Destination weddings are more popular than ever, with one in four couples celebrating their nuptials in an exciting and exotic location. If you’re planning a wedding abroad, you may already know a website is the easiest way to keep guests in-the-know.
Since destination weddings require more planning to attend, it’s essential you get your website up and running with plenty of time to spare, including all the relevant information needed for guests to prepare for the trip.
With some guests flying across the world, you don’t want to make a small mistake that can lead to a big setback. Instead, learn exactly which details you should include on your destination wedding website.
1. The Location and Venue
Some of your guests may have no experience traveling abroad. To make the journey more comfortable, get specific with your location — unless you want to be fielding phone calls in the weeks leading up to your big day.
On your website, include the exact name and address of the venue, along with contact information such as a website, phone number and email. If possible, include a map of the venue, highlighting nearby restaurants and attractions. To make the trip as easy as possible, you should also list the closest major airport as well as directions from the airport to the venue.
2. A Detailed Schedule
A destination wedding can last anywhere from one day to one week. Be sure guests know exactly what to expect with a detailed wedding schedule. Include the day and time guests should arrive at the venue to check in. Add any planned pre-wedding events, such as a welcome or rehearsal dinner.
For the big day, outline all of the necessary details, from what time guests should be seated for the ceremony to when the reception will begin. You should also include the check-out time, with a reminder of the day and time the venue expects guests to leave.
3. How to RSVP
Before setting up the RSVP page of your website, decide what date you need a headcount by. Be sure invitees know that, due to the nature of the wedding being abroad, once the RSVP date has passed you cannot add them to the attendee list.
Try to have your website, complete with RSVP information, set up at least six months prior to the wedding. To make it as easy as possible, set up a form on your website guests can complete to let you know if they’re attending and who they’re bringing. This will give people plenty of time to check their schedules, take time off and book travel arrangements.
4. Accommodation Options
It’s important to let guests know where they should stay when traveling to your wedding. If your venue offers accommodations, schedule a block and let guests know they can make reservations to stay on-site. Or, research highly-rated hotels nearby and provide guests with a list or recommendations.
If you’re not sure which hotels to recommend, ask the venue for suggestions. They will be familiar with the local area and are typically comfortable offering up information to travelers. Not only can they ensure the hotel is close, but they can also make sure it meets your quality and budget needs.
5. How to Give Gifts
With a destination wedding, it’s not entirely feasible to ask guests to transport gifts abroad. Not to mention, that’s more weight in your luggage on your return home. Avoid the hassle and baggage fees by telling guests what to do with gifts on your destination wedding website.
Since guests spend money traveling to the wedding, many couples opt to not receive gifts, including a simple message on their website such as, “Your presence at our wedding is the only gift we need.” Others have requested guests donate to a designated charity in their honor or give the gift of money through registry sites like HoneyFund or Zola.
6. Frequently Asked Questions
No matter where you choose to host your wedding, your guests are bound to have questions. Avoid the emails, texts and phone calls by providing them with the answers before they ask. Think about what your guests may want to know and do research beforehand to add to your website.
It’s recommended to dedicate an entire page of your website to frequently asked questions. Include helpful information like the local currency and where it can be acquired. Include tips on what to pack based on the local climate and weather. And include cultural information, such as polite customs and avoidable taboos.
Planning Your Destination Wedding
Planning a wedding, especially one halfway across the world, can be stressful. Don’t let guests add to the craze with a barrage of questions and commentary. Instead, set up a destination wedding website where you can include all the information guests need to know, from the location and schedule to how to behave when they arrive.