Did half of your bridal party not RSVP for your destination wedding? You’re not alone.
With an unstable economy and constant fear of what’s going to happen next, it’s common to see that some family members or close friends can’t make the trip.
Even though it’s not your job to help everyone to be there, you might feel responsible for some people who might be struggling financially. What about the ones who might be ill, or simply can’t take time off to make the trip?
We’re going to answer most of these questions, so you can enjoy a wedding day free of guilt and sadness because of someone who cannot be there.
The first step is to analyze the situation to make better decisions. Let’s explore the options together.
Do I need to help guests book travel and accommodation for my destination wedding?
The short answer is yes. You should help them, or at least give them a few options so they don’t have to do all the work. The good thing about it is that a travel agent can help you with this.
Not only do they have the experience, but they can also help you get room block or large group discounts.
Depending on your wedding venue, your planner might be able to give you local recommendations for great places to stay nearby. This helps you reduce transportation costs, keep everyone nearby, and make sure that you can get discounts when booking multiple rooms together.
Whenever possible, do a site inspection
A site inspection is the best way to ensure that everything will go smoothly on your wedding day. It will give you the chance to see if the space is suitable for your needs -and your guests’- as well as how good your wedding decor will be.
You can also use it as an opportunity to scout out potential vendors in the area and find out what they offer.
Inspecting the venue (or multiple ones) will give you plenty of options on where to stay, so you can recommend more than one option to your wedding guests. You don’t want to push a $1500 stay if they have a $600 budget.
Some resorts offer options for different budgets, as well as different premises for families and couples. You need to find out whether your guests will have an easy time finding an alternative that suits their needs, in order to improve your attendance.
Like most couples, you might not be able to make the trip to choose or consider options. As I mentioned before, a wedding planner should be able to help you with this.
Offer your guests a Plan B
Many resorts have higher and lower-end offerings within the same premises and all guests don’t have to stay at the same location.
You can opt to use the VIP area of your resort, while some of your family and friends can choose to stay in the regular areas to reduce their costs. This will give you a honeymoon-like experience, while still being in touch with your loved ones.
Allow guests at home to experience your wedding day
You can live stream the wedding ceremony for those who can’t or won’t make the trip.
Live streaming is extremely affordable and by watching live, they will feel as if they were a part of the wedding day. They can also leave wishes on your digital guestbook and even watch the replay if they were busy as the ceremony went live.
To do this you can use a live streaming app and go live from any smartphone. The best part? You don’t need a videographer or a professional to do this, and any of your friends can do it for you.
How should you invite everyone?
Well, it’s quite simple. You can share a link with them via email, save the date cards, or even a private message. If you have a wedding website, you can paste the link there too.
On the day of your wedding, they can click on the link and watch. They don’t need to download anything or sign up. Just enjoy your intimate ceremony from the comfort of their homes.
Even if you feel like you’re leaving some people out because it isn’t an easy trip to make, this will give you a chance to offer them an alternative. It’s easy enough for them to join and celebrate with you.
Throw a party when you go back
As you’re choosing to have a wedding in another state, country, or even another continent, not everyone will be able to make it. You can arrange a celebration back home for the ones who cannot afford the trip, or cannot make it.
Some couples do this a week or two after coming back, so they can enjoy a night with the people they love by being fully rested from their destination wedding.
The reasons for doing this are many, but the primary one is that nobody will feel excluded if you invite them to this party. Your destination wedding might be intimate, but this will give you a chance to enjoy yourself with everone else.
The downside is that the costs can be much bigger than expected, which might force you to still invite a reduced amount of guests. If this is the case, then live streaming is probably the best solution for you.
Even though you’re not responsible for every guest, there are some people who you might need to pay special attention to.
Your closest family members might be financially able to make it, but illness, covid, or other reasons can prevent them from attending. The best solution to this problem is to share your ceremony with them, online. Simply share a link with them and allow them to be there.
Your bridal party members might be thinking about their current situation and how likely it is that they will be able to afford all of this. By hooking them up with better deals, booking a room block at your resort/hotel, or even helping someone pay for their flights or meals, you can guarantee that they’ll be there.