For many, the idea of a destination wedding seems wildly more appealing than booking a local hotel or banquet hall, and so it should.
The incentive: engaged couples see an opportunity to design an affordable, exotic event for an exclusive group of family and friends.
The caveat: your bevy of guests will actually require some real face time pre and post wedding. They’ve gone to considerable effort and expense to show up for you so don’t expect that a four-minute chat at the reception dinner will fulfill your social obligation.
Here are some etiquette tips that will help ensure your relationships come back in tact.
If you start planning and booking your trip at least a year in advance, not only will it give your guests enough time to save money and plan for the wedding, you also have a good shot at having all of your guests stay in the same few floors at the resort.
Guests will totally appreciate you planning some portions of their trip. Excursions, private events or little gestures like welcome baskets or customized gifts will go a long way in making them feel like you really considered them. Guests spent a lot of money to come to your wedding and regardless of your budget, they should be treated to a special meal and event.
Have a way to communicate with all of your guests during the wedding weekend. Including an itinerary on your wedding website would be good head start to this, that way you can not only describe events but you can include details such as attire, transportation options and local places of interest. You’ve probably got a subset of attendees who are “off the grid”, in which case, start by providing a schedule in their welcome packet, and don’t expect everyone to have phone and data service in another country, especially older guests who are not likely to check their social media for event information or itinerary updates.
Emphasize to your photographer that you’d like some candid and group shots of all attendees so your memories extend beyond how great you and your wedding party looked, and everyone feels included.
As hosts, it’s your responsibility to think ahead about ways to make all your guests feel included, those in attendance will invariably be glad you gave them an excuse to take a fun filled vacation.
Destination weddings can afford you the luxury of spending an entire weekend with friends and family, but their success depends on being highly organized—from foreign vendors, to travel logistics, to execution. Enlisting the help of an expert wedding planner is crucial if you want to enjoy the weekend stress-free.