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Destination Weddings

Pre and post wedding plans


I am sort of having a destination wedding bc about 30% of my guests are flying to England for it. I live in the US and so do my childhood friends and family.

I am starting to freak out about planning activities and meals for the out of towners - specifically my family and friends.

Did you guys plan pre or post activities and meals or just let everyone look after themselves? Do you plan on organizing things just for your side of the family while the other side does something else?

I feel like I should plan a few things, bc its a new city to my guests and I want to make sure they don't feel ignored. However it is so hard to get an idea of exact numbers for meal reservations.

Re: Pre and post wedding plans

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited July 2015
    I personally like at least one planned event.   Preferably a welcome reception of some sort. Like a 1-2 hours cocktail party the night before.

    All of our guests were OOT.  On thursday night we had about 40-50 people over to the rental house for dinner and drinks.    They mostly included my parent's friends,  my family and WP members.  DH's family and most of the other guests had not arrived yet.   

     Friday we had a golf outing (guests paid their way).  I also took my BM along with a few other friends whose husbands were golfing out to lunch.   Friday night we invited everyone to a welcome open house a the rental house.   It started about 8pm.  Just drinks and some apps.

    I've worked a lot of DW and most had some sort of event the night before.  I've seen full blown plated meals and simple BBQs.  Most however had just a simple 1-2 hour cocktail party.


    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We got married in Hawaii, so everyone traveled, from all over North and South America.  

    We organized several events and gave people the option of going.  No RSVP required and they were all "join us if you want/are interested, but you don't have to if you have other plans".  We organized 2 different nights of watching the fireworks on the beach, followed by drinks at a local bar, 1 beach day to hang out and 1 day of snorkelling (we paid equipment rentals for anyone who joined us)

    The idea of a set meal together is nice, but put it on an RSVP card with invites so you can get a feel for numbers.  As well, perhaps a little pack of things to do in your city might be nice for your OOT guests.  Many cities have those little books with coupons and things to do.  Or make a list for them of the best things to see.  If you want to spend more time with them, organize a trip to one of these places and cover admission perhaps.  

    As Jells mentioned, having a smaller event at your house with apps and drinks is easy too, and you don't have to worry as much about numbers.  
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  • We had a DW and we hosted a BBQ for the night before the wedding.  This gave everyone a chance to meet one another.  That was the only planned event (other than the wedding).  We let people know what we were doing, in case they wanted to meet up or join in but that was it.  
  • When I went to a DW it was really nice when the couple had a "getting to know you" happy hour the night before. It was actually the first time the bride & groom's families met too, but all guests were invited. Prior to the wedding a "coordinator" was assigned and guests were told, if you have any questions regarding activites, please contact Susie at xxxxxx" this way the bride wasn't bothered all day with texts from all the guests.

    Prior to the trip we received emails with updates on activites which were all options. And this is what they had planned (wedding in vegas)

    • Meet & Greet the night prior to the wedding, meet @ lobby of x hotel @ 7:00 PM
    • Day of wedding - For any girls interested in mani/pedi's we'll be going x salon (with website so we could see pricing) @ x time come & join us even if you don't plan to get any services done to hang out. But if you are coming please let us know so we can book enough chairs
    • Day of wedding - For any guys interested meet @ lobby of hotel @ x time to go do ... I don't remember what the guys did
    • Wedding - join us for the first look in the lobby of the x hotel @ x time where we will then take taxi's to the ceremony location followed by a dinner @ x resturant. After Dinner we'll head back to the hotel for those that want to change. The Bride & groom will then be going to X bar for dancing & drinks
    • Then the next morning we all got updates, the bride & groom will be going to Old Las Vegas as x time. Meet us in the lobby of x hotel if you want to join them


    It was nice because they had planned activities that you had the choice to join in with or not. But also there was free time to explore on your own if you wanted. So my advise is, plan a loose schedule to say hey this is what we are doing at this time, if you want to join us great, but if you want to explore on your own, that's fine too. And make sure to leave people time to be able to do a little of both (spend time with you & alone). And if you know of some great local resturants, shops or places to check out that they may not find on your own, make them a list of recommended places to check out while visiting. Because whil they are there for your wedding, chances are they are going to turn your wedding into a vacation for a few extra days and will want to go exploring. But by all means, don't feel like you need to entertain your guests for their whole visit.

  • princessleia22princessleia22 Oceanfront Property in Arizona member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    We pretty much let everyone fend for themselves.  Many of them considered the trip a vacation and we didn't feel like we should plan out every detail of their vacation for them. We did do a welcome dinner the night before the wedding and ordered pizza and soda at our hotel for all of our wedding guests (we only had 30 guests). We did meet up with others for meals at other times, but it wasn't anything planned in advance.


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