As couples get more and more creative in planning their weddings, locations weddings are becoming more and more popular. Although this might result in a smaller guest list, it can also result in some fun opportunities for activities.
Many couples like to have their weddings seaside, so they move the festivities to a beach locale, either on their local coast or somewhere more exotic like Jamaica or the Bahamas. In any event, there are several activities that can be planned around this theme. If the wedding is also a weekend event where guests will be around for more than just the wedding, the bride can plan a sailing excursion. Charter a boat for a day and bring your guests out on the water to relax, rejuvenate, and perhaps enjoy a meal.
If the wedding is in the Caribbean, how about a cooking demonstration? The couple can arrange for the wedding guests to enjoy a complimentary cooking demonstration put on by the hotel or a local cook. Since much of the food the guests eat while visiting for the wedding will be different than what they eat at home, they might enjoy learning how to prepare it for home enjoyment.
Say the wedding is in Hawaii, another popular destination wedding location. Here, you can plan several activities around the location. For example, what about a luau? This could even take the place of a more formal or conventional sit-down rehearsal dinner.
In Hawaii, guests will enjoy a hula lesson. Depending on the age of your guests, be sure there is enough time between the wedding and the lesson for the resting of aching bones, in case there are any.
At the wedding itself, there are many ways to incorporate the location into the ceremony itself. At a beachside reception, you can play “pass the shell”, where a large shell is passed around and guests “listen” for some advice from the other world. Once they get a piece of advice (really something they think of themselves) they share it with the couple, either verbally, or it can be written into a book for the couple.
Other pre-wedding activities can include guided tours, shopping excursions and wine tasting activities (if applicable). If you choose to include any of these activities keep in mind that the bride and groom (or their families) are expected to pay for the bulk of them. If you arrange a sailing excursion, for example, you are expected to pick up the tab for the trip. Do not tell people ahead of time that the activity will be x dollars. It’s likely that won’t sit well with them.
Since one of the great benefits of the destination wedding is that only your closest friends and family will likely surround you, you can plan some meaningful activities that you wouldn’t plan if the wedding were a larger event. For example, you might plan a slumber party night with close friends that includes movies, popcorn and drinks in your hotel room, villa or cottage, depending on where the wedding is held.
Of course, if you plan a destination wedding, for some people this might double as their vacation. In that event, you might not want to schedule too many activities but instead let people find their own activities and entertainment both before and after the wedding.