One from the study today as I look at how important are you wedding guests at a destination wedding?
When it comes to planning a wedding, one of the first factors to decide on when looking for a wedding location is the number of wedding guests. For a domestic wedding, as long as you have given plenty of notice, then you would usually expect a large number of your nearest and dearest to attend your big day.
However of course this is different for a destination wedding.
On wedding blogs and magazines, there is a consistent message of “plan your wedding day your way”. I think that this sentiment is true, but this is the time to ask how important is it to you who attends your wedding?
There are no right or wrong answers, but if your wedding day would be incomplete without a large number of family and friends with you, then this needs to be a factor in your wedding planning.
Here are my top tips when considering the wedding guests at your destination wedding:
Let’s tackle the trickiest one first, are you inviting children to your destination wedding? If yes, then you need to look at child friendly venues (most Chateaux have wonderful spaces for children to run around). If no, then within your friends and family is this likely to preclude people from attending due to lack of childcare back home.
The date and time of year can greatly affect people availability to attend a destination wedding. Whilst out of season is usually cheaper for wedding venues, a wedding outside of school holidays can be extremely difficult for families to attend. Depending on your choice of wedding destination, also look at the weather. Whilst a weather in a sunny location might be desirable, during peak summer season a midday wedding with guests sat in the heat might be hazardous.
Also be sure to research public holidays in your chosen destination country, as a wedding in rural France during a public holiday is not going to be much fun for your guests looking for activities around the wedding.
3. Travel Plans
How do your guests get to the wedding? Is there a local airport in your country that flies to a local destination airport? Check distances and times for travelling to airports on French country roads.
If your wedding venue is near a major city, can your guests use the TGV or local train network?
For families and especially if guests are traveling with a quantity of luggage, driving to a destination wedding in France is an option. However a 6 hour drive through the French countryside once a ferry docks, might put off some of your guests.
Is there sufficient accommodation within your wedding venue or locally for your guests. Is there accommodation in a range of prices to suit all budgets and also with a variety of facilities to suit everyone’s needs.
Oh I love a rustic French chateau, winding corridors leading to beautiful rooms with ornate furnishings and dramatic views. However their rustic charm can often be at the expense of wheelchair and pushchair accessibility.
Depending on what the demographics of your guests this will depend on the facilities required. For me WiFi available throughout a venue is a HUGE plus and of course for children is their a crèche facility or a room available to hire one in, so that your guests can enjoy the celebrations into the night!
Of course not matter how or where you plan your wedding, there will always been some people who will not be able to attend for a variety of reasons. Don’t take it personally as these people will be at your wedding day, as long as you carry them in your hearts.
So ask yourself how important are your wedding guests to your big day and then plan a wedding that reflects your answer and your personality.