Are you thinking of planning a destination wedding weekend? Planning already comes with the obvious: Who is doing hair and makeup? Who is the best photographer that will capture my special day? What will my reception room look like? Where are we getting flowers from?
If you are like most destination brides, the journey is exciting as you will get to say your I Do’s on the most beautiful place your guests has ever seen, but you realize then, you have not only invited them to your wedding but you have invited them on vacation. You are now, the event planner, the fiancée, travel agent, concierge, and coordinator. This experience can be so enjoyable but can also be strenuous on you. Here are six tips to get you through hosting a successful, relaxed destination wedding celebration:
1. Your guests are on vacation, so let them enjoy the new scenery.
While the main reason they are there is to celebrate your union, there is also a part of each guest that is looking forward to relaxation. Because of this, don’t stress yourself out planning every minute for them. Let your guests have enough time to relax, explore and plan activities they would like to do on their own.
2. Base your events around the culture of your destination.
Your guests will want to explore the area, and chose activities that can only be done at your destination. Instead of traditional rehearsal dinner, take your guests to a wine tour when in Napa, introduce them to the Caribbean with a welcome party consisting of bongos, Mojitos and a sunset sail, or go tour a historical landmark to make a different and memorable experience for you and your guests.
3. Create an itinerary and detailed list of suggested activities.
Outline for your guests which events they are invited to, as well as some additional activities that they may enjoy. The itinerary should go out with your invitations, so guest could plan ahead. Make sure to put another copy in their welcome bag along with a map of the area.
4. You do not have to pay for everything.
Even if extending your wedding celebration throughout the week with a welcome party, morning after brunch, etc. do not stress if you have a limited budget. Discuss with your families who will be in charge of each event. If your parents are hosting the wedding and reception, have the other set of parents pay for the welcome party. For other activities that you would like to arrange but can’t afford to host, make sure you indicate that the activity/event is “optional” letting them know the cost associated should they decide to go. You should have a decent attendance rate, if you are arranging an activity that the guests were likely going to attend on their own, because keep in mind not everyone will join.
5. Have all of your guests stay in the same hotel/resort if possible.
The beauty of a destination wedding is that it allows you and your fiancé’s families to enjoy eachother’s company for an entire week. If everyone is staying all over the city or island you are in, your guests will not have as much opportunity to get to get acquainted with the new family members. On the other hand, planning accommodations for all your guests can be a nightmare logistically. A great way to solve this, is by selecting a few hotels and condos near the party. Include this information in your invitations or save-the-dates with transportation information as well. After the wedding, if you and your fiancé want privacy, consider sneaking off to another city or even just another hotel.
6. Don’t take everything on yourself.
Planning a destination wedding and reception alone can take a lot of time, research, and patience. Rely on the professionals within your reach like your wedding planner, travel agent or even the concierge at the hotel you will be staying at to help you organize events and activities for you and your guests.
Are you ready to start planning your extraordinary destination wedding? Contact us today and let us help you find the perfect venue, activities at your chosen destination. We will keep you organize as we have the connections to make this trip one your guests would always remember.
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