Destination Weddings

Planned activities or not?

If you attended a destination wedding, would you rather spend your time on the island at events planned by the couple? Or would you like to spend your time as you choose (at the beach, exploring, ect). and have the only planned event be the wedding and reception?

Re: Planned activities or not?

  • I think it's nice if there's one extra event for people to hang out beforehand, but any more than that can be a bit much, especially with people traveling on different dates and wanting to be able to have some vacation time.  We had a few folks who were only in town for two or three nights, and obviously one was the wedding, so we tried to be very careful of not monopolizing all of their time.  
    Knottie37373131
  • I agree with saric83, at least one organized event may be nice. People will join if they want too, and wont if not. If I were a guest at a destination wedding, I would be okay with a planned event but seeing as how expensive it is too travel, I would like some of my own time as well.
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  • We are planning one extra "optional" event so people can decide for themselves if they want to come or spend time on their own.  I think it's nice to have and if I were at a destination wedding, I would like to spend some time hanging out with the other wedding guests.
  • We're planning 1-2 day trips / events that are completely optional for our guests. We've been very clear we want people to do as they please, no pressure.

  • It depends how much there is to do there. I went to a wedding in Lake Louise, Alberta over a long weekend last year and there were events planned everyday! It was great! There was a meet and greet pub night, breakfast kegger, bride vs groom hockey game, snowshoe treasure hunt, and then the wedding itself. 

    For my own wedding, it's a week long resort package and I'm planning on having a few organized events. Welcome dinner/meet and greet, pre-wedding party, and wedding itself. I want to have a couple more things to do during the week that can be optional, because I realise that not everyone wants to do stuff with me!
  • We are having a welcome dinner the night before the wedding as all of our guests will have arrived by then.  We were also contemplating some sort of excursion the morning before the wedding (not all guests will be there for that).  Do you think the welcome dinner is sufficient for an organized event or do we setup an excursion also?
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  • We are planning one event as a group but have left the schedule clear for the most part. We figured most people are using this time as a vacation and we have the entire wedding day to be together plus we are all in the same resort so well see everyone.
  • We are having a Welcome Bonfire with drinks and appetizers 2 nights before the wedding (for everyone) and a rehearsal dinner the night before (obviously just for the wedding party) but other than that we have left the schedule open for guests to do whatever they choose with their time.
  • We had a welcome party followed by bachelor/ette parties on Thursday. On Friday, we had a rehearsal for the wedding party and reserved a pirate ship dinner cruise afterwards. We bought tickets for the bridal party and parents and paid a deposit for everyone else. Those who wanted to go (which ended up being almost everyone) paid the difference directly to the ship. And on Saturday was the wedding. It was a busy weekend, but it was all optional and just about everyone came to all the events.
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • We scheduled a welcome party, made dinner reservations for everyone at a fancy restaurant and scheduled a family volleyball game. Other than that, everyone was free to do as they pleased. WE all had a good time.
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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Our guests are arriving at different times (some day of wedding). If everybody had arrived at the same time, I would have thrown an OPTIONAL welcome party. Even though I want my guests to enjoy themselves at the location I have chosen, I'm really looking at it as I get 1 day, if they choose to stay and have fun, that's really on them. If you are planning events, make sure they know if there are any additional costs for it and who is responsible for covering these costs.


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  • We are getting married in Mexico which always has a ton of options for excursions. We were going to set up ahead of time a day of an excursion that is optional if people want to go. Not everyone would want to go snorkeling in cenotes and swim with turtles which is fine! If you want to we'll take the guesswork out of it for others. 
  • I haven't settled plans, but I am planning to come up with some optional activities where our guests (less than 20) can join or not as they choose. They're flying a long way to our wedding and I want to share the experience with them, just as I would if I went on a group vacation.  I want guests to be able to decide how they spend their time, but I want to make myself available to spend time with them.  I'm sure everyone will want to do things on their own, but my guests are best friends and immediate family who would be hurt if I didn't spend any time beyond wedding and one or two meals with them. 
  • Planning and setting up an objectives list is the best way to get a successful wedding going. Good Luck!
  • I once went to a destination wedding in New Orleans that had a welcome cocktail on Wednesday and nothing for regular guests until Saturday. Although it was a good ceremony, we felt a bit left out, especially since we had gotten hotel + airfare and taken time off from work. 

    A good balance is necessary - allow your guests to do their own thing but do some fun activities that all may enjoy.
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