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There are a lot of things to think about when planning a wedding. There’s an aesthetic to choose, a venue to book, and a guest list to narrow down. When it comes to a destination wedding, there are even more details to consider. In particular, you’ll want to make your guests feel extra special. After all, they’re investing their time and money to celebrate your big day abroad with you and your soon-to-be spouse. Putting in the effort to carefully plan, add personalized touches, and curate itineraries is sure to impress the whole group and make your wedding an unforgettable event.

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How Do Destination Weddings Work?

Recent surveys have shown that 18% of couples opt for a destination wedding. Couples typically choose a tropical, scenic, or noteworthy destination to travel to with their guests for the reception, wedding, and other ceremonies. Destination weddings require a lot of planning well in advance of the date to ensure that guests can secure time off, save for the trip, obtain necessary travel documents, and book arrangements and accommodations.

Besides joining in on wedding celebrations, guests typically treat destination weddings like vacations, so it’s important to make the trip well worth their while.

Get Creative With Save-the-Dates

To start your destination wedding announcement with a buzz, add a tiny personalized trinket to your invitations. Having a little gift in with save-the-dates is a simple but effective way to show how much you appreciate your guests. It also gets them in the mood to start planning for the event. Custom luggage tags, destination-themed keychains, pocket-sized travel guides, and other small gifts related to the destination are charming ways to set the wedding’s tone.

Coordinate Travel Logistics

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is organizing flights, post-flight transportation, and hotel accommodations for guests. Ideally, it’s better to have the group stay together if you can. Working with a travel advisor is a great way to ensure your guests have a smooth trip. Travel advisors secure group flights, transportation to and from the airport, and specialty group accommodation needs like hotel blocks or short-term rentals.

Create a Destination Wedding Itinerary

While you don’t need a schedule that plans each and every minute of the trip, it’s a good idea to give your guests some guidance. Detail the important dates and times for wedding festivities, including any pre- or post-ceremony events, as well as curated ideas for downtime. Having a section for preferred wardrobe is also helpful for guests so they know exactly what to pack.

Have a Meet-Up Spot

Upon arrival, it’s a nice touch to have a venue where guests can meet, mingle, and get their bearings. During this gathering, consider serving food and beverages with a cultural nod to your destination plus welcome gifts for each guest. Personalized tote bags, destination-inspired apparel, or activity tickets with hand-written notes start your destination wedding off with guest-focused appreciation.

Leave Time for Outings

Chances are you’ve picked your destination wedding location because of gorgeous views, historic sights, beautiful settings, or once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Be sure to leave time for your guests to take advantage of the location by getting to explore on their own. You can suggest local sights and nearby attractions in your itinerary, giving them some freedom to make the most of their trip.

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