Top 19 Ways to get your Guests to Come to your Destination Wedding
You’ve done everything. You found the perfect dress, the location, and got all your paperwork.
Now, how do you get your loved ones to actually take the time to fly out to your Caribbean wedding ceremony?
You’ll have to live with the fact that some people won’t be able to make it to your event because of financial costs and the strain of taking time off of work. However, with careful planning you can make it much easier for your friends and family to say, “Yes, I’ll make it!”
1. Save the date. As soon as you have decided on the date of the wedding, please send out a notice.
2. Name the place. Once the Caribbean wedding location is settled upon, again notify everyone.
3. Online keeps everyone in-line. Create a wedding website where you will post all information.
4. Send out frequent updates. If anything changes or evolves, keep everyone up to date on the current status of the wedding.
5. Create events that your guests can also enjoy. You are asking friends and family to use their vacation time to attend your wedding so be mindful of this.
6. Make your updates fun. Always work with the hotel or bridal consultant to design events that cover all age groups.
7. Work with a Travel Agent. A good Travel Agent is worth his or her weight in gold. They can check with for special group rates for your party, with the airline and hotel. The Travel Agent will also serve as the central voice for all bookings and keep you fully updated as to the number of bookings.
8. Locate nearby hotels. Make sure you get special package rates from nearby hotels so that your guests have options as it relates to pricing.
9. Be gracious and offer transportation. Pay for the local transportation from the outlining hotels to the ‘headquarters’ hotel. Your guests will thank you and you will come off as a class act.
10. Make sure you have a printed itinerary of events. Deliver them to each room, or they can be handed out from the front desk of the hotel at check in time.
11. Keep a few extra copies of your itinerary. This way your Maid of Honor or bridal consultant can give out, as you know one of your favorite Aunts will undoubtedly lose theirs.
12. Have a welcome basket delivered to each room. Some suggested items include: sandals/flipflops, t-shirts with your new name printed, suntan lotion, candy, etc. Or you may just want to work with the hotel and have local crafts and offerings in the basket. Always include a bottle of water.
13. Create evening events that your guests can participate in. An Island welcome party with local food and music is a great way to ‘kick start’ this fun filled and life-stage event.
14. Please do not start events early in the mornings. It maybe your wedding but be mindful as it is also their vacation. A brunch after the wedding is a great way to wrap things up and leave everyone happy. All hotels will be able to create a beachside brunch with music and options to swim, or whatever you desire.
15. Caribbean service providers. Arrange with the hotel to have select local Caribbean wedding vendors come in and sell their offerings to your group at ‘special pricing’ of course. This could be arts and crafts or jewelry stores depending on the financial wherewithal of your group.
16. Free time. Make sure to give everyone some free time so that they can do something on their own.
17. Be thankful. Thank everyone personally for attending your Caribbean wedding and provide a keepsake of the trip. Example: a canvass bag with your new names and date of wedding discreetly written inside or a photo frame made of local wood, again with your new name and wedding date engraved discreetly.
18. Plan your wedding as far enough in advance as possible. 6 months is a good benchmark.
19. Valid passports. Make sure everyone that will travel to the destination has a valid passport.