If you're getting married on the beaches of Mexico or in the hills of Italy, turning your destination wedding weekend into a vacation is a no-brainer. You've already traveled that far, so make the most of it! Encourage your guests to do the same, turning their trip to your wedding into a getaway, too. But does that mean you have to play travel agent and plan activities for everyone's trip? Here's what our experts have to say.
Having a destination wedding can become quite an undertaking if you decide to plan additional events for your guests. On the other hand, turning what is usually a five or six hour event into a multi-day affair is a great way to keep the party going!
Most couples decide to plan a few surrounding events (usually a welcome dinner and a morning-after brunch) as part of the wedding weekend. You're not required to plan anything beyond that (or foot the bill), but it can be nice to give your guests some options, even if it's not something you'll be paying for. You could schedule a sunset catamaran cruise or a tasting at a local vineyard, or let guests know you'll be tackling a local hike (or just vegging by the pool!) the day before your wedding. Even if you're offering suggestions instead of booking group tours and activities, you may want to plan a few additional group meals — choose local restaurants to give guests a taste of the destination and help keep your costs lower. This also gives everyone an opportunity to discuss what else they're hoping to do and make plans together.
Whether you're covering all of the activities as part of your wedding budget or asking guests to chip in for additional add-ons, use your wedding website to your advantage and include an insert or itinerary in your invitation. For activities you're covering, something like "Please join us for a tequila tasting!" will let guests know the bill is taken care of, while a note about additional costs or instructions to contact the hotel directly to reserve a spot on that snorkelling trip implies that guests will need to cover their own costs. Include a variety of options, from an afternoon of SCUBA diving to a morning spent wandering the local shops, to appeal to every budget and sense of adventure.