There are many many benefits to opting for a destination wedding, from lower prices to guaranteed good weather to soaking up beautiful local culture. However, one of the more difficult aspects can be organising your guests arrival to and departure from the destination.
Couples often ask us; How far before the wedding should our guests be flying out? Simply put, there is no one size fits all answer to this question (a lot will depend on where exactly you are getting married, how close the destination is to the nearest airport and where your guests are flying in from) but we’ve put together a couple of tips that we hope will help!
Don’t have them fly out too early!
Ideally you should aim to arrive at your destination 3-4 days before the rest of the guests. You will have lots of last minute things to take care of, and you don’t want to have the added pressure of entertaining your guests while you’re sorting out all of the little details. You will also want a lot of the details of the big day to remain a surprise and you run the risk of your guests catching a glimpse of everything that’s being set up if they arrive too early.
You may also be feeling quite nervous before the day itself, and will be able to relax and enjoy spending time with everyone once you’ve officially tied the knot, so try and maximise the time spent together post wedding rather than trying to include everyone in pre wedding preparations.
Don’t Leave it until the Last Minute!
At the same time, You don’t want to run any risk of a delayed/cancelled flight preventing some of the guests arriving!
You will want to make sure that the guests fly in at least 1 day before the wedding itself (preferably on an early morning flight so they have plenty of time to relax). You should increase this to 2 days if the guests are flying from far away (to reduce let lag) or if your chosen destination is far away from the airport everyone is flying into and requires additional travel to reach.
Guests Who Require Additional Assistance
If you have any guests attending whose mobility is limited/restricted, it is probably a good idea to have them fly out a couple of days before the other guests in order to ensure that the journey is less stressful for them. You will also want to pay special attention to arranging their travel to and from the airport (make sure to order a wheelchair accessible taxi etc.)
A Helping Hand
There is usually going to be a handful of guests who you may need/want to bring with you a couple of days before everyone else arrives. For example you may want to bring your parents or close friends/family members who are going to be playing integral roles on the big day (bridesmaids, best man etc.) or anyone who is helping you with any last minute preparation.
Leave it up to them!
When planning destination wedding it is quite common to leave it up to the guests themselves to decide exactly when they wish to arrive. You can give some general guidelines (please arrive at least one day in advance etc.) but remember that your guests may often decide to incorporate your wedding into a longer holiday, and so may decide to arrive several days in advance and do their own thing for a couple of days.
So there you have it! Are you nervous about co-ordinating everyone’s arrival to the wedding destination? We’re always here to help!