No two marriages are exactly alike. Neither should any two weddings be the same. Your wedding day should be a reflection of who you are as a couple, your journey together, and the things and people you love. Infusing my clients’ personalities into the wedding design is one of the best parts of wedding planning, and it’s no different for a destination wedding. In fact, when you choose to have a destination wedding in Ireland, Europe or some other romantic location, you’re already off to a great start in terms of creating an experience for your guests that is unlike any other. The challenge is to find ways to personalise a destination wedding while also making your guests feel at home, and the key to answering that challenge is in the details. Every detail you choose is an opportunity to make your day stand out, to make it meaningful and sentimental, and to make it an unforgettable occasion for everyone who attends.
Here are 8 great ways to personalise a destination wedding.
Brand your wedding stationery. Personalising your wedding stationery can go beyond using colours you love. Have your designer create a monogram or logo that incorporates personal as well as destination-specific elements. You can use this in so many ways: invitations, programs, menus, cocktail sticks and napkins, signage, a custom aisle runner or dance floor, cake decoration, and more!
Build excitement with a special gift. The focus is often on welcome gifts and favours, but a unique way to build excitement for your guests is to have a package delivered before they leave. It could include useful items for the trip such as a guidebook or luggage tags, a packing list and printed itinerary, or some of your personal favourite travel treats and essentials.
Give your guests the warmest welcome. A welcome gift is always a good idea for a destination wedding, as it immediately makes your guests feel embraced. While it’s always good to include a few items that reflect your destination, such as local snacks or crafts, it’s also fun to include a taste of home. So if you have a fave from your daily lives that you can include, add that to the mix as well!
Plan activities you love. The joy of a destination wedding is spending quality time with special people. Group activities allow you to do this while exploring the local culture and landscape. But you can put a personal spin on these as well. For example, if one of you is a keen cook, you could host a cooking class for guests. Or if you’re keen hikers, plan an excursion to explore the countryside around your venue together.
Put your own spin on the menu. One of the best ways to personalise a destination wedding is through the menu. The perfect balance is a mix of local specialty foods with favourites from your home. The results can be really surprising – and memorable!
Make the flowers meaningful. Take a leaf out of the royal wedding playbook and choose flowers that are meaningful to you as well as beautiful. Again, a mix of seasonal local blooms and perhaps one or two of your favourites (or those of a loved one) is a lovely way to blend where you’re from with your wedding destination. A national flower is another option. For example, if you’re coming from South Africa for a destination wedding in Ireland, you might have your florist include a protea in the bride’s bouquet.
Choose music with a story. There are so many ways to personalise your wedding ceremony, including vows and readings. But music is always a good place to start! (Unless, of course, you’re exchanging vows in a church, in which case your musical choices will be limited.) Choose an instrumental version of a favourite song or play some typical music from home or from your culture.
Hand write thank you notes. Sometimes the old ways are the best! Handwritten notes are a beautiful way to make things personal (especially if they come on stationery with your wedding brand!). There are lots of opportunities for this kind of personal contact. A handwritten welcome letter, a personal note left for your guests with a treat at bedtime, a letter set at their place at the reception table, a daily note left along with the day’s itinerary, a personal farewell for them to read on the plane. You don’t have to write all of these, of course – these are just examples of the touchpoints you could use to communicate with your guests in a special way.
Whichever of these ways to personalise a destination wedding you ultimately choose, don’t be afraid to express your uniqueness creatively – even if it means changing up a tradition or two!
Slán go Fóill,