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You've decided to book a destination wedding, but you are afraid that you'll walk down the aisle past a lot of empty chairs. It's always been your dream to get married on a beautiful beach, but how can you make sure that as many of your friends and family attend as possible?
The good news is that spending a weekend at a beautiful beach resort isn't exactly like asking someone to donate a kidney. Many of your guests will be excited about coming. Here are some steps you can take to share your day with as many loved ones as possible.
Identify the most important. Your guest list is likely to include a handful of people who you would be heartbroken if they didn't come. Before finalizing your date, have an honest conversation with them about your plans and ask them if they can make that date work. Also have a frank discussion about budget if you're afraid that might be an issue. Your agent (you are working with a destination wedding professional, right?) can help you choose a resort that will meet the per person budget requirement for your guests. He or she will also tell you if the budget is not realistic. Some brides and / or grooms families have chosen to subsidize the cost for certain people to attend the wedding if the person is particularly important or in a place in life where paying for the trip would be a hardship.
Planning your day as far in advance as possible will also help people plan for the trip financially. Depending on several factors, guests may be able to make a deposit as low as $50.00 per person to secure their spot, then may have up to 45 days before the departure date to pay it in full.
Clearly communicating the plans is another way to make sure that people make plans to attend. Sending the wedding information in the mail to your guest list in advance of the actual invitation is helpful. We send out attractive brochures customized with your picture and your specific wedding resort information. This gives guests the opportunity to begin their planning right away. On your wedding website, we keep track of who has finalized their plans to attend your wedding. A quick phone call or email to people who haven't made plans will encourage them to book and it will also help them know how important they are to you and to your wedding.
Open, clear consistent information and good follow up will fill those chairs on your big day. It's just the beginning of your happily ever after.