Tipsy Tuesday - Be Mindful....The Guest Experience
When planning a your destination wedding be mindful of the guest experience as well as your own. From the minute they land, each and every guest should be treated extra special. Remember they are spending their hard earned dollars to honor you on your day and they too should enjoy their own personal experience while celebrating. Here are a few ideas to make their experience a most pleasant one.
- Create a wedding website and a facebook page just for your invited guests to mix and mingle prior to your event. Many resources such as The Knot, Style Me Pretty and WeddingWire host these services are a wonderful way to get started. This group chat will not only allow them to get to know one another but also connect with fun information and ‘finds’ that all can share. It is a great build up to the big day! On your site, outline details of your event and any other happenings you decide to include. This will allow you to update everyone as the date approaches with pertinent information as well.
- Send out a save the date well in advance so guests can shop pricing for their accommodations and travel needs unless you are planning on including that. Select a few hotels/resorts in the vicinity of your wedding site to keep it simple. My suggestion would be to list no more that three options from mid-range pricing to five star depending on your estimation of what they might select. Do not offer any ‘iffy’ options that boast great rates, no one will appreciate arriving to a non-pleasant environment. Guests will select what they prefer and choose to afford. Should you be able to attain 10 rooms or more in one facility, many resorts and hotels will consider this a group booking and offer discounted rate for all but this must be established up front. Again be mindful, there are low seasons and high seasons in Hawaii and holidays are at a premium.
- Offer recommendations but do not become a travel agent or activity concierge which will cause you unneeded stress! It is fun to offer an array of activities, but if you are sponsoring these events be specific. Group rates are available for most activities, selecting your very own activity concierge would be a great resource for this as well as a travel agent. A ‘fun’ list of activities, nearby beaches, maps, local hangouts, restaurants and cultural information are also appreciated and can be posted on your website as well.
- Welcome them with open arms! When guests arrive there is nothing like a lovely arrival amenity in the room to say ‘we are so glad you made it’! A yummy mai tai basket with island snacks, a pu’olo, a fun filled beach bag, or a fresh picked lei and pineapple with a ‘welcome to the island’ tag all will say aloha and we are so glad you are here. A welcome reception is also a great way to start the celebration, whether a formal cocktail soiree or a paddleboard beach day and hukilau it is sure to be a hit and a great way to get everyone together for a meet and greet.
- Provide transportation to and from your events. You will never want for guests to be chartering unknown territory and getting potentially lost nor would you want for those who imbibe to be on the road for any reason. There are several options for this from trollies to limousines and shuttles. All will ensure a pleasurable transfer.
- Do consider offering childcare options for those bringing little ones. Nannies are also available to come on site for those who feel a bit skiddish in leaving their loved ones behind. Be sure they are all licensed and insured as well as recommended by your concierge of course.
- Finally, don’t plan too many group activities. Your guests will also want their alone time to adventure.