There is a certain romance about destination weddings – all of your nearest and dearest gathered together in a faraway location to celebrate your love. However, to those attending, destination weddings can often be seen as a hardship. In addition to the increased financial burden, guests are often using a decent portion of their vacation time in order to be a part of your special day. Now, those who are close to you are going to be perfectly willing to do this, but it’s important to make sure you don’t take their participation for granted. Many of your loved ones may extend the trip beyond a standard wedding weekend, and while you certainly do not have to plan a vacation for anyone, it is still considerate to have options available for everyone.
The easiest thing to do to help is make sure your location is near a major airport hub. That not only lessens travel time due to fewer connections, but it also tends to be less expensive. Of course, that's not the only way location is a factor. “When choosing your venue, keep in mind the location of your guest accommodations. The last thing you want to happen is to have your attendees driving over an hour to get to your venue in an unfamiliar place, or heaven forbid if there is a road closure of sorts, you want everyone close to your venue space,” advises Lorrie Betsill Nielson, the founder and lead planner of Unveiled Hawaii. Though a remote spot may seem dreamy for an intimate celebration or honeymoon, it can be unappealing for your cousin and her three kids. It may be your day, but it’s also about your family and friends. “Keep in mind who your guests are and what areas would accommodate their needs better,” Lorrie adds. That can mean family-friendly activities, fine dining, or bustling nightlife. It just depends on who you have traveling to enjoy the festivities!
In addition to choosing a convenient venue and lodging options, providing a welcome basket with tips on what to do in the area is a nice touch. Many couples – even for hometown weddings – will add a section of their wedding website with suggestions for popular local activities. Allow some free time for attendees to do their own thing, but you should also strongly consider hosting a welcome party and morning-after brunch. People will feel better about the travel expenses if it doesn’t feel like it was all for one day.