Are You Fully Responsible for Your Guests During Your Destination Wedding?

Maui Four Seasons wedding venue outdoors

Maui Four Seasons wedding venue outdoors

Stella Yang Photography

If you’re thinking about hosting a destination wedding, you might be wondering just how much you should be doing for your guests. Should you help cover travel costs? Troubleshoot flight complications? Entertain them for the entire weekend? These queries are common, but remember this: Your guests are adults who understand the basics of travel and are willing to make the trip to your wedding. You are not responsible for every minute your guests are in your wedding destination, nor are you obligated to pay for (or plan) your guests’ travel. However, a big part of being a great host is ensuring that your loved ones have everything they need to plan the best possible trip. Ahead, we lay out four simple things you can do to help ensure all goes smoothly for your wedding guests.

Related: How Much Travel Is Too Much for a Destination Wedding?

Decide on your hosting style—and communicate it clearly.

There are dozens of ways to be a good destination wedding host. For some couples, this means throwing multiple events—a welcome party, rehearsal dinner, or post-wedding brunch—to ensure everyone is happy and fed. But for other duos, this simply means throwing an epic reception and letting the rest of the weekend flow naturally. Sort out what being a good host means to you and your spouse-to-be early on in the planning process so you can keep this concept at the heart of all your decisions—and then communicate what will and won’t be part of your celebration via your wedding website to keep everyone in the loop.

Bake downtime into the agenda.

Many couples believe that being a good host means having a jam-packed destination wedding agenda, but the reverse is more often true. Your guests have likely taken time off from work and spent their own money to travel to and attend your celebration, so giving them the chance to explore the area is critical—and so is giving them some inspiration. Include must-see spots on welcome bag notes or agenda pamphlets so your guests can experience everything you love most about the locale.

Provide a safe environment.

Wherever you decide to host your nuptials, an important part of being a responsible far-flung host is ensuring that your guests are as safe as possible. Of course, it isn’t your your fault if something goes wrong—but you obviously want to mitigate that risk as much as possible. Taking precautions to avoid potentially dangerous situations, by communicating unsafe areas or excursions ahead of time, is key.

Give your guests the tools to create their own ideal travel experience.

The most important takeaway? Being responsible for your guests isn’t the same thing as doing everything for them. Instead, give them all the tools they need to have an easygoing, fun vacation. For many couples, this means coordinating a hotel room block and letting guests make their own reservations. For others, it may also mean providing a list of local restaurants and / or sights to see for guests to check out during their free time.

Linda W. Davis

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