How to Encourage Guests to Explore the Local Area During Your Destination Wedding Weekend
You've selected this locale for a reason; your guests should have an opportunity to get to know it, too.
Whether you're hosting a destination wedding in wine country and want to give guests a chance to head out to the vineyards, or your ceremony and reception is set to take place near a ski slope, a big part of the reason you chose your specific locale is because there's so much for guests to do nearby. Rather than leave them in the dust to sort through where to go and what to do, here are a few ways you can encourage your wedding guests to get out and explore the local area you love.
Give the gift of time.
It's understandable that you'd want to spend every meal and moment surrounded by your loved ones during your wedding weekend, but having a mapped out agenda leaves very little time for guests to explore on their own. In an ideal world, your guests would be able to stay at your wedding destination for longer than a weekend, but it's unlikely that it'll work out that way in reality. That's why it's nice to schedule the weekend in such a way that your guests have at least one full day and night to themselves. This gives them time to explore the natural local wonders by day and head to at least one great restaurant in the evening.
Advise guests on where to go and what to do.
Your wedding guests may not have the time or desire to do much research on the area before your celebration begins. Thankfully, you've done all the research for them and can recommend great local dining spots, beautiful scenery nearby, historic sites, shops, and more. You might consider adding all this info not only to your wedding website but also to a printed guide that's part of a welcome bag or note. Feel free to get playful with this and include personal notes, reviews, and any information they might find helpful.
If you and your fiancé have explored the area extensively, consider adding photos of some of your favorite haunts to your social media page or your wedding website. Guests will pick up on the subtle hints you're giving about where to go and what to see.
If there are any national parks, sightseeing tours, or other experiences that might be of interest to your guests, consider stopping into the local tourism office for brochures, maps, and any other information that would be helpful for your friends and family. These guides should be free of charge, and may be just the seed you need to plant in the minds of your guests to get them out exploring.
Host optional activities.
Sometimes, hosting an event that's built around an activity is the best way to get guests involved with the local scene. Let's say, for example, your wedding is set to take place in Tulum. You might make a mention in your invitation inserts that you'll be snorkeling on the beach from morning to mid-day on Friday and if anyone would like to join, they can do so by simply renting gear at the hotel concierge. This way, there's no pressure to attend, but guests who enjoy snorkeling have all the information they need to sign on board.