Summertime is not only high season for weddings, it's a popular time for destination weddings.
And while weddings are notoriously expensive for guests, destination weddings can be even pricier for them.
However, there are ways to ensure that your summer wedding doubles as a vacation for your guests. We spoke to two wedding planners, Angie Nevarez, owner of Baton NYC, and Sarah Glick-Romashko, co-owner of Brilliant
Event Planning, for their advice on how to create a beautiful destination wedding that will double as a relaxing vacation for attendees.
Here are their top tips:
Plan ahead so your guests can, too
One of the biggest mistakes a couple can make when planning a destination wedding is following the same schedule they would use if they were planning a local wedding, according to Nevarez.
Booking travel is often the most complicated — and costly — part for wedding guests, so Nevarez suggests sending out save-the-dates at least one year in advance for destination weddings, and invitations as early as possible so that guests can plan their travels and request their vacation days from work.
Communicate as much as possible
Communication is key when it comes to wedding planning, especially for weddings that involve travel. Nevarez stressed the importance of communicating clearly regarding travel, meaning to make sure guests know of all the necessary travel documents, and have proper transportation plans to and from airports and lodging.
Make a wedding website
Most couples make a wedding website regardless of the location of their big day, but Nevarez pointed out that a catchall for information and questions can be especially helpful for destination weddings.
Using a website will help streamline communication between you and your guests, which is important when there is vital travel information to be shared.
Share a list of your favorite restaurants, bars, sites and shops
Do some research about the destination, or list your own favorites and put together a suggested itinerary, or at least a few things for guests to do, see, and eat when there aren't any wedding related activities to attend.
Incorporate local flair
"Destination weddings are most enjoyable when they are an experience for guests. Couples should try to incorporate local flair and local experiences into the wedding weekend when they can, so guests really get a feel for the destination," Glick-Romashko said.
Create a flexible schedule
A thorough yet flexible schedule will help make the weekend more enjoyable for your guests — this includes making it clear when they're invited to wedding-related festivities and when they'll have free time.
Definitely schedule enough events to make the trip feel worthwhile for guests (say, a welcome cocktail ahead of the actual wedding), and make them feel like they have a plan. There should be enough structure to keep guests comfortable, and able to meet other guests should they not know others at the wedding. Keep them busy, but don't overdo it.
Don't overschedule activities
"Be careful not to overschedule activities," said Glick-Romashko. "Guests will want plenty of time to relax and explore on their own."
Giving guests enough downtime to see the sights they want to see will make it feel more like a holiday to them. If the weekend is packed tight with wedding related activities they might leave more exhausted than when they arrived.
Print anything important
If your wedding is out of the country, it's important to remember that cellular service and WiFi might be spotty, so make sure guests have a schedule ahead of time.