How to Make Your Destination Wedding More Thoughtful for Your Guests

A "welcome" sign at a tropical wedding on top of vintage suitcases.

Like any other wedding, when planning for your destination event, keep the guest list realistic. Think of the ones whom you really want to be with you on your wedding day, but remember that not everyone will be able to afford to travel or give up vacation days from work. Be gracious and don’t pressure your guests.

But for those who will travel, your destination wedding is a nice excuse to have a vacation. This means that they will either be arriving a day or two earlier, or will extend their stay for a couple of days to maximize their holiday. So, when you envision your big day with the love of your life, it would help to also have your guests in mind. Here are some thoughtful ways to show your attending guests how much you appreciate them traveling to celebrate with you.

Provide Useful Gifts (And Some Food!)

A tray of chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of champagne.

For destination weddings, guests pay for their own airfare or travel expenses and accommodations. Aside from the usual welcome bag that’s waiting for them at the hotel which contains some local treats, water, and a city/town guide so they can be familiar with the area, you can also throw in a couple of other nice surprises for them.

Set up some “grab and go” packs for lunch the day they arrive. If the weather is predicted to be cool on the night of your wedding, have some shawls or pashminas available for the ladies. Leave a box of flip flops on the dance floor for their tired, dancing feet. Offer up good night treats and hangover recovery kits at the end of your reception. Your guests will love all these thoughtful touches!

Set up an Event Code for Rideshare Services

Renting vans or buses to take all the guests around is expensive—but thankfully there’s Uber or Lyft everywhere! You can set up an event code exclusively for your event that your guests can use at, say, $5-$10 increments, so it works like a discount code. You are able to set the date, time, and even location parameters for the ride passes. The best thing about it is you only pay for what is actually used!

Reserve Activities or Classes for Guests to Enjoy

A group of people jumping off a boat into the ocean.

Is there a local attraction near the wedding venue? Does the hotel offer yoga or Zumba classes that you can reserve for your guests? Can you make accommodations for your guests to lounge by the pool or enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, or island hopping? Hosting group activities gives your guests a chance to get acquainted and mingle, as well as experience the destination.

Pre- or post-wedding gatherings are also a nice touch, such as a welcome dinner and a farewell brunch. While these events are usually for the wedding party, when you’re inviting people to travel, these events go a long way in making guests feel appreciated.

Book Babysitters for the Wedding Day

Some of your invitees will bring their kids so they can piggyback a family vacation during and/or after your event. It will be nice for parents to be able to kick back and relax during your wedding day, so coordinating for babysitting services, which your planner or hotel concierge can help you with, will be a big help and an added convenience.

But if kids are invited to your wedding reception, you can keep them busy by setting up a kids’ table with coloring pages, art materials, and a point person to oversee them while their parents enjoy the evening.

A destination wedding is a great way to bring together loved ones who haven’t seen each other in a long time. These small details can make a great impact on those who travel to celebrate your love.

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