Hello lovely couples! I hope everything is good with you, it’s been a while since I posted here. The reason for that is because I have been without my laptop (water accident), but I’m happy to finally be back! Instead I’ve been hanging out on Instagram stories, so if you don’t already follow me there feel free to do so, it’s @bettertogetherweddings_spain
But let’s move on to todays topic will be about Destination Wedding and specifically guest attendance.
As you probably know, guest attendance on destination weddings is usually a bit lower than for normal weddings. The amount of guests attending to any wedding is always based on various factors such as the date and the place. But when it comes to destination weddings there are several more factor you need to count in, for example how far guests would need to travel, the actual destination itself – since most guests will make a holiday out of it -, time of the year – can people take off as many days as it’s necessary from work/school?
I don’t like to go too deep into numbers and percentages here, because after all every wedding is unique. Even if some destination weddings will only have about 60% of guests coming, some might have 90% coming. So I really prefer not to go too deep into detail on that.
Should I invite more people to my destination wedding since it will have a larger fallout of guests?
I can understand that this is a really tempting thing to do, but as a planner I must say that it makes me very nervous and I would not recommend it if your venue can’t handle the increase. Never exceed the maximum capacity that your venue offers. If you have room to invite more people (your venue can take more people than you’ve invited), you’d still need to make sure to ask your venue beforehand and not just assume that it would be OK to bring more guests just because it means more business to them.
No, having more guests than you originally communicated to the venue means that they will have to bring in more staff and sometimes more material which might affect the price of your original wedding package or per guest price. So please make sure to inform the venue before you sign anything with them the amount of guests you think you will be but also how many you could end up being if everybody that you’re inviting attends.
So, with that little (ehh, long) disclaimer, let’s move on to the next point; how to get as many guests as possible to attend your destination wedding – which usually is what you want.
Give them enough time
If possible, send them a save the date. I have another blog post that you can read about the importance of the Save the Dates for destination weddings and when you should send them. You can read it here after you finish this post. There are also couples who opt for skipping the Save the Date, and send out a very early invitation with short RSVP time, usually with the aim to get more insight into how many guests will actually attend and in that way, have a more clear views of the situation.
Choose an interesting destination that your guests actually would like to travel to – many of them will make a holiday out of it because they will need to take time off work anyway for your wedding. By choosing a location that people look forward traveling to, there is a better chance of more people attending your wedding too. Barcelona is a destination which is easily reached with direct flights from many countries. It has plenty of interesting things to see and do. I have been living in the area for 12 years and I’m still not tired of the city!
Another important aspect is the travel time. The further away you decide to celebrate your wedding, the more expensive it will be for the guests to travel. It’s of course not only about the money, if they have to take a long haul flight, they might need more days off work, or they just don’t feel like traveling that long. Guests with children, and elderly guests will think twice before they jump aboard any kind of flight.
The right time of the year
Be mindful when picking your wedding date abroad. Make sure it will be a date when most people will be able to travel. Avoid dates such as Christmas, Easter, or other holidays.
Help your guests with accommodation
Point them in the right direction when it comes to accommodation, give them hotel suggestions in different price ranges that will suit every pocket. Hotels are usually able to block a certain amount of rooms for you during a time, and can sometimes also offer group discounts – inform your guests about that so they have the option. Having majority of the guests staying in the same hotel is that it’s very convenient to coordinate on the wedding day in case a coach would be necessary to get them back and forth to the venue. And if you have the budget for it, you can also rent a private villa where everybody can stay. If you are interesting in villa wedding venues in the Barcelona area, you should check out this blogpost that I wrote where you can find some of my favorites.