As an international wedding planner, Elisabetta White thrives on making wedding dreams a reality in any breathtaking location across the globe. She specialises in designing intimate and effortlessly cool weddings and elopements, with a penchant for modern aesthetics and bringing together personal details to create a truly unique celebration. In this post, Elisabetta shares her thoughts and expertise on how to best assist your guests.
Destination Wedding Planner
How to assist your guest?
Notify them well in advance so they can book and plan their holidays. Give them information packs with travel and accommodation advice to assist them. Consider doing a small party/ celebration at your home town so the guests who are unable to travel can still celebrate with you. Use technology, live streaming wedding for others.
One of the easiest ways to ensure your guests are as excited as you are about your destination wedding is to set expectations right from the start. I always tell couples who feel like spending money on paper goods is a waste that actually that wedding invitation is the one thing that will truly set the expectations and will convey what lovely experience you will be gifting them. You’re giving them something to truly look forward to, so if budget allows, a lovely invitation suite aligned to the look and feel of your wedding is the way to that.
Preparing a wedding is usually another favourite. Aside from streamlining the collection of RSVPs, it’s a great opportunity to share as much information about the destination as possible. Provide information on accommodation, local taxi companies, details about your events, dress code, transport arrangements for the days of your events, things to do for the guests staying before or after the wedding, closest airports, and much more. Think of it this way: if anyone loses your invitation, the website will give them everything they need to know to get themselves there and join you on your weekend of celebrations.
Obviously with a destination wedding the longer the notice you can give them, the better. There are guests who will need to notify their employer so they can secure annual leave. Others might want to book some more days so they can use the opportunity to have a holiday while they’re there. Those guests who come from much further might need the notice to try and secure the cheapest flights, otherwise, they might not be able to afford it.
I guess the Golden Rule (‘Treat others as you’d like to be treated’) truly applies: put yourself in your guests’ shoes and ask yourself: “What would make my life easier if I were invited to a wedding abroad?”
Think of the whole guests’ experience. One of the most awkward things when attending a wedding is mingling with people you don’t really know. Luckily destination weddings give you extra opportunities to allow your guests to mingle before the big day so that by the time the wedding day comes around, they feel like they’ve made new friends. I once had a perspective couple wanting to get married in Iceland who had envisaged helicopter rides over the glaciers, arctic trucks expeditions and a trip to the Blue Lagoon. Now, it doesn’t have to be that adventurous. Think of activities such a relaxed welcome dinner one or two days before, wine tasting, cocktails in town, country walks, beach days, pizza and beer by the pool, morning fitness activities, and so on.
For those guests who may not be able to attend, there are plenty of other things you can do. One of my American couples chose to get married in London last year but sadly many of their friends couldn’t make it. I set up for them one of my ancillary services, a live of the ceremony and first dance using a GoPro and professional mics, streamed directly on her Facebook profile (we set up a separate one specifically to stream the service to her closest friends and family). Many came on live and participated congratulating the bride and groom and commenting live, something. When we came back live later in the day, her friends jumped back on Facebook to follow the first dance. It was so emotional!
But that’s not it. A lot of our couples end up following up back home with a large party with all the other friends and family they couldn’t invite to the wedding abroad. This often happens with intimate weddings and elopements. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a replica of your big day – it would be pointless to have gone abroad to get married if you then have a major wedding party back home. Keep it simple if the budget doesn’t allow a grand party. And remember that your friends want to celebrate with you, not be impressed by you.
To find out more about Elisabetta’s destination wedding services please visit: elisabettawhite.com
You can read more about my destination wedding photography services here.
Image of Elisabetta is by The Brand Studio Co.