Destination weddings are a favorite of brides and their guests alike for so many reasons. Whether your idea of a destination wedding is a lush tropical locale or you envision a wintry wonderland swathed with white luxury, remember that the number one reason your guests will attend is to witness your union. However, it doesn’t hurt to give your guests a built-in vacation while you’re at it. Plan your event correctly, and it will be one no one will soon forget. Some guidelines to follow as you go forward with your “To Do” list include:

- Hotel arrangements – Do as much of the legwork as possible when it comes to hotel accommodations. This way, your guests will be able to plan their trip seamlessly. Ideally, offer a few different options at different price points, and be sure to call the hotels ahead of time to ask for special group pricing. Nearly all hotels will be happy to accommodate your requests for a lowered rate, knowing that they’ll easily fill their rooms in the process. If there are any hotels or areas of your locale that are not desirable, you will also want to discreetly let your guests know this information as well. Some guests take it upon themselves to research their options even further, and you want to make sure they make a good decision and do not find themselves or their safety in jeopardy.

- Special touches – Ask guests to share their accommodation plans with you, and start making welcome baskets that will be placed in their rooms before their arrival. If you are having your destination wedding at a tropical locale, a bottle of sunscreen, a local map and some sunglasses are a great welcome gift; if you are hosting a winter wedding, you may include some hand warmers and even a pair or two of gloves in the giveaway. Be creative! Your guests will love that you took the time to think of their comfort.

- Type of ceremony/reception – If you are a bride or groom who has to be in charge of every last detail, it may be time for you to let go of that just a bit. Meeting with a caterer, florist, baker, cook, etc. can be nearly impossible if you are planning a destination wedding. One option is to ask if these people can Skype with you or use Facetime; another is to simply employ a wedding planner at the site to take care of the details (with your final approval a necessity, of course). If you plan to get married somewhere nuptial ceremonies are often performed, you’ll likely find a planner on-site who can make your event go off without a hitch (pun intended).

- Be prepared – The more you can offer your guests in terms of information before they ever book a plane flight, the more you’ll convince them that they absolutely have to use their vacation days to attend your destination wedding. The most inclusive idea is to include a packet with your wedding invitation that outlines hotels, places to eat and things to do.

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