Would you like to provide your guests with a stellar experience at your wedding? Giving them a personalized wedding map will make you their hero! A custom wedding map will save your guests time, eliminate the overwhelming nature of too many choices, and help you create a thoughtful and personal connection with each and every guest.

If you have guests traveling to your wedding from out of town, or if you are having a destination wedding where everyone is experiencing a brand new location, your guests will have hours and often days when they are in town but not attending your scheduled festivities.

What should they do?

Where should they go?

What’s so special about this area where you have chosen to celebrate your wedding?

A wedding map will transform your event from ‘I’m going to a wedding’ into ‘What a fantastic experience!’ for your guests. It will provide a wonderful connection between you and them. It will rescue them from being overwhelmed by too many options. And it will save them a heap of time they’d otherwise spend scrolling through review sites like Yelp and Trip Advisor, or searching  Google or Apple Maps, trying to figure out where to spend their free time.

Wondering what to include on your wedding map?  We can help!

Top 10 Things To Put On Your Wedding Map

1. Restaurants

Always include the three staples on your wedding map: where to find the best burger joint in town, who has the best pizza, and where can someone go to enjoy a great big salad. Include a variety of cuisine types, including those which offer vegetarian cuisine. Include a fancy place, a family-friendly place, and good cheap eats.

people sitting at tables on a sidewalk outside of a restaurant with one waiter

2. Coffee Shops

Anyone can find a Starbucks using Google or Apple maps, but what you want to include on your wedding map are the locally owned coffee shops. The gems, the funky places, the cool spots. Including a coffee shop with indoor and outdoor seating as well as Wi-Fi would be ideal.

white coffee cup with white leaf pattern in light brown foam on brown wooden table

3. Walks & Hikes

Encourage your guests to move their bodies by including lovely walks and hikes in the area. You’ll know your guests the best but a good rule of thumb is to pick an easy walking path, a more challenging hike, and one with handicap-accessible paths. If you have a biking crowd coming include bike trails, and if your wedding is in a coastal location include your favorite beach and snorkeling locations.

2 children in jean jackets & dark pants walking away on a leaf covered path with trees arching over

4. Shops

You may not be a shop-till-you-drop kind of person but guaranteed there will be people on your guest list who LOVE to shop!  Help them out by identifying the cool and unique shops or shopping areas on your wedding map. Make sure to think locally on this one as well and support the small business owners! Include chocolate shops, clothing boutiques, specialty food shops, local art galleries, arts and crafts guild shops, jewelry shops, antiques, and locally-owned book stores.

shops at night with lights reflecting on wet pavement

5. Wineries & Breweries

Traveling to an area for a fun event like a wedding is also an opportunity to explore that area’s wine, beer, and distillery options. If you don’t personally partake in these liquids no worries, you can ask friends or vendors in the area for their favorite spots. Your guests will definitely appreciate it if your wedding map provides recommendations in places like Northern California where there are hundreds of delicious establishments to choose from.

glass of white wine, glass of red wine, faux grapes & a model of a wine barrel

6. Activities

What makes this area unique? Where can you send your guests that will give them a good sense and feel of this place? Think indoor and outdoor on this one: Art museums, parks, historical landmarks, children’s museums, amusement parks, farmer’s markets, outdoor crafts fairs and flea markets, and music festivals.  Include an outdoor public gathering place in a park that has a gazebo or shelter where small groups of guests can gather to visit or get to know one another.

old locomotive in a museum setting

7. Late Night Munchies

You are throwing a big ol’ party, it’s probably best to assume that some late-night munchies will need to be satisfied! Include on your wedding map at least one food truck or restaurant that is open late and your night-owl guests will be very appreciative.

Mel’s Diner at night lite up with neon signs

8. Your Special Places

Chances are you have at least a bit of history with the area where you are getting married, even if you only visited it once to make sure it was your ideal destination wedding spot. Your guests will love the connection they will have with you if you can point them to a place that is personal to you – where you met, where you had your first date or a special moment, where you got engaged, where you used to work, where you love to walk your dog. If you provide them with a chance to be in the same place that is special to you, they will love you for sharing that with them.

2 park benches with red leaves all over them & the area around

9. Lodging

Where are your guests staying? If you have reserved blocks of rooms at hotels or several AirBnBs, make sure to include those on your wedding map. Your guests will appreciate knowing where their home base is located, and where other guests will be staying.  They can also see where they are in relation to all the other locations on your personal wedding map, which will help them gauge the time factor in traveling from place to place.

3 story motel with 12 different color doors

10. Your Event

Last but certainly not least, you will definitely want to include your scheduled events on your wedding map! Where do people need to be, and at what time? Adding that information to your map will help your guests arrive at the ceremony & reception, as well as any other scheduled activities, on time.

arrangement of white, pink & orange flowers with wooden chairs arranged around an aisle with hanging white arch in the distance

Final Thoughts

A wedding map is a great way to share your favorite places with your guests and spare them the task of figuring out where to go and what to do. Your wedding will stand out from the crowd of all other weddings when you present your guests with your unique personalized map featuring your names, your style and color scheme, and your personal recommendations. Your guests’ experience will be more memorable, they will love the connection they have with you, and they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

one heart-shaped cloud in the middle of blue sky

If you are having a destination wedding and are not as familiar with the area as you would like don’t worry, you can still create a destination wedding map using recommendations from locals! Ask your wedding planner, DJ or band, florist, officiant, caterer, hotel/host and photographer for their top 5 recommendations, then choose from those – chances are their recommendations will overlap and you will have some standout winners. Don’t be shy, most people love to be asked about their favorite places! You can also ask me – I have a network that reaches all over the country, and I am happy to help.

The great thing about a HipMaps wedding map is that your guests can see their location right on your map and read your comments about each place using our smartphone app! They can immediately see that you love the burgers at this restaurant, or that the walk around Fern Lake is your favorite trail in that park. The HipMaps app is free for your guests to use and will provide directions to any of the recommended locations on your map.

Please reach out to us to see if a customized HipMap would be a good fit for your wedding!

HipMaps print and digital wedding maps

Want to try out the HipMaps app? Head here for download links and instructions, and in the app enter access code HipMaps1 to see a sample wedding map in Sonoma, California which includes my personal recommendations!

Check out our related blog post: Top 10 Wedding Map Designers

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