Holiday season is upon us, and with this in mind, we thought we’d do a blog on destination weddings. Planning your nuptials abroad takes a little more time and consideration than usual. So we’ve pulled a few handy tips together for you… to help make sure it’s all plain sailing, and turbulence free!
There’s so much to think about when you’re planning a destination wedding, from the country you choose, to a city or a beach location, how will everyone get there, and where will they stay? Then there’s the entertainment and activities while you are there…. It’s a long list, and your guests will be giving up their valuable holiday days, along with perhaps spending a lot of money on flights to be a part of your big day, so it’s a huge commitment from them.
The Wedding Invitation…
With this in mind, you’ll need to be extra thoughtful of your wedding party, and communicate everything they will need to know; from the basics, to any costs involved and of course, the details of your big day.
We know better than anyone how important the wedding invitation is, but for a destination wedding it’s crucial to get it right. It isn’t only a what, where and when, it’s a much more in-depth piece of communication, covering off a lot more info. So we’ve pulled together a list of considerations for getting your invites and other wedding stationery just right, for a wedding overseas.
Get creative with theming
For all wedding invitations, the theme is really important, to not only set the tone of your wedding, but give your guests a flavour of what to expect. At this stage, you can get really creative with elements from your destination, which will give your guests a real feel for the place they’ll be jetting off to, before they even arrive.
So for example if you’ll be tying the knot on a beautiful beach in Mexico, then you can incorporate the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. If you’ll be staying in a luxe resort then you might go for foiling, or if it’s more boho chic, then some florals or even dream catchers could be used, which Mexico is also famous for.
Also, don’t be afraid to mix and match! You could go for a more bohemian feel for your main invites, and have a more luxurious foiling look for the stationery on the wedding day.
Give yourself plenty of TIME
For a destination wedding you’ll want to give your guests an extended period of time to prepare, especially if it’s a long haul destination. You should aim to send a save the date up to a year in advance, that way your guests have plenty of time to organise time away from work and look at flights.
Once you have decided upon your destination, you can send your formal invites around six months in advance, which gives guests plenty of time to get better deals on flights, and arrange any visas they might need. You can also communicate your final costs and itineraries to your guests… exciting!
It’s all in the detail
We would recommend sending an itinerary out along with your invites, which will cover the exact timings and location of each part of your destination wedding. For example, if you’re having a meal the night before, any day trips you have planned and any post wedding breakfasts or gatherings. Be sure to include every detail, so that guests know exactly when and where they need to be throughout the stay, not just on wedding day.
You’ll also want to include dress codes for each element, transfers, venue names and any associated costs.
A nice touch is to add any local services that are recommended like make up artists, hairdressers or nail salons and spas that your guests may want to check out before, or after the wedding.
You could also go as far as to include currency, local culture to be aware of, tourist attractions and likely weather conditions, so your guests can plan their wardrobes!
Be up front about costs
Whether you are footing the bill for flights and accommodation or not, it’s important to be really clear with your guests on costs and what they will need to be prepared to pay for, and what is covered by you.
Go into detail here on exactly what they will need to pay for and budgets. You can even recommend different booking sites, and if it’s a larger party, then you could offer different tiers of accommodation options, to cover different budgets.
The little touches
Once you have all your guests confirmed and you know which hotels each will be staying in, a nice idea is to leave a little something for your guests in the room. It could be as simple as welcome and thank you notes, or even a little food hamper or some wine.
You can also leave each guest a welcome card, which re-caps on all the events, times and activities planned throughout the wedding party.
A keepsake is also a really lovely way to say thank you, which could be as simple as a photo, or a CD with the wedding playlist on.
The little things really do go a long way!