So, you’re taking your wedding abroad. Good choice! You get to fly off to a foreign place to celebrate your partnership and love with your closest family and friends. Sounds like a dream wedding. But, as unique and fun as destination weddings are, they also require a lot more wedding planning on your part and pre-planning from your wedding guests. And a great way to keep everything organized and everyone informed is by creating a destination wedding website.
While we’ve already let you know what you should include on a typical wedding website, there’s some additional logistical information you’ll need to outline when passports are involved.
For a regular wedding, there’s only one date to alert your guests about Your big day. For a destination wedding, though, your guests will likely be spending several days at your wedding location, so you’ll want to make clear what events are happening on which days. If you’re planning a welcome party or post-brunch of some kind, include those details on the wedding website (along with specific dates, time, and dress code expectations). This way your guests can book flights and accommodations that align with the plans.
Guests will be coming from all over the place and arriving via different modes of transportation. A good destination wedding website example should include the closest airports, train information, and/or driving directions. If most people will be flying in, consider arranging a shuttle of some kind or organizing car rentals. Just be sure to be clear about what costs guests will be responsible for.
If you’re going to a far off place that you frequent regularly, you can also recommend different airlines. You can even include when wedding guests should book their flights to avoid steep prices.
The most convenient option accommodation-wise is to pick a hotel or resort and set up a room block. Most places will grant a discounted rate—all you need to do is provide the information for guests to use when booking. If your guests want to venture out on their own, you should still suggest a few options at various price points (hotels, Airbnbs, etc.) that are close to where the majority of events will take place.
Chances are guests are visiting the far-flung destination you chose for the first time and are probably using your wedding as an excuse for a mini-vacation. As the hosts, you should share some of the local attractions on your website. Think favorite restaurants, exciting excursions, fun hikes, and more.
Additionally, if there are any traditions they should be wary of ahead of time (traditional garb, tipping etiquette, the local language, currency), your website is a good place to include this information. It’s also helpful to mention any typical weather conditions during that time of year to help inform packing lists.
It’s often assumed that, given the expense of a destination wedding, the guests’ presence is considered their gift to the couple. If you stand by that unsaid etiquette and want to make it clear to your guests, you should make a ‘no presents please’ note on your website. If loved ones still want to get you something, or if some people can’t make the trip, you can always include a link to your gift registry. Just make clear on the online wedding registry that you want the gift shipped to your home address and that you don’t expect them to send it internationally or lug it on a plane.
Since guests will want to start saving and making arrangements as soon as possible, it’s best to send out the link to your wedding website about six months before the wedding. And since you’ll need ample time to secure a discounted rate and finalize the headcount, make sure to set the RSVP deadline for at least two months before the big day. Having an online RSVP system is an easy way to stay up to date on how many people you can expect on the guest list.
You can also include a guest book in this section where friends and family can not only write a sweet note but also connect with other people in case they might be seeking a travel buddy for the trip.
This can include everything from passports to a bathing suit and flip flops, to an outlet converter. It’s nice to have a list for guests to consult before they fly out to the wedding location.
When people are flying to a far-flung destination for your special day, you’ll want to make sure they’re as prepared as possible. There isn’t room for error or time for unanswered questions. With that said, make sure to include contact information of some kind for your loved ones to reach out to with any potential concerns, The last thing you want is your Uncle Mark booking a flight to the wrong location.