Exhilarated with the idea of having a destination wedding, but concerned how your guests will take it? Why, it sounds like you’ve got a case of “guest guilt!” But not to worry – these expert tips should help!
We hear it all too often: “I want to have a destination wedding, but I’m concerned what my guests will think of it.” Ladies, guest guilt is a very normal feeling! It just means that you care about your loved ones. Here’s what guest guilt usually looks like and how we can help you overcome it so all you’re guilty for is having the best wedding ever!
“I don’t want to ask guests to spend money on a trip.”
If you know your guests are on a tight budget, we’ll tailor our resort recommendations to fit! Remember, the great thing about working with a destination wedding expert is that we’ll work with you one-on-one to meet your (and your guests’!) specific needs. Together we’ll find the resort that meets all our expectations.
“I don’t want guests to use all their vacation days to attend my wedding.”
Not to worry! We can book guests for different lengths of stay, so those who are tight on vacation days don’t have to miss out. In fact, it’s quite common for guests to come for a long weekend to celebrate with the bride and groom – so don’t stress about it too much! We’ll help each guest create the trip that works for them.
“I don’t want to ask guests to leave their kids at home.”
No biggie! If a lot of your guests have young kids, we’ll narrow down your options to family-friendly resorts, so they don’t have to leave them at home. Trust us, your guests (and their kiddos!) will love these properties!
You see!? There’s no need to succumb to guest guilt. In fact, our destination wedding specialists will help you work through all of your concerns. We’re here for you, and we’re here for your guests. So go ahead, bring ALL your guest concerns to your call with your planning specialist – we’ll tackle them with you one-by-one.
You’re having a destination wedding, yay! Now it’s time to make that guest list. Keep reading to discover the five steps for creating the perfect guest list
Your guests made the trip out to celebrate your special day with you! Now... to thank them properly! Keep reading for some fun ways you can show your appreciation and love!
A really unique way we’ve seen couples thank their wedding guests is to set up a group excursion. Not only is this a great option to get everyone together, but it’s an experience your guests will remember forever! Popular excursions include snorkeling, archeological tours, rum or tequila tastings, sunset catamarans, and more.
Swag bags are another popular way for destination wedding couples to thank their guests because, well – it’s fun! Who doesn’t like opening up a little bag of goodies that was created just for them? We’ve seen swag bags filled with things like snacks, local wines or liquors, beach gear, hangover remedies and more.
Spend Time Together
If you prefer to thank you guests with a more intimate experience, then you can always find other ways to spend time together! For example, a day on the beach with your parents and siblings, a spa day with your aunts and cousins, a resort show or concert with your besties. The possibilities are truly endless!
Thank You Photos
Rather than a standard thank you card, consider personalizing it! Most photographers are excited to work with you on fun poses and scenery options, so be sure to ask them for some ideas. You may even want to purchase a cute “thank you” sign to pose with, if you’re really trying to get creative!
Hiring a live artist will not only entertain your guests, but thank them in the process! Consider bringing one on to impress your guests with their caricature skills – or even see if they’ll paint the beautiful landscapes that surround you. What better way to thank your guests than with a souvenir like that?!
Of course, this goes without saying, but a handwritten thank you note is always greatly appreciated in addition to the suggestions above. 😊 Have any questions for us? Then, be sure to contact a romance travel expert, today!
Not sure where to register for you upcoming bridal shower? Then, check out our top wedding registry sites below!
Zola is an online wedding registry, planner, and retailer-in-one. It’s an e-commerce company that allows couples to register for gifts, experiences, and cash funds, making it one of the top wedding registry sites around. It also works with over 800 brands and top retailers, which is easy for your guests to make selections from anywhere.
From kitchenware and bath towels, to outdoor games and champagne glass – Amazon really has it all. In fact, Amazon also has one of the world’s largest registry selections with perks like free two-day shipping, easy returns, and more. They even offer couples up to 20% off any items left on your registry – score!
Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond has been a favorite amongst couples for years – and we understand why! Not only do they carry everything you need for building your new home together, but they also offer free returns and exchanges, price match guarantee, and even an interactive checklist to ensure you get everything you need.
The great thing about registering with Williams Sonoma, is that you can also add gifts from Pottery Barn and West Elm. Another perk includes private in-person appointments if you need a little extra guidance. Couples can also enjoy free bonus gifts when you register for products from top brands and guests purchase them.
Who doesn’t love Target?! Not only do couples choose to register with them for their large selection of pretty much anything, but they also offer “honeyfunds” that they can use toward newlywed experiences. Target also provides gift ideas of their own exclusive brands, with pre-selected themes and more.
Crate & Barrel
Create & Barrel is another wonderful wedding registry option. Not only will you fall in love with their top brands, but they also offer group gifting where your friends and family can go in on a gift together. In addition, Crate & Barrel provides perks like 15% off any gifts that are left on your registry, as well as free shipping and help from real experts.
As always, we’re here to assist you with any of your destination wedding needs. Message us here to get in touch with any questions!
Creating the guest list for your beach wedding isn’t as stressful as you think! Here are some fool-proof ways to get it done with ease:
Step 1: Create a Chart
To get a better idea of how many people to expect at your destination wedding and how many rooms to reserve, it’s best to divide your guest list into 3 sections. We recommend creating a chart in Excel or something similar so you can visualize everything side-by-side. Each column should be labeled at the top as your “A List,” “B List,” and "C List."
Step 2: Create Your “A List”
Under the first column, note any guests you know will be at your wedding no matter what. These people include your bridal party, your parents and grandparents, and any close friends that wouldn’t miss it. The “A List” should represent anyone that is a definite yes.
Step 3: Create Your “B List”
Your “B List” (second column) should include guests you know would love to travel with you, but just may not be able to for some reason or another. Keep in mind, about 30-40% of your invited guests actually attend – but don’t let that worry you! This just means you could open your guest list up a little more than a traditional wedding guest list. So, don’t be shy about sending out those invites!
Step 4: Create Your “C List”
The last and final column you’ll create is your “C List,” which should list anyone you feel obligated to invite but know there’s a small chance they’d actually attend. That could include old friends you haven’t seen in a while, co-workers, extended family, etc.
Step 5: Total Them Up
Once you’ve created your A, B, and C Lists, go ahead and add your entire A List and half of your B List to get an idea of how many guests will attend your wedding. This will give you a good idea of how many rooms to hold for your guests. Since you know everyone on your A List is probably coming, those should definitely be counted. Since your B List is on the iffy side, count half of them. C-listers aren’t considered because they’re not likely to attend at all.
Well, there you have it! The easiest way to create your destination wedding guest list! For a better idea of what we mean, click here for an example. For more information on the destination wedding planning process, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now that you decided on a destination wedding, it’s important to give your guests the details as soon as possible! Here’s what you need to know about creating your save-the-dates
What are save the dates?
A save the date card serves as an announcement to inform your guests of well, your wedding date! It typically gives your guests the initial details of your wedding including, the date and location.
Why do you need them?
For a traditional and local wedding, you may not wish to send out a save the date, but for a destination wedding, it’s crucial. This’ll give your guests plenty of time to save money and to make travel arrangements.
1. Send Early
To ensure your guests have the proper notice to travel to your destination wedding, you’ll want to make sure you send the save the dates out 12-14 months in advance. The extra time will allow your guests to save up on vacation days and budget accordingly.
2. Get Creative
There are so many design options out there, so you can get as creative as you’d like! Save the dates aren’t meant to be super formal, so things like magnets, postcards, or passport-style booklets are perfectly fine. A lot of couples use their engagement photos as the backdrop for their save the dates, while others tie in their wedding theme or color palette. The sky’s the limit!
3. Details to Include
Of course, the purpose of your save the dates is to include any initial wedding details you may have. This includes your wedding date, your destination, and most importantly, your wedding website! Your website is the perfect place to elaborate on all the details of the trip.
4. Skip The RSVP
An RSVP is unnecessary to include on your destination wedding save the dates because we track them for you! We’ll keep track of everyone who books so you don’t have to be scrambling for final numbers. We’ve found that a traditional RSVP for destination weddings presents too many “false positives” or guests wanting to attend, but can’t.
Refer to An Example
We all need a little inspiration from time to time! That’s why we drew up a save the date example to get you going. You can also always check out Pinterest for endless ideas on design, color palettes, layout and more.
We hope these tips help when it’s time to start creating your save the dates! For more information on destination weddings, or to get a quote today, fill out our short registration form so we can get in touch with you.
In light of some recent media articles regarding destination weddings and guests, in particular, we’d like to set CBS News and the Washington Post straight on the what, why, who and how destination weddings are the perfect answer for thousands and thousands of couples each year.
Everyone will tell you they wouldn’t miss it for the world!
It is true. When you ask guests, they will all tell you “Yes! We’ll be there!” We know everyone wants to attend, but we also know that for one reason or another, not everyone will make it. But that’s ok! When you started thinking about a destination wedding, wasn’t one of the reasons so you could create a memorable and intimate experience for your closest loved ones? Exchanging vows in a destination is the best way to trim your 300-person guest list down to 80 pretty easily and effortlessly. This is the exact reason why we recommend not sending out RSVPs. Most couples who send an RSVP to destination wedding guests end up with a lot of “false positives.” Skip the RSVP, and just assume that 30-40% of the guests you invite will actually attend. Check out our Guest List worksheet for help.
Not everyone can afford it.
We know that attending a destination wedding creates expenses for guests… about $1000 per person to be exact. We also know that the most important line item on the couple’s budget is the guests’ cost. Our specialists are trained to plan the entire destination wedding experience around a very realistic guest budget. We help by offering super low deposits and payment plans, too. Most couples know ahead of time if key people in their wedding party can swing it or not, and they are very sensitive to this. Many couples compromise on their dream destination and choose wedding dates and locations specifically based on guest cost. Even with all the due diligence in the world, there will still be guests that just cannot afford to make the trip. It is reality. But it doesn’t mean the wedding couple needs to cancel their destination wedding dreams. Just be sensitive to costs and time, and enjoy the experience you create for everyone in attendance.
We push guests a little out of their comfort zone.
Most destination wedding guests have never had the opportunity to travel outside the country to an all-inclusive resort. Some have to get a passport just for the trip. Some have to arrange child care and PTO with their jobs. Some have to move mountains in order to make it happen. But you know what? IT IS WORTH IT! We have so many guests tell us things like…
“Thank you for making this happen!”
“We are so glad we went!”
“This was the best trip we’ve ever been on!”
“We want to go back next year!”
“Worth every penny!”
“We want to do a Vow Renewal in two years. Can you help?”
Without a little nudging, guests wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience life outside their everyday circle. And the best part is they did it with the people they care about and made lifelong memories together. After all, isn’t life about opportunities?
There will be nay-sayers.
While we don’t agree with CBS News article that said a destination wedding is “in poor taste” (come on, really? Is it in poor taste to get married in New York when you have family in California and Texas??) we DO know that some guests will be less than thrilled at the idea of spending money and being pulled from their daily routines. This goes back to “not everyone will be able to make it. And that’s ok!” The couple knows their family and friends best. They, and only they, are the ones able to make the decision about a destination wedding. Once the decision is made, there is no looking back and no regrets. The wedding experience had by all far exceeds any doubt or hesitation.
It will be perfect!
After all the drama of who can make it and who can’t, one thing is for sure… when you’re at the resort, sitting on the edge of the pool with a cold, fruity cocktail, looking out at all the guests who traveled to be with you as you exchange vows, you will feel the love and support of ALL your family and friends, both near and far, who are there for you always. Your wedding day will forever be Your Wedding Day. It is just the beginning of your forever, and it will be perfect.
The experts are Romance Travel Group are here to be your advocate and cheerleader. We will support your decisions and do everything we can to make your destination wedding easy and memorable. Check our our other tips regarding destination wedding guests! Like what you see? Give us a call today to see how we can help, 507-237-6133.
You asked, we answered. Here are 9 common questions wedding guests ask when they get the invite to your destination wedding:
1. “When should I book by?”
The couple’s wedding website should indicate your booking deadline, but if you want the most options with the best rates, it’s best to book early. Since the bride and groom need to know who is attending in order to plan seating and meals, we recommend you make your room deposit as soon as you get the invitation, but at the minimum, book at least 6 months ahead so they can plan their wedding accordingly.
2. “What’s the best way to book my trip?”
Most couples will provide you with specific booking details via their wedding website. This should include the room information and either prices or a quote form to fill out and submit to us. Amenities are based on how many rooms are booked, so making your reservations on time through the couple’s travel agent is important. It’s also important to book your rooms as soon as you know you can attend, so the couple isn’t scrambling to get things together at the last minute. Be kind, book early!
3. “How much will this cost?”
Room rates are usually posted onto the couple’s wedding website. Occasionally, instead of rates, you’ll find a quote request form. To get an accurate quote from us, you’ll need to fill out and submit the form and we’ll reply with a custom quote. The more details you can provide, like how many nights you plan on staying, or where you’re flying from, will help us give you a more accurate cost. Typically for guests, a destination wedding can cost from $1,000-$1,500 per person depending on some of the details noted above. This covers your flights, accommodations, and food/drink for 3 or 4 nights.
4. “What if I can’t afford it?”
The bride and groom understand not everyone will be able to make the trip. Just be sure to let them know as soon as you can.
5. “Is there anything that’s not included”?
Although tips are technically included in your resort package, you’ll want to bring some 1’s and 5’s for the bartenders and servers taking care of you throughout your stay. Keep in mind, your shuttle driver isn’t a part of the resort staff, so bring some cash for your transfer driver. Additional excursions or spa treatments are also not included and can be paid with a credit card at the hotel.
6. “What if I find a cheaper price online?”
We work hard to ensure you receive the best rates possible. If you do happen to find a more affordable option online, just let us know and we’ll see if we can get the same price. This allows us to include you with the rest of the wedding party, so you all get the same group benefits.
7. “What should I wear to the wedding?”
Be sure to dress light and breezy, since the air will be warm and humid. For the ladies, nice sundress or capris with sandals is ideal. For the men, khaki slacks, linen shirts, and nice sandals as well. You won’t see many suits or ties, so unless otherwise noted by the bride and groom, keep it simple. If you’re still unsure what to wear, be sure to ask the couple for suggestions.
8. “Should I bring a gift?”
Gifts are not necessary for a destination wedding. Some couples tell their guests making the trip out is a gift in itself, but a card is still a nice touch. We can always add a tour or spa treatment to the couple’s itinerary, if you want to give them something to enjoy at the resort. Otherwise, boxed gifts or cards with money should be given to them once you return home.
9. “What if I run into problems?”
The best thing to do if you run into room or flight issues is to come to us! We are available by phone or email and our travel partners have 24/7 help desks you have access to. Please avoid getting the couple involved, as they will already have enough on their plate. Just be polite and patient, and things will get worked out as soon as possible.
We hope these destination wedding FAQs helped clarify any questions you may have had. For further questions, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com, and we’d be happy to assist!