A destination wedding can be an incredible amount of fun for all involved. At the same time though, it can be quite trying for guests. Depending on the size of the guest list and how far people have to travel, you may be asking quite a lot for people to make the trip. Now, the romantic way to look at it is that it’s a small price to pay among friends and family, and that the joy of the wedding conquers all. These sentiments do tend to prevail to some extent at exotic destination weddings. But at the same time, guests are conscious of their expenses, and want to feel that the trip was worth it. It’s just human nature - we all want our money’s worth!
Really, this means it’s a good idea when planning a destination wedding to take a little bit of extra time imagining the experience from a guest’s perspective, and perhaps designing ways to make sure that the trip is indeed worth what it will cost in time, money, and inconvenience. Specifically, some of these considerations may be in order.
Let’s face it: a wedding in Mykonos is an extraordinary thing, but it’s also hard to get to. As beautiful as this and other Greek islands are, they’re often a little bit difficult; it’s not as simple as flying into town. For this reason it can be a very nice touch to go above and beyond when it comes to getting your guests from the airport to the destination. Don’t just recommend a means of getting around - provide one, if at all possible. It can make things a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable for people who may be flying around the world to witness the wedding.
MULTIPLE ACCOMODATION OPTIONS
Reserving a wedding block in a hotel is no picnic, but you can learn the basics through The Knot or some other established bridal and wedding planning sites online. Unfortunately, doing it right for a destination wedding tends to be even more complicated. In part this is because hotel space can be somewhat more competitive. However, it’s also because the classiest move is to provide multiple accommodation options, rather than just one block. Think of it this way: if you were traveling around the world to visit a cool destination, would you want to be told where to stay, or have some say in the matter? Providing a choice can be a very nice touch.
The last thing you typically think about when planning a wedding is what your guests are going to do the day before or the day after. However, this too is different for a destination wedding. There’s a reason that some couples provide lengthy lists of bars and restaurants and things to do in the area, or that articles have discussed using casino resorts as destination wedding spots. That reason is that people need to have something to do if they’re going out of their way, because presumably they’ll be there longer than the day and night of the wedding. Take some time, in this light, to make sure your guests are aware of some activities in the area.
A SECOND, CASUAL EVENT
Last but not least, you may want to consider having a second, casual event, somewhat like the semi-traditional post-wedding brunch. It’s a common yet true cliché that the actual couple getting married hardly gets to talk to anybody during a wedding, because at the end of the day a wedding is almost a performance of sorts. Yet, while the event is all about the happy couple, it’s a bit of a shame for guests to travel a long way only to get a warm handshake or hug and a quick hello. A second event can really give you a chance to mingle with more guests and make sure there’s more than a brief moment for everybody.