Here you will find some of the celebrations, special occasions, and projects we have been honored to document over the past eleven years.
It is so hard as a couple to greet and mingle with your guests on the day of the wedding since you will be pulled in many different directions. So, my biggest tip is to include additional parties throughout the weekend of your destination wedding. Two of my favorite celebrations are welcome parties and brunch send-offs.
You are probably aware of the typical rehearsal dinner that takes place right after rehearsal. This dinner is normally a smaller affair with the invite list including parents, the bridal party, and their significant others. It is a way for you to connect with them and thank them for being a part of your big day. With a destination wedding, guests are usually in town for a day, if not more, before the wedding, and they want to mingle with the other guests and family members as well, too, so a welcome party is a perfect place to do that.
Welcome parties can follow the rehearsal dinner or on a separate day. These can truly be as casual or elaborate depending on your budget and the overall feel of your wedding. I have seen a passed hor’devours style events with a bar and a DJ or band to evenings filled with cigar rollers and multiple entertainers featuring beautifully designed décor. A good rule of thumb is to have a different décor and style than the wedding itself.
As far as whom to invite, this would include your entire guest list, which is different from your rehearsal dinner. It is a way to kick off the festivities and allows time for family and friends to reunite or meet for the first time.
As a couple, it is hard to say goodbye to each guest as they leave during your wedding reception, so avoid that and enjoy your evening with a brunch send-off. The morning after your wedding, you will invite all your guests to join you at either the hotel you are staying at or a nearby restaurant to enjoy some food and bid farewells. I find it best to have an available time from 10 am – 12 pm so that guests can arrive at their leisure and enjoy the food and company before traveling back home.
When informing your guests about these additional events, saving it for your wedding website is best. Your stationery designer can add a line on your paper invites to have guests visit your website for additional details and events. You can highlight the points and have a place for them to RSVP to the events they can attend based on their travel arrangements.
If you want to take it a step further, planning tours and activities are another great way to get everyone together. If you are looking for more wedding inspiration, check out Ashley and Anwar’s wedding at the Ford Field and River Club.