There’s nothing better than celebrating a union and enjoying a vacation with loved ones at the same time. If you’re thinking of having a destination wedding, this list is for you. Read on to discover the best ideas for how to make it an incredible experience for everyone.
When it comes to location, the world is your oyster. You could walk down the aisle on a beach or say “I do” under the stars in the desert. Requesting the presence of family and friends halfway across the globe is a big ask. If you’re inviting them to join in on an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience, though, it’ll be hard to say no. Visit your desired location before you book a venue. That way, you can ensure it’s practical and accessible and not just aesthetically pleasing. It’s also important to meet the venue staff to be sure they’ll be a good fit for your wedding needs. The better the location and atmosphere, the happier your guests will be.
The location of your destination wedding will set the mood and tone for the whole event. Have fun with this by letting it inspire unique, memorable wedding invitations. If you’re set to tie the knot on an exotic island, for example, you can send your invites message-in-a-bottle style. Getting hitched in the English countryside? Send guests the details embroidered on cloth in a hoop. Passport and boarding pass invites are also fun ideas. Get as creative as you want!
Destination weddings can be stressful for guests because they have to step outside their comfort zone. They’ll have to do a fair bit of planning, especially if the location is far from home. Setting up a wedding website is a great way to help them out. Websites are accessible, affordable, and can be easily updated with any info guests may need. Launch yours as soon as you book your venue. That way, you can add the URL to your invitations. The website should include the event schedule, dress code, and accommodation details. You may also want to include info about the local language and culture, what kind of vacation clothing to pack, and interesting things to see and do in the area.
Travelling for a destination wedding is both fun and daunting. Get guests excited for the upcoming trip by sending them a small teaser gift a few weeks before the wedding. It can be travel-related, like small toiletries or luggage tags. For a special touch, go for something location-specific. If the wedding is in Hawaii, for example, you could gift a fresh lei. Heading to the Galapagos? A bar of Ecuadorian chocolate makes a great teaser gift. It’s a simple way to show your loved ones how excited you are to celebrate with them.
It’s important to ensure your guests get to and from the wedding location safely and comfortably. The last thing weary travelers want to worry about is finding a taxi. Arrange for a shuttle to transport them from the airport to their accommodations. If available, book one with a tour guide who can introduce them to the area. This is a great way to help guests feel more at ease in their new surroundings. It also gives them a chance to relax and freshen up before arriving at the resort or hotel.
After the long journey, your guests are sure to be tired and thirsty. Have the accommodation staff greet them with a refreshing drink upon arrival. You can also set up a tray of fresh snacks and steamed towels. Putting welcome gift bags in each guests’ room is another thoughtful touch. Fill them with locally-sourced gifts or useful items they’ll need for the trip.
Beach wedding guests will love a goodie bag with a personalized beach towel, sunscreen, and a local map, for example. Heading to a super remote location? Offer guests useful items that’ll be hard to find, like big spray, aspirin, and first-aid supplies.
Whether your destination is three days or an entire week, your guests will have some downtime. Help them make the best of their vacation by organizing entertaining group activities. Whether it’s hiking, surfing, horseback riding, or wine tasting, it’s a great chance for them to relax and get to know each other. If you’re staying at a hotel or resort, many of them have their own packages with different excursions that you can book. For a DIY version, prepare packed lunches and blankets for guests to enjoy on a picnic together.
Make your big day more memorable with unexpected surprises for family and friends at the reception. This could be anything from a photo booth, to a flash dance, to a fireworks display. Have table games for guests to play or set up an ice cream bar to make their own dessert. Hire performers like magicians, wedding singers, and drag queens. At the end of the night, send guests to bed with a hangover kit. You can also set up a coloring station, face painting, or bouncy castle for the kids. These small touches will go a long way in helping guests have fun and enjoy the festivities.
Your friends and family came a long way to celebrate with you, so it’s only right to thank them with a lovely gift. In addition to groomsmen gifts and bridesmaid gifts, plan something special for guests to take home at the end of the trip. Like your teaser gift, this can be travel related or location-specific.
Your destination wedding can be casual or fancy. You can invite a lot of people or keep it intimate with your closest loved ones. Either way, it’s a chance to share your celebration and enjoy a vacation with friends and family. Use these ideas to ensure they have an incredible experience.