Weddings are magical no matter where you decide to host your big day; so what happens if you choose to embrace somewhere out of the ordinary? A tropical island paradise, a winter igloo or even perhaps a luxury motor yacht? Here’s our not to be missed top tips when planning your destination wedding, which will ensure that both you and your guests feel like royalty on your special day and throughout your wedding trip.
1. Be Our Guest
Start planning your guest list early to make sure you are able to share the day with the people you care about the most. If your guests are travelling long distances, provide thorough and comprehensive information on how to get to the destination.
Send out ‘save the date’ cards, which include the exact location of your wedding. This way your guests can start planning their time off, travel arrangements, accommodation and general holiday schedules ahead of the invitations.
2. Come Fly With Me
Provide detailed information for your guests on the various methods/routes of getting to your wedding destination. It is also important to recommend a range of accommodation types so that all budgets and facility requirements are catered for. Your wedding planner can help you with this. If there are transfers involved, you’ll want to ensure that all the arrivals are coordinated. Create a spreadsheet to share with your wedding planner and ask them to arrange the complementary pick up services from the resort/villa (if it's available).
By knowing where guests are staying, you can create welcome packs ready for their arrival. This could contain items such as free local maps, a language guide, details of any group get-togethers, recommended restaurants, bars and activities but most importantly details of YOUR BIG DAY!
Photo credit: www.colincowieweddings.com
3. Wedding Weekend!
Your wedding is a once in a lifetime experience so you’ll want to make the best possible use of the time you have with your family and friends all together in one place. Who said that your wedding has to only last one day?! Think about hosting pre and post wedding parties for all your guests. This can be as simple as meeting up in a bar for drinks and dancing, or as luxurious as hiring a private speedboat with a private chef for the afternoon. Either way, it’s a great opportunity for guests from both sides of the family to get to know each other if they don’t already. It also gives you the chance to spend quality time with your guests in a more relaxed atmosphere.
Don’t feel that you need to foot the bill for any additional activities, bar bills or parties outside of your wedding celebrations. People understand that weddings are expensive and don’t expect to have everything paid for. Most people just like to know what to expect ahead of time, so the key here is to plan in advance so there are no surprises!
4. Activities and Excursions
Remember that as well as attending your wedding, it’s also a holiday for all of your guests that have travelled to be with you. They will no doubt want to explore the destination you’ve chosen to marry in, so you can help make that really easy by asking your wedding planner to prepare a list of activities and excursions that they can enjoy outside of the official celebrations.
This could be part of the welcome pack we discussed earlier, however you may also wish to send your confirmed guests this information well before the wedding. If there’s a large group wanting to do the same activity or trip, it may be possible to secure discounts if you book far enough in advance.
5. The Little Finishing Touches
Putting a little thought into even the smallest of details can make your wedding day feel more special - after all it’s all those little things that add up to make your day truly memorable!
• If you’re getting married in a tropical location you could include sunscreen, a fan or mosquito repellent into your welcome bag. For colder locations, a sachet of cocoa or hand warmers (which can be bought cheaply on Ebay or Amazon). With just a little thought and care, your destination wedding welcome bags can make a huge difference to those who receive them!
• If you don’t plan on providing a welcome pack, why not handwrite a small card or note to be placed in the hotel room of each guest instead? A personal message highlighting that you’re looking forward to spending time with them over the coming days will mean a lot to your travel weary friends and family!
• For sport fans, keep an eye on the dates and fixtures. If there’s a big game or event taking place around your wedding date, pre-book a table at a local sports bar for beers and nibbles – it will be appreciated!
Photo credit: afterglobe.net
Don’t feel deterred by all the extra details as you can ‘DIY’ many of the small finishing touches - ask your wedding planner for ideas that are a proven hit with guests if you're a bit stuck. Also, ask if they will work with you to receive items via mail in advance or can order direct so you don’t need to carry them from home yourselves.
By going above and beyond and thinking about the the smallest of details, you can be sure to really WOW your guests - they will feel truly honoured to have been invited to your wedding celebrations. Most will have scheduled time off work and saved up to pay for flights and accommodation etc. so as much as it is ultimately YOUR big day, remember that it will likely be as special to them as it is to you!