There's something so special about destination weddings. All of your favorite people together in a beautiful, luxurious place to celebrate your love story—what more could you ask for in a perfect wedding day? For your guests, however, destination weddings often involve an extensive journey, which requires taking time off from work and covering travel costs. With this in mind, it's important to do all you can to be a gracious host, to thank your loved ones. To help you best express your gratitude for your guests' troubles, we rounded up several thoughtful ideas. Add these generous touches into your itinerary, and you'll certainly host a trip your guests won't forget.
Meet and Greet
If a lot of your guests are coming in on the same flight, be in the hotel lobby to greet them, if possible. Nothing says "We're glad you're here!" like a little welcome committee. Of course, this arrival can be a little hectic for the couple of the hour, especially if you're handling last-minute details. If you can't be present, consider hiring staff to serve up a signature cocktail, instead.
Attending a wedding where you only know the bride or groom can feel overwhelming. But it can also be an opportunity. Since guests are spending an extended time together away from their home bases, the celebrations can set the ground for new friendships. To encourage mingling, offer name tags at your welcome dinner that specify which half of the couple they're there to support.
Destination wedding weather can be unpredictable, so you want to do all you can to keep your guests comfortable. If it's cool and breezy at night, pashminas are a welcome gift. If the sun is likely to be strong during the ceremony, provide parasols and fans.
Prepare for Anything
Packing for any type of vacation can be stressful and often results in a few forgotten staples—like sunscreen, bandages, and bug spray. Have them ready to go for any guests in need.
Going the extra mile for your loved ones shows your appreciation for their traveling so far. And who doesn't love some goodies to start the weekend? Leave a treat or note on guests' pillows at night for a little welcoming surprise. (Ask the hotel staff to deliver them while you're all out.) Note that some hotels charge for this, so make sure to ask ahead of time.
Serve Food to Go
When in a new place, it can be difficult to find restaurants, especially when there's a pre-wedding itinerary to get through. Help guests' schedules flow smoother by preparing boxed lunches with simple fare like sandwiches and chips, ready for guests to grab as they go. It'll keep their stomachs and hearts full of gratitude.