Destination Weddings: Making Guests Feel at Home. Written by Christina D’Asaro Design, LLC
One of the most important elements of a destination wedding is making your guests feel at home, even though they may be in unfamiliar territory when travelling to your wedding.
BEFORE GUESTS ARRIVE
It’s important to include pertinent information about your wedding details and travel considerations when sending the save the date and/or invitation for your destination wedding. If you plan to host activities or events before or after the wedding ceremony (i.e. welcome cocktails, rehearsal dinner or morning-after brunch), it is essential to include those details (at a minimum, dates and times) with the save the date so that your guests can plan their travel accordingly. Transportation details should also be included with the invitation so that guests don’t have to spend an excessive amount of time researching.
The easier it is for guests to navigate your wedding weekend, the happier they will be, arriving relaxed and ready to celebrate.
UPON THEIR ARRIVAL
Coordinate with your planner and/or hotel or resort staff to have welcome bags ready for your guests when they arrive. A nice alternative is to arrange to have welcome baskets placed in guests’ rooms. This eliminates the need for guests to carry an additional item along with their luggage, and adds a special touch that immediately makes guests feel welcome when they enter their room.
Below are a few ideas for items to include in welcome bags/baskets. The most important thing is to make your guests feel comfortable and welcome. Depending on the number of guests you plan on having and budget considerations, it may not be feasible to include all of these, but here are some contents to consider:
To feel welcome/at home:
- Thank you/welcome note
- Scented sprays/lotions
- Food (nuts, popcorn, crackers, coffees/teas)
- – include some local treats if possible
- Bottled water
- Postcards from region to be sent to loved ones at home
To feel “in the know”:
- Pertinent wedding information/details
- Suggested activities
To feel acclimated/prepared:
- Local newspapers and/or maps
- Brief history/information about location
- Transportation or meal vouchers
- Bug spray
SIMPLE TOUCHES THAT MAKE A LASTING IMPRESSION
Some simple touches that go a long way are monogrammed tags with your wedding date, to attach to welcome bags or include in guests’ rooms with a hand-written note on the back.
Many of your guests will have travelled a long way to attend your wedding weekend, and will appreciate knowing how grateful and happy you are to have them there.
Another detail guests will appreciate is a list of suggested activities. Most likely some or all of your guests will plan to stay a few days before or after your wedding day, so including information about popular attractions/activities in the area will be much appreciated. If possible, work with hotel or resort staff to organize day-trips and transportation to make sightseeing a breeze.
ONCE GUESTS HAVE SETTLED IN
Remind guests that the hotel/resort staff is available to answer any questions they may have about the local area, and accommodate their needs throughout their stay. By providing guests with the information they need and a few thoughtful items to make them feel at home, you and your guests can sit back, relax, and enjoy every moment of your wedding weekend.
To learn more about Christina D’Asaro Design, LLC, visit http://www.christinadasaro.com
Postcard photo credit: The Hawaii Visitor Bureau. To learn more about the experience on the road to Hana, check out this amazing video: http://youtu.be/5mg-SAzovSk
Visit Traveltomaui.net to plan your destination wedding in Hawaii.