A couple of months ago I awoke to an email headed "Boise-fast coffee or beer chat"? I thought to myself, someone really knows how to get my attention! Fast forward about a week and I sat over a cup of really good coffee sharing a Dulce de Leche macaroon with Rachel Hofstetter of Guesterly.
We met at A Tavola in Boise to chat about her brainchild, a get-to-know-you magazine for wedding guests. After chatting for a bit about her former life as a food editor (at the likes of O, The Oprah Magazine no less), we got down to the nitty gritty of how Guesterly was born and how it works.
While planning her own wedding to her husband, Lorne, they dreamt of finding a way to introducing and making their guests (from all over the country) feel as though they already knew each other. They wanted a way to create an experience for their guests so that everyone came to their wedding weekend relaxed, having fun, and making lasting memories. After a bit of walking down memory lane via Lorne's Princeton Herald they came up with the idea to create their own Herald-like booklet with heartfelt bios of each of their wedding guests. Rachel put her magazine editor skills to work to write those tidbits and fun facts about each of their guests, including interviewing Lorne's entire side of the guest list. Then Lorne put his skills to the test to design the book to showcase every single guest in attendance. A week before the wedding the books were mailed out and soon the phone calls and emails came pouring in- their guests loved every bit of it.
Rachel and Lorne at their wedding | A few snapshots of actual Guesterly's
Before they knew it, friends of the couple began asking for the booklet for their weddings. One thing led to another, and soon they knew it was time to set out to create Guesterly 2.0 so they could offer that lasting experience to everyone.
"Find your tablemates", "Meet her globetrotting grandparents"...just a few of the sneak peek snippets to welcome your guests
So how does it work? Like magic really. Lorne and Rachel have thought of everything, including a specially designed software that pulls photos of your guests through Facebook. Photos are enhanced via a photo editor to make your guests shine, and are dropped into a custom layout (including colors, typography, and more) created by Guesterly's graphic designers. A few weeks before the wedding Guesterly's writers set up a fun interview with the couple to help create the bios for your guests, then send a proof check for you to look over. When all is approved, the booklet is sent to their printing partners (many of which print some of the most popular magazines on newsstands now- thanks to Rachel's insider connections!) and the finished product is mailed out to your guests a week before the wedding. In short, they've made the process so easy peasy, and your guests are guaranteed to throw a fit about it (in a good way!).
What's more is you get to customize your Guesterly however you want- think table assignments, directions, maps, to-do activities and more. No matter what, the booklet will become a cherished keepsake from your wedding- for you and your guests, and we can't stop talking about it.
Be sure to take a peek at the website for more information, photos, and even a free sample! You can also stay up to date by following on Twitter and Facebook.