When I think destination wedding, a few things come to mind: beaches, tropical bevies, mini bikini, vacation sex and... oh yeah, the wedding. Right? Because even though I am excited for the happy couple, when I'm spending the ton of money required to attend such an affair, I want to make sure that there is something in it for me too.
I know that it sounds selfish, but I am all about being honest, and bridey this is the "norm". Your guests are excited for you, but they are damn well going to get the most out of your wedding. So, it's up to you to change how they think and feel about your big day.
I started thinking about this after a friend of mine told me about a destination wedding in Mexico she had attended recently, and while the actual event was lovely, the wedding weekend was somewhat lost on the guests. Everybody was off doing their own thing, and treated the wedding as more of an afterthought instead of the reason they were in such a wonderful paradise. The bride and groom knew that they were losing their guests to the draw of the island air, but felt awkward reminding everybody that this weekend was about celebrating with them and not just on the wedding day.
So, here's the gist... Your guests are going to spend a lot of time and money to be there to celebrate with you, so you, bridey, have to spend a bit of your own time and money providing for them. Huh? PROVIDE for them. Entertain them. Plan activities for them.
The entire weekend should be about an amazing experience not only for you, but for them too. So give them options. Arrange for cooking classes, wine tastings, sailing outings, etc. Basically, anything that brings your family and friends together without being over the top. AND, you must foot the bill for these activities. Your wedding invitation should be chock full of information about these exciting outings. Basically, it'll be a little book that will allow your guests to get excited about this "adventure" BEFORE the trip.
But, no matter what arrangements you make, it is expected that you provide transportation to and from the airport, a "welcome to our wedding weekend" party upon arrival, gift bags in each guest room, and a "day after" the wedding brunch. Everything else is gravy. But, really good gravy... Got it?