for tourism, and having a guide only makes it better. Check out Becca’s tip below!
Tips for Hiring a Washington, D.C. Tour Guide (for your wedding weekend!) | By: Becca
Before I joined the wonderful world of wedding planning, I often worked with couples who wanted to integrate our nation’s capital into their wedding weekend. If you’re getting married in the D.C.-area, there’s a good chance you’ll want to show off our incredible city. As a DC tour guide, I have a few tips for making a sightseeing tour of D.C. part of your wedding weekend.
- Book early – Peak tourist season aligns pretty closely with peak wedding season in the D.C. area. This means – just like any other vendor for your wedding weekend – if you want a quality tour guide/bus company/tickets to popular sights, you’re going to want to plan this in advance. This is especially true if you’re getting married on a holiday weekend or during cherry blossom season!
- Know your audience – A tour of D.C. is a great way to entertain wedding guests and show off the fact you live in the best city in the country. However, we’re a big city with a LOT to see and you likely only have so many hours to spare out of your wedding events. Think about who is likely to attend the tour and what would appeal to them. Lots of grandparents or folks bringing along small children? A bus tour makes sure your Great Aunt Sally doesn’t have to hike ten miles or your future-sister-in-law isn’t hauling two double strollers up and down the National Mall. Do you have more locals attending? Consider a tour specializing in a particular neighborhood, like Georgetown, Eastern Market, or Dupont Circle. Want something that appeals to a wide range of guests? You can never go wrong with a ghost tour through a haunted D.C. neighborhood or a food tour that highlights some of our best eats!
- Be realistic with your event schedule – While you may jog the National Mall every morning in less than an hour, most of your wedding guests probably don’t. An average walking tour of the Mall takes about 2-3 hours to see the major sights, especially with folks stopping for photos, restrooms, snacks, etc. An average bus tour around the region is usually 3-4 hours (please don’t try to do this during rush hour!) Make sure whatever you schedule, you have given your guests enough time to get back to the event hotel and shower/change/primp for the next event.
- Think off the National Mall – If most of your guests have seen the Lincoln Memorial and the White House, there are still a ton of great D.C. landmarks to share. Consider visiting a lesser-known museum, like the Belmont-Paul National Monument for Women’s Equality on Capitol Hill or the Woodrow Wilson House in Dupont Circle. A walking tour that highlights Embassy Row or U Street is a nice change from the regular tourist sites.
- Follow the rules, especially for party buses. A fun option for a wedding weekend is to book a party bus to take your guests around the city while also socializing and imbibing safely. BUT – not to be Becca Buzzkill – be sure to read the fine print in advance and make sure your guests are aware of the rules. Most private hire vehicles will have clear policies for alcohol (whether it must be bought through the company or brought on by guests) as well as making sure things stay safe. Don’t let your wedding fun be ruined by guests getting kicked off your tour bus (I’ve seen it happen multiple times), a bus driver refusing to depart hotel because alcohol policies were violated (yep, that too), or with an arrest. Good rule of thumb – leave open containers on your bus to avoid an uncomfortable confrontation with National Park Police or a DC police officer.
- Be creative! There are some really fun ways to make your tour special. Have your guests take photos at different sites and add them to your reception slide show – they can bring along cardboard versions of the happy couple if they aren’t joining the tour. One group I worked with filmed special messages and wishes for the couple during the tour and surprised them by airing the video at the rehearsal dinner. Don’t be afraid to use your tour to make your wedding weekend unique and make your guests part of the fun!
Organizing a tour or event is a great way to make your wedding weekend special and share our incredible city with your guests. Feel free to leave questions or anecdotes in the comments and I’ll do my best to help if you’re considering adding a tour to your wedding!