Know Your Destination before Booking
When you visit Rome, do as the Romans do. But, do you want to be in Rome in the first place?
That is the premier question you and your fiancé should ask yourselves before deciding on a destination wedding location. The decision on whether a given location suits you and your fiancé best should be influenced by the kind of environment, reception, and amenities you expect in the area.
For instance, ask yourself, is the destination LGBTQ friendly? Are there any safety concerns, health risks, or any accessibility issues. Is the time chosen coinciding with a bad weather season e.g. a hurricanes season or a political season?
Performing this due diligence shows that you not only care about the guests but also you’re taking extreme caution to avoid a bad wedding weekend.
Be Early With Your Save-The-Dates and Invitations
Unlike local weddings, destination weddings need early preparations from not just you but the guests as well. So, to provide this ample time, you should send the invitations and save-the-dates early enough.
Most experts suggest sending your guests a save-the-date as early as 8-12 months before the D-day. The official invitations should be sent 3-4 months to the wedding, at the bare minimum.
You can use this opportunity to also plan on the groomsmen gifts you’ll get your groomsmen. So, while sending out the save-the-dates and invitations, start contacting vendors such as Groomsmen Gift Source and place early orders on the groomsmen gifts you’ll need for the wedding.
Hook Up Your Wedding Party to Travels and Accommodation Options
Now, sorting the wedding party’s travel and accommodation expenses is not your responsibility. If your finances allow you, you can extend a hand of generosity and foot part of, or their entire, bill. However, this is not necessary.
What is necessary is that you ensure your guests have a clue of where they can get great travel and accommodation deals. And this is something you can figure out if you handle the first step (knowing your destination), well.
What you can do is ask the locals and pay a visit to the best hotels around town, with the best offers. But, if you prefer your guests crashing together for a bit of socialization during their stay, you can rent a house or ask them if they’re comfortable getting Airbnbs.
Ensure Guests Can Mingle
This should be the primary motivator behind ditching hotel rooms and going for Airbnbs. But that’s just the beginning of socialization. If you want your destination wedding to be memorable, fun, and engaging to your guests, allow them to bring a plus one, if necessary.
And, to keep the socialization potent, create an itinerary of excursions your guests will have during their stay. These can be boat cruises, sightseeing, and sports, among other fun activities that can be done at the location.
However, make sure this program is organized, so that no one feels they missed out on the full experience or little was done to make the excursions fun.
Let Your Wedding Website Be a Mini Guidebook
Destination weddings can be overwhelming not just to you, but your guests as well. Thus, if you want them to get organized and have a sneak peek on what they’re to expect once they land, turn your wedding website into a mini guidebook.
Add details about the accommodation options, available rental car companies (if a car would be necessary), and the schedules on public transport within the area.
Use this platform to also communicate key information such as the wedding’s dress code and important things they should carry to the location. For instance, snow boots, a shawl, or sunscreen might be a few necessities your guests should not leave home without. Make sure you communicate that through the website.
Be Transparent and Clear About the Costs
You don’t want your guests angry about unexpected costs during their stay. Thus, make sure you clearly explain what they’ll be footing the bill for.
A clever way of doing this is by using the wedding invitation to tactfully pass the message. One subtle way would be by recommending hotels and car rental companies they can use in the invitation. That will pass the message that travel and accommodations are to be footed individually, by the wedding party.