Thursday, April 2, 2009

Extra Events for Your Destination Wedding

Last week we hit on Destination Wedding Dos and Don’ts and I promised to give you the scoop on all the fun, extra wedding events you could host.

And trust me … there are a lot.

From bachelor parties to vineyard tours and everything in between, your destination wedding can easily turn into a destination weekend - and why shouldn’t it? You deserve it.

Not sure if you should include extra events, or even which events to choose? Don’t worry. I’ll help.

The number and types of events you host depend on several factors. Ask yourself the following questions to help you get started.

- How many days do you expect your guests to be at your wedding destination?

- How many guests are you expecting to attend?

- How big is your budget?

Now, here is a rundown on the most traditional destination wedding events.

Welcome Party
A welcome party is held on the evening that the majority of your guests arrive at the wedding destination. This can be something simple, like cocktails and appetizers or elaborate like a Polynesian Luau. If you want this type of event, talk to your wedding planner and ask about venues other than your wedding reception location. If you are getting married in Italy, ask if there is a vineyard or villa nearby that hosts events and have your welcome party there. You don’t want your guests to be tired of your wedding before the Big Day arrives.

Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
If time permits, couples can choose to have their bachelor and bachelorette parties at their wedding destination. Just be sure you don’t host this event the night before the wedding and ensure there is responsible transportation for everyone.

Spa Day
Many brides like to host a bridal luncheon or spa day before their wedding-and destination weddings are no exception! Ask your hotel for spa specials and ask them to deliver lunch to the spa for you and your girls.

Area Tours
If you are getting married in a destination that is known for a particular attraction, then consider hosting a group tour of that location. For example, if you are getting married in San Francisco, consider hosting a tour of Alcatraz, if you are getting married in Guatemala, consider hosting a tour to the ruins at Tikal ... you get the idea.

Rehearsal Dinner
In my opinion, this is the only pre-wedding event you should invite your guests to attend. If you can’t afford a big dinner for everyone, then go a less-expensive route or talk to your wedding planner for other options. If you absolutely can’t afford dinner for all of your guests, then host your rehearsal dinner for your wedding party and family members and invite everyone else to join you at a pre-set time for drinks or dessert.

Morning-After Brunch
Since you will likely stay in or near your wedding destination for your honeymoon, consider hosting a morning-after brunch for your guests. Everyone will enjoy discussing your fabulous wedding, talking about your new “Mrs.” status and sharing pictures from their digital cameras.

It is important to note that no destination wedding should include all of these events … that is wedding-overkill for you and your guests. Choose the events that best fit with your idea of a perfect destination wedding-and budget-and your guests will be grateful.

Also keep in mind that you should foot the bill for any event you invite your guests to attend. You can (and should) create a special package of information on restaurants, bars and attractions in the area you guests can visit on their own. You aren’t responsible for paying for this.

Are you having a destination wedding? Which events are you going to include?

Photos courtesy of voxphoto, thomaswanhoff and terralynne

No comments: