The seating arrangements are complete, your bags almost packed... it's time to jet off to your fabulous destination wedding! You've been carefully stitching the details of your wedding together over the last year and read every blog on how to masterfully organize this special occasion, but there may be some items left off of those check lists you've downloaded.
Here are a few last-minute tricks and tips that will earn you that "best bride" badge and ensure your wedding will be smooth sailing and a rocking good time.
1. Send a token of appreciation (a simple thank you note does the trick!) to your wedding planner and photographer BEFORE you arrive for your wedding — they are the two who will be on their feet working all weekend. A sweet note will set a positive tone and let them know you acknowledge their hard work and dedication, and get them excited to go above and beyond for you on your wedding.
2. Sometimes luggage gets lost. It's an extremely unfortunate situation. To avoid a full blown panic in the event yours does get lost, pack your wedding shoes and rehearsal dinner dress in your carry-on as a safety measure. This goes for your fiancé and bridal party, too! Ask them to pack their custom wedding threads in their carry-on so there's no chance of a last minute fashion emergency.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Air travel is extremely dehydrating — not only for your insides, but your outside too. Add moisturizing facial masks to your purse for use in-flight, lather your arms and legs in lotion once you reach altitude, and swap the complimentary champagne for good old H2O. Your bridal portraits will thank you.
4. Keeping your vendors hydrated is important as well! Your valued wedding team will be working in the hot sun all weekend, make sure they have plenty of refreshments throughout the set up days.
5. Make sure your guests are aware of any travel restrictions prior to departure, and that they're greeted with a guide of local things to do, the wedding activities schedule, and transportation details, etc. The more they're informed, the less they will look to you for help throughout the weekend. Don't fret if you haven't arranged for this, a modern day email to your guests before they hit the airport will be greatly appreciated.
6. Ignoring a rain plan in hopes the weather won't act up is not recommended. Outline a backup rain plan BEFORE you take off for your wedding — if you leave it to the day before or even the morning of, you risk unavailability of rental tents as well as increased pre-marital stress levels. When you are certain of your plan B, you'll be able to concentrate on other important wedding activities, like spending quality time with your guests.
7. Tropical and lake locales mean... mosquitos. Have your venue fog the property the day before and the morning of your wedding to keep those pesky insects at bay. For an added layer of protection, ask the catering staff to spray the bottom of your dining table linens with a Deet insect repellent so guests' feet can remain bite-free and on the dance floor where they belong!
8. Provide a basket of amenities at each of your wedding events. Include items your guests may have forgotten at home or can't easily buy locally, such as: sunscreen, Advil, Tums, allergy medication, bug spray, hand fans, feminine products, mints, kids coloring books and crayons, etc. It's a nice gesture that goes a long way in making your guests feel comfortable.
9. Hire a golf cart for the weekend to escort your elderly guests to and from each wedding activity on the grounds. They are your most precious guests, and giving them a little hand during the weekend after traveling great distances will let them enjoy your wedding events for a longer timeframe.
*Alexis Eskenazi is the founder of AE&Co., a full-service event design & production company based in Los Angeles, California. She has over 10 years of experience producing elite weddings and celebrations around the globe under notable celebrity wedding planners, and now brings her own unique and fresh perspective to the wedding scene. *