How to Care for Your Traveling Guests on Your Destination Wedding
Organizing a destination wedding in Hawaii goes beyond polishing plans for the wedding ceremony and reception. Taking care of your guests who will be flying in, some of whom for the first time, is also a huge part of it.
Most of your guests may be taking time off from work, taking a plane, and spending four times more than usual to make it to your destination wedding. On average, guests spend $1,422 to attend a destination wedding within the US. This speaks a lot about how much you mean to the guests who do make it.
How do you plan to make their trip a pleasurable and worthwhile two or three days for them?
There are a few things you can do, like assigning a guest coordinator, being sensitive to their needs, helping defray travel costs, making them feel special, and giving them ample time to prepare. You may not be able to cover most of their costs, but they will at least know how much their efforts meant to you and they would have enjoyed their time.
Assign a guest coordinator to keep communication lines open
This is different from your wedding coordinator in Hawaii. The guest coordinator can be someone from your hometown or from where your wedding is being held. His or her role is to oversee your guests’ activities including airport transfers, hotels to wedding venue transports, and other needs they may have throughout the trip.
He or she will keep communication lines open with your wedding guests while you’re busy with wedding preparations. This will also help them feel more welcome and cared for.
The best and most basic help you can provide your guests is to not leave them in the dark when visiting an unfamiliar place. Although you’ve provided clear and complete information regarding your wedding venue, reception, the weather, the dress code, and other rules the venue may have, assume that things may still go wrong. The guest coordinator is someone whom your guests can reach out to when this happens.
Be sensitive to your guests’ needs
If your venue is in a remote area, transportation options may be limited and more expensive. You may need to arrange airport transfers and transportation to the wedding venue and reception if the two are not in one place. According to Bride.com, 32 percent of wedding couples provided their guests with these.
What other difficulties could your guests encounter during their stay?
Help defray travel costs
There are several ways to do this. One is by sponsoring some of their travel arrangements. If not, you may help them secure discounts through group bookings or simply provide them with a list of options to choose from.
Airline tickets and accommodations may be the biggest spends your guests would have to make. Your guest coordinator can work with a travel agent for airline and hotel booking discounts for big groups. Communicate this with your guests ahead of time to find out who may be interested in booking as a group.
You may also provide your guests with a list of hotel options. Make sure to include premium, mid-range, and budget-friendly suggestions.
Guests may also have their ideas on how to save on expenses. Create a Facebook group for all of your guests and allow them to discuss it on their own.
Welcome them and make them feel special
How can you make them feel special? Whether it’s by preparing a guest basket or a mini band and refreshments when they arrive, it’s up to you. A mini basket though is a good way to also provide for some basic things they’ll need for their stay in the resort, like snacks, bottled drinks, sunscreen, and slippers. Don’t forget to include here suggestions for recreational activities they can explore during their free time, e.g. the complimentary cabana or the discounted buffet breakfast.
The best activity though would be one that allows them to spend time with you and other guests. Thirty percent of couples hosting a destination wedding arrange a special meal or entertainment for their guests. If you’re in Hawaii, you can arrange a luau dinner celebration, which features Hawaiian food, lively music, and a cultural presentation.
Give them ample time to prepare for the wedding
Then give your guests ample time to prepare for the wedding. This is particularly helpful if you plan on getting group ticket fares or hotel bookings.
Send them save-the-date cards eight to 12 months in advance. Official invitations should be sent three to four months prior to your wedding date. Some may have to save up for it to be able to come. Some may need to request time off from work. If you have overseas guests, remember that they may need more lead time for visa application processing.
The beauty of destination weddings, apart from the beautiful destination, is that you don’t have to organize it on your own.
We Take Care of the Details
Arluis Destination Weddings provides comprehensive planning services for destination weddings throughout the Pacific Islands. Our wedding planners know how to make your destination wedding special and memorable. Our team will ensure that its details are orchestrated with precision so that can have an experience of a lifetime.
Contact us today for more details.