Planning a destination wedding? You’ve probably already figured out that a wedding website is the best way to keep your guests informed and organised in the lead-up to the big day (while keeping you sane in the process!).
Destination weddings are unique in the sense that they require much more pre-planning from your guests. It’s crucial to create a wedding website that includes relevant, useful information to help your guests prepare for their trip.
When people are flying across the world to join you for your special day, there is definitely no room for error in the information (or lack of information) you are providing them!
So with that said, what exactly should you include in your destination wedding website to ensure it becomes a comprehensive resource for your guests to refer to?
We recommend keeping the following points in mind to make sure you cover all bases!
Dates & times
Most websites for a standard wedding simply outline the ceremony start time and the reception conclusion time. This is definitely not the case for a destination wedding! With more logistics involved, you’ll need to go into much more detail when you outline dates and times on your wedding website.
Keep in mind that your guests will need to block off a certain amount of days in order to join you for your wedding, so you’ll want to specify dates and times for ALL of the wedding proceedings, both before and after the actual day itself.
If you have organised additional events like a welcome dinner, ceremony rehearsal or recovery brunch, make sure you outline the details for each of these events. This will assist your guests when it comes to booking flights and accommodation and creating their itinerary. Don’t leave it until the last minute to let guests know you’re planning a welcome bash a few days prior to the wedding, as they may have already booked flights that don’t align with this.
A great way to go about this is to create a visual itinerary or timeline of events as a feature on your wedding website that guests can print and take along with them. This way your guests will all be on the same page when it comes to your schedule of events.
For the majority of your guests, your wedding might be their first ever experience at your chosen destination. To make their journey into unfamiliar territory a little easier, make sure you go into the specifics with your location.
The most important thing to remember is to avoid being vague when it comes to your wedding location details. “We’re getting married in Hawaii!” probably isn’t going to cut it, unless you’re happy to answer hundreds of phone calls in the lead up to your day.
Instead, outline the following details:
- Exact venue address including the street name, city and country
- The closest airport and directions to your venue from the airport
- A map of the venue and the surroundings
- Contact details for the venue
- Venue address details for any other pre or post-wedding events
Don’t forget to include a few snaps of the location too. There’s nothing like some dreamy images to get your guests excited about their upcoming trip!
Why not get a little creative and create a Pinterest board filled with photos from your destination too? Use your wedding website to really set the scene and give your guests a sense of the holiday to come.
Providing some guidance when it comes to accommodation for your guests is always going to be much appreciated. It will also save them from making mistakes like booking a hotel that is miles away from your venue or more expensive than what it’s worth.
Instead of having your guests spend hours researching hotels and resorts, make the process easier for them by outlining your recommended accommodation options on your wedding website with direct links.
If you’re not sure where to recommend, ask your wedding venue for their suggestions. They host destination weddings every week so have a wealth of knowledge and information when it comes to well-priced accommodation in close proximity to your venue.
If you are getting married at a resort or hotel, see what options they have available for discounts or group bookings at the venue. Many destination venues will be able to block a number of rooms for your guests at a discounted rate, so explore these options first and then give your guests the details they need to secure their spot.
Get your guests familiar with the location of your wedding by providing them with some insider knowledge! Just like any other holiday, your guests will want to know about details like transportation, dining options and other tips to help make the most of their experience.
Your destination wedding website should include the following information to help guests plan their itinerary:
- Restaurant and cafe recommendations
- Transport options – is there suitable public transport, or will guests need to rent a car?
- Things to do in the local area – sightseeing and attractions for them to check out
- Contact details and emergency phone numbers
Don’t forget about any cultural traditions or customs specific to your destination that your guests might need to be aware of. This can include details like:
- The local language and currency
- Cultural traditions and etiquette such as dressing modestly or greeting strangers correctly
- Customs such as tipping or gratuities
Think about the kind of information you would usually research before your own holidays. Each destination has their own unique culture and customs so take the time to ensure your guests are aware of any important details related to this.
Weather & dress code
From a sunny wedding in Bali to a winter wedding in Europe, each destination has its own unique climate that your guests will want to take into consideration.
Make packing suitcases a breeze with some helpful advice on the climate and dress code for your big day. Do some research on the average temperatures and weather forecasts for your chosen date at your location and make a note of this on your wedding website.
You’ll also want to outline the dress code for the actual wedding itself, so your guests can choose their attire to suit. Are you hosting an elegant dinner or a beachfront party? Make sure your wedding website specifies the tone of your event so your guests can dress appropriately and comfortably!
Wedding gifts can be a tricky topic when it comes to destination wedding etiquette. Due to the additional expenses your guests are covering with their flights and accommodation, it’s generally understood that these expenses are in lieu of a wedding gift.
To avoid any confusion, make a note on your wedding website so that guests understand your “no presents please” request. In the event that guests still want to offer you a gift because of tradition (which is likely!), you’ll want to provide them with your home address so that they can send you their gift before or after the big day. This saves them from having to travel with something bulky or expensive.
Alternatively, you might wish to set-up a honeymoon fund online. This is an easy way for guests to make a monetary donation easily through your wedding website with just a few clicks!
So, who’s actually going to be joining you on the big day? It goes without saying that you should definitely include a RSVP option for your guests through your wedding website to track who is attending. This will help you finalise your wedding decisions and stay up-to-date with guest numbers along the way!
It’s best to send out your wedding website link at the 6-month mark before the wedding, so your guests can start making arrangements and saving for their expenses. If you have secured a discounted rate for accommodation, your hotel may request a final headcount by a particular date, so keep this in mind when setting your RSVP deadlines.
Try to find a wedding website platform that can send automatic reminders on your behalf to any guests that haven’t responded with a RSVP. The more time you can save with your wedding planning, the better!
Bridal party introductions
Gathering a group of people together in a remote location is definitely going to lead to new friendships and unforgettable memories. Why not get the introductions started from the very beginning through your wedding website?
Bridal party introductions are a common inclusion for many wedding website, but with a destination wedding it really helps other guests familiarise themselves with the people they’ll be surrounded by over an extended period of time.
Include some photos of your bridesmaids and groomsmen along with a brief introduction for each person. You can do the same thing for close family members, your MC, and any other guests that are going to play a significant role in your day. It always helps to have familiar faces and a way to break the ice between strangers!
The more, the better
When it comes to filling your destination wedding website with the right information, use the above tips as a guideline. Your guests will be sure to thank you later!
If you’re feeling stuck, just remember this rule: whatever questions you want to avoid being asked, clarify them on your website! The more detail you include and the more prepared your guests can be, the better.
Creating a destination wedding website doesn’t have to be tricky. Our range of wedding website templates and stationery are packed with features to take the stress out of destination wedding planning for savvy brides just like you!