destination wedding activities

Destination Wedding 101: How To Make The Most Of Hosting Multi-Day Activities

We’ve previously covered everything you need to know about selecting the right vendors and making those room blocks at your dream venue. Following that, we shared tips on finalizing your guest list and the timeline for sending out invites. The next step? Planning fun activities for your multi-day celebration abroad! When planning a destination wedding (which is often a multi-day celebration), there are additional details you need to pay extra attention to, from flights and travel documents to invitation details. Along with those, you also have to consider ways you can keep your guests entertained and excited, giving them a unique experience worth the travel.


A destination wedding most likely means you’re going to be hosting for three to five days and that your guests are traveling far to celebrate your love at the grand affair. So, of course, it’s best to keep them excited and engaged with the best time throughout the weekend. (With plenty of rest to recharge as well!) And here’s all you need to know about successfully hosting unforgettable multi-day celebrations.


Accommodate All Guests – Transport, Convenience & Comfort


wedding welcome party

Picture Courtesy: @ginaryanphoto


What would your guests expect or want to do at the venue? What kind of activities would make you feel excited? Creating an experience for your guests means considering what they would enjoy and appreciate. As the hosts, you want them to feel comfortable and give them the best time that not only reflects your personality but also has elements that make them feel important and part of the celebrations. Asking yourself questions will help curate events everyone will enjoy. And our experts have discussed just how to do that!


Comfort is Key

Evelyn Mills, Founder of Marriage Maestros, Hong Kong, aptly comments on selecting a convenient location – “Make sure that you choose easy-to-reach locations for each of your celebrations and that transportation is provided. Do your homework on traffic conditions and possible events happening on the same day as these may affect travel time. Keep everything within close proximity for all the wedding-related events. You can always allow some time for guests to explore and enjoy the destination preferably after the Wedding Day by offering or curating some offsite excursions and/or activities outside of the wedding venue.”

One of the most common mistakes couples make at destination weddings is to host their first event as a full-format formal event. But one thing to keep in mind is that many of your guests are flying in from different parts of the world. This typically means they most likely would appreciate some downtime to relax and recharge, while others traveling shorter distances may still be up for some fun. So if you’re planning an activity during the in-between, let it be a casual welcome party that guests can join any time at their will, enjoying drinks and tasteful bites while meeting new friends and old, getting acclimated to the ambiance before the main event. This way, the ones who are late to the party or too exhausted to attend won’t feel like they’re missing out on anything major!

Founder Joann Gregoli of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli, USA also shares, Consider guest comfort when hosting multi-day activities; make sure guests are hydrated during your activities.”


Tajrean Kashem, Founder of Taj Raj Events, UAE, gives us few pointers that could help make guests feel involved and comfortable:

– Ensure there is enough rest/down time between each event
– Ensure diet restrictions are accounted for
– Create a fun brochure with the timeline, location and dress code for each event, along with other attractions and sites nearby
– Ensure there is a special component at all or most events for each age group


We also recommend including welcome bags, local maps and brochures, and providing hotel room blocks. A welcome bag with local and personalized goodies will surely have everyone excited and prepared for the lineup of events planned, and guides of nearby sites allow each guest to explore the area and indulge individually, getting themselves familiarized with the destination.


Get Creative With Themes & Logical With the Timeline


destination wedding activities

Pictures Courtesy: @emilywrenphoto & @sylviegil


Create Unique Experiences

Planners have collectively suggested starting off light and gradually leveling up the experience with each event, incorporating different elements that highlight the theme and destination. This keeps your guests on their toes, always excited to see what’s next. They also emphasize spreading out events, providing enough rest and recovery time between events, so guests are not fatigued or burnt out quickly.

“Be creative! Allow your guests to experience a diverse ambiance on each of the events to evoke the ‘wow’ aspect on each day. Consider the events to elevate each day more and more, don’t hit the first day as the best, as you want them to expect the next event with more impact from the day before.” Says Eunice Bravo, Founder of Eunice Bravo Weddings, Mexicoto which Joann adds, “Try to host activities indigenous to the region. I like the guests to experience the culture they are visiting and immerse them in the local flavors and customs.”

Keeping your themes varied with food and beverage options is a great idea to include diversity and keep guests engaged constantlyDanila Stella from Danila Stella Event Crafters, Italy, tells us one way to do this is to draw inspiration from the destination. “Does something says Italy more than Pizza? or France more than Oyster and Champagne?” She says these may seem clichè, but it always pleases guests and helps with the overall vibes.

Carolina Muzo of Mi Boda Magica, Ecuador, also encourages couples to highlight culture through beverages, creating unique food experiences, and including national customs.


multi-day destination wedding activities

Pictures Courtesy: @lucycuneo


Using local vendors for the welcome party, rehearsal, farewell brunch, or any other activities is like a cheat code that allows your guests to explore and have the best destination experience. Having the expertise of destination weddings in the region, they are the best people to create an all-encompassing itinerary that will let your guests maximize their time at the destination. And for this, it’s best to sit with your planner and come up with an agenda, prioritizing what’s important on each day and what experience you’d like to provide. Oshunlalu Biola Adetokunboh Adetokunboh of Ace Luxury Events, Nigeria, advises couples and planners to do a feasibility study, draft out a detailed mood board, and have a clear timeline of activities so that everything is organized and easy to navigate.

It’s also advisable to hire a professional who is not only in the wedding planning business but also someone who is an expert in travel since the two go hand in hand, especially with destination weddings. “Work with a seasoned, visionary wedding planner who can curate the experience for you and your guests and knows the right vendors/travel partners to make it happen. Different destinations need different permits, too.” – Sandy Halim of Life Creations Celebrations, Egypt.


Tips for Planning Out Activities

While planning, Salah Bushehri of Chandal Events Management & Organizer, Bahrain, points out four tips that couples should consider for smooth sailing through the process:

· Plan the event according to your target group not your own interests

· Involve the participants

· Plan the logistics to match the event

· Communicate


Sandy also contributes her thoughts with these tips:

· Don’t over cram the schedule so people are not exhausted by the wedding day

· Make sure the highlights of the location you’re aiming at are part of the experience

· Make sure the children/elderly in your party are catered for during the activities (Knowing if you need to book strollers/wheelchairs in advance helps)


Keep Enough Time to Avoid Burnout

“Kicking the celebrations off with an informal yet fun Welcome Meet & Greet Party, such as a barbecue or lawn party that includes some local traditional and cultural elements such as the food and entertainment to offer a sense of arrival in the country that you are hosting in, is a nice ice-breaker for guests and family members meeting for the first time, as well as for guests arriving at different times on the day to join at their leisure.” Evelyn further proposes.

Talking about the timeline of events, she goes on to share, “Depending on how far away guests are flying in from, we generally recommend 2-3 days of activities spread over a 3-4 day period. Arriving 1 or 2 days before your guests would be a good way to acclimatize, get to know the venue and your surroundings, meet with your planner and vendors to finalize your wedding program, and be mentally and physically ready for your wedding with a good few nights’ rest ahead of the festivities. If you are going to take pre-wedding photos, it would also be good to get those done ahead of time as well so that you can enjoy and spend more time with your guests.”

“Please make sure you don’t jam-pack a day with too much happening. Guests are there to cherish the moments and enjoy the day and not there to finish a task list. Please keep breathing spaces and resting spaces between activities. Also, make sure everything is well communicated to all the guests to ensure they participate actively in the activities.” Adds Kaveri Vij of Designer Events Inc., India.




destination wedding planning

Picture Courtesy: @erickelley


Finally, Jessica Ralph Bova from Parties A’ La CarteUSA, concludes everyone’s collective thoughts with her words, “With guests traveling to the destination, it is nice to host multi-day activities so they have an itinerary for their trip! They are most likely going to be staying through the weekend, so a welcome reception and post-wedding brunch are both nice courtesy! If selecting to have multi-day activities, please keep in mind most guests may not have transportation. We suggest selecting for these to be held at one of your host hotels so most people will be on the property. If planning something off property, you can also provide transportation from the hotels. Location of your pre and post-events should be noted on your wedding website so guests are aware prior to booking flights and accommodations.”


Now, you’ve got an idea of what activities you can include and everything you need to know about creating the best experience for you and your guests. With all these points, you can successfully host a magical wedding that celebrates you and the beautiful destination in the most perfect and fun-packed style.


Want to know more about wedding websites, guest lists and sending out those invites? See everything our destination wedding planners had to say about it all here. If you’re on the search for planners and expert vendors to help you with your dream wedding, find them all here on the DWP Insider vendor platform!


Feature Image Credit: @erichmcvey