More and more destination weddings have been popping up lately and something we specialize in here at Viva. A destination wedding is no longer seen as a wedding in the Caribbean, far ways from home, but is simply enough a wedding set away from your home town. Even if the bride and groom aren’t traveling far for their wedding, their guests could be from all parts of the country and are planning on making a weekend vacation out of attending your wedding. Let your guests know you appreciate them taking time off from work and making travel arrangements to share your big day with you by hosting a weekend beyond your wedding. After all, how often do we really have most of our friends and family in one place at the same time? We put together the ultimate wedding-weekend-welcome list to ensure a fun-packed and welcoming weekend for both the couple and their guests.
I come from a big, Italian family and I am definitely a huge company girl. Being surrounded by the people I care about most is my happy place. I love laughing to old stories and reminiscing of memories from years before. Your wedding day goes so fast, you don’t have as much time as you’d hope to catch up with all your family members and friends. Hosting a welcome party can be a great way to do so. We have had couples host welcome parties after their rehearsal dinner, welcoming all wedding guests to join them for a pre-celebration filled with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, while other couples host day parties with welcome bags filled with brochures for the area, water bottles, mini champagne bottles, Advil, a snack that represents the area, an itinerary for the weekend, the wedding planner’s contact information, and many more items. Not only is this a perfect way to welcome out-of-town guests, but also directs all questions away from the couple and to the wedding planner. This also prevents a build up of questions due to more organization for guests. If you want to cut costs or save the drinking for the wedding, consider having a coffee and dessert party before the big night!
Some great options and companies that put together beautifully created Welcome Bags/Boxes…A Signature Welcome and Momento and Muse. Of course the additional benefit of having a wedding planner is their assistance with helping you put together the very best ideas for your family and friends (even assembling them with you).
2. Room-block a hotel and notify guests
By blocking off rooms well in advance with the hotel, you can receive group discounts. Inform your guests of the room block and make note of how many guests would like to do so. Keeping many of your guests in one area can make for easier directing, travel arrangements, and a cheaper way to offer transportation for guests. If having a welcome party, you could host it at the hotel, or even make arrangements to have the hotel put welcome bags in each of the rooms blocked off. It will also allow your guests to mingle.
3. Provide guests with weekend activities around town
The city you are hosting your wedding in could have a lot of excursions to keep guests entertained while the couple prepares for their big day. If you are not hosting a welcome party, provide welcome bags at guests arrival to the hotel with information on different activities around the city including historical tours, surrey rides, trolley tours, food tastings, and more!
4. Offer them an online itinerary
Allow access to an online itinerary for the weekend with suggested hotels, transportation, airports, and activities to partake in as well as what is happening when. By providing guests with a schedule, the party won’t just be for one night.
5. Plan a Sunday brunch
Who doesn’t love brunch? It offers the opportunity for all your favorite foods and doesn’t start too early. The morning after celebrating all day is likely going to be a tough one, and nothing would fix it better than eggs benedict and and a Mimosa. It also provides the guests a chance to celebrate the happy couple in a quieter, more relaxed setting. The bride and groom will also feel a lot less stress after the big night was a success. We particularly love this shirt from Blonde Design!
Wedding weekends don’t just have to be for weddings with an abundance of out-of-town guests, but could even be for those with their friends and family in the area. I will take any excuse for a fun weekend!