Top 20 Ways to Get Your Guests to Attend Your Destination Wedding
1. As soon as you have decided on the date of the wedding, please send out a ‘SAVE THE DATE’ notice.
2. Once the location is settled upon, again notify everyone.
3. If possible, create a wedding online site where you will post all information.
4. Even though you have created a website, please do send out frequent updates as not everyone will check this site with any regularity.
5. You are asking friends and family to use their vacation time to attend your wedding so be mindful of this and create events that they can also enjoy.
6. Make your updates fun, and work with the hotel or bridal consultant to design events that covers all age group.
7. You will want to work with a Travel Agent.
8. A good Travel Agent is worth his or her weight in gold. They can check with the airlines for special group rates for your party, and the same for the hotel.
9. The Travel Agent will also serve as the central voice for all bookings and keep you fully updated as to the number of bookings.
10. Regarding hotel, make sure you get special package rates from nearby hotels so that your guests have options as it relates to pricing.
11. You and a select number of your guests may want to stay at a five star hotel but not everyone attending the wedding may have the resources to stay there. Negotiate with diverse hotels in the vicinity so that you offer pricing options to your guest.
12. Be gracious, be a darling and 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.
13. Make sure you have a printed itinerary of events and deliver to each room, or they can be handed out from the front desk of the hotel at check in time.
14. Keep extras that your Maid of Honor or bridal consultant can give out, as you know one of your favorite Aunts will undoubtedly lose theirs.
15. Have a welcome basket delivered to each room with perhaps sandals/flipflops,
t- shirt with your new name printed (or something whimsical) suntan lotion, bottle of water, 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.
16. 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.
17. Please do not start events early in the mornings. It maybe your wedding but be mindful also that it maybe 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.
18. Arrange with the hotel to have select local 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.
19. Please give everyone some time off that they can do something on their own.
20. Do not forget to thank everyone personally for attending 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.