Destination Wedding Activities

Everyone wants a wedding like no other in a place that is unique, scenic, and picturesque. No run of the mill ceremony or reception. It is a once in a lifetime event. You don’t have to search long and hard as there are so many wonderful places to have a destination wedding. You can rent just about any kind of resort or hotel ball room, someone’s private home with a garden, a mountain retreat or even a beach venue. Each option has its benefits and attractions. It just takes some imagination and planning. A good wedding planner will put everything in place to your perfect satisfaction once you have made your needs known. It is always a custom event and it has to reflect the couple’s personality and what kind of experience they hope for their guests. It has to be a day like no other documented with ample photographs.

At a destination wedding, it is advisable to provide activities to keep your guests busy so they don’t spend all their time at the hotel bar. This is especially true if you have planned a day of socializing before the ceremony. People have a tendency to congregate when they could be having group fun. Take a beach wedding, for example. You want them to participate in team sports and some fun beach games you have set up for their amusement. This way people can meet and mingle. You know the deal. People often encounter the love of their life at a wedding. After all, there are plenty of singles your age looking for a connection. If you have events for them to keep them preoccupied and in touch, you may be instigating a romance or two right in the midst of the actual wedding.

Beach volleyball is a greater mixer. You just have to tell people to bring appropriate attire. Everyone loves it and it can be for men and women. Just start with a few volunteers. Those who want to lay around under the beach umbrella can toss a few inflated balls or build sand castles. Maybe offer a prize for the best one. People like to play card or board games if they are reclining in chairs. Others will walk under the delightful rays of the burning sun. People will find their own way if you provide plenty of options. Just swimming is enough to keep most happy on a very hot day.

Many couples who engage beach venues like to have the ceremony by the water on the sand. People can stay in swimsuits and cover-ups or change to finer attire. If you are at the beach, there are certain assumptions. It is going to be casual. The reception can be right there nearby with tables of simple food covered by colorful umbrellas. Tropical drinks can be passed while they eat. The kind with little umbrellas. Decorations go with the territory. Paper plates strewn with shells accompany beach pails laden with flowers. All in all, it is youthful and amusing. Everyone is bound to have fun.

Cool Nights, Warm Guests

One thing many brides-to-be overlook is temperature, which is unfortunate because it can be a huge factor in the comfort of your guests. Think about the attire you are asking your guests to wear. If it’s hot and the men at your wedding are required to wear suits and ties, they might fall over from the heat. If you’ve asked the women to wear cocktail dresses on a night that suddenly turns cool, there will be many regrets over bare calves and sleeveless dresses. I strongly advise you to take stock of your guests’ comfort in this regard.

For an outdoor wedding, this seems pretty straightforward: you need to protect your guests from the elements. You likely are aware that you can put up a tent to block the sun, wind, or rain from interfering with your guests’ enjoyment of the festivities. But there are always other details to consider. Take a good look at your menu, including your plans for the cake, if it will be outside. Choose things that are OK to sit in warmer temperatures, foods that won’t congeal or make your guests ill. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your wedding was if you give your guests food poisoning. People tend to remember being poisoned. Fans can add some relief in both indoor (if your venue lacks central air) and outdoor situations, but they can’t be too strong or they can cause hair and wardrobe malfunctions. If your wedding is indoors and you are afraid the room will get too hot, find out what they normally keep the thermostat set to. They might overcompensate for the heat and the room might be quite cold. You may want to advise female guests to bring a shawl or wrap, or possibly negotiate a different temperature for the room. For a signature drink, I recommend something tropical or fruity, served over ice. It will get your guests thinking cool thoughts!

But what about if your wedding is scheduled for late fall or winter, or if you happen to catch an unseasonably cool night? If your outdoor wedding starts to look like a scene from Frozen, you can add heating lamps to your outdoor décor to help thaw everyone out. Be sure to ask the venue if they have heaters or if it is something you might need to rent. If you are renting chairs, tables, or tents, the same company may be able to provide heating units. If your wedding is indoors, again, it is good to find out how high the heat setting will be. After all, you don’t want your guests to overheat when they are dancing. Also, if you are having your wedding at an older or atypical venue, you may want to check your location out for drafts and the like. You don’t want an icy draft to cause your dear great aunt to complain that she was sitting in the arctic tundra when you meant for her to be sitting at a table of honor. Personally, I like to place bathroom heaters in both the mens’ and womens’ rooms for winter weddings. A small space heater will warm the place up to a comfortable level and be a nice respite from cold weather or chilly ballrooms. Mine warms the tile nicely, making a toasty treat for all the women who switch out of uncomfortable shoes and into flip flops for the reception. Remember, even if you’re inside, people get chilly. I find a small space heater designed for bathrooms can actually end up a gathering place for guests. It can also be a good prep area for the bride when she needs a touch up. They are much better and safer than using the bathroom hand drier. I also like hot beverages, like a hot toddy or a butterscotch Schnapps hot chocolate, as a signature drink for chilly days.

Hope this was of some help!

One of my All-Time Best Planner Secrets

I don’t like to give away all my wedding planner secrets, but sometimes you just gotta crow. It makes me feel good. There are all kinds of tips and tricks of the trade to make the big day go smoother for all involved. As there can be a great deal of stress in planning a wedding, you have to have mental and physical stamina for the job. Some tips pertain to the venue, and others to the bride and groom. There are literally thousands of details to remember, and any shortcuts are welcome. If you can’t get it all done before the wedding, then it will be doomed to failure.

One area that is often the bane of my existence are the flowers. They can make or break the ambience. You have to have the right quantity and the right color scheme to please the happy couple. In addition, if they are delivered too early or are not fresh, they will wilt. If the climate is not humid, but is excessively dry, this will add to the problem. I have to do whatever I can at the last minute to salvage a dried up crop. This means thinking in advance and anticipating problems.

For example, I keep a large portable cool-mist humidifier in my van for certain occasions when the flowers are just not up to par. This has happened more than once. I don’t like toting this unwieldy monster, but believe me it does the job. The water tank is 3 gallons which can cover a fairly decent size room or reception hall in the wedding venue. It can be used before the flowers are installed or after. (Just don’t forget to remove it before the ceremony.) More than one wedding reception has been saved as a result.

A little steam or mist goes a long way toward restoring flowers to their optimal appearance. It is liquid food for their souls. You don’t even have to leave the humidifier on that long to see results. Be mindful, however, that the bride and bridesmaids may sneak over to the unit to get a dewy, glowing look. Dry skin on wedding day is not a healthy sign! In the meantime, the humidifier is pretty quiet while it operates and you almost don’t know it is there.

What you want is a console model that offers a moisture-rich environment on the spot. Mine uses the evaporative method and it makes for a pleasant atmosphere. It can run continuously for an entire day on one tank of water. I have an adjustable humidistat that automatically turns the humidifier on and off at a preset level. It is really a no brainer. These devices are easy to fill, safe, and only need an occasional filter replacement. You don’t have to have dried up flowers to appreciate their work. People with asthma, colds and coughs, and certain health conditions swear by them in their homes. I might just have need for my humidifier on non-wedding days.

Must-Have Registry Item: Wine Glasses

It doesn’t have to be Saint Louis or Baccarat. It doesn’t have to come from France or Germany. It could, but then you would be taxing your wedding guests’ budgets. When placing wine glasses on your register, you need to go middle grade. You want something that is more than every day, but also that won’t break the bank. Speaking of breakage, there is nothing worse than shattering a $300 wine glass. So be sensible and select accordingly. You will be happy in the long run.

There are many fine brands that boast of a range of crystal from wine to water glasses and barware. Williams Sonoma for one online site has a nice assortment to please any and all tastes. People know the company and find it easy to work with the bridal registry. They can select your gift with relative ease. The same is true for Crate & Barrel. I, myself, recommend going with the obvious so people don’t have to search very hard or worry about credit card security. Yes, that issue is still of major concern.

China and wine glasses, not to mention silver place settings, are the main items on any wedding must have list. Linens, including sheets and towels, are important but less fun to buy. Know, as the bride, that Invitees of your big day like to pick something classy and showy budget permitting: hence the top choices given. Kitchen gadgets are low on the list but can be bought in bulk to add up to a nice “gift basket.” You can include as many as you can think of. So unless all your desired gifts are taken, you hope your guests will go for the most grand.

Getting back to choosing the best wine glasses for your wedding, and you will certainly need them, the bride and groom must select a style that complements their chosen china. It has to be either modern or old-fashioned to be a true match. I don’t like to see a couple select a plain modern plate like Wedgewood white and then a faceted ornamental glass that looks like is was on the table in Beauty and the Beast. This is the same for the silver pattern. Hopefully you will inherit some, if not a set, from grandma; but if not, it can run up in the hundreds for just one place setting, in spite of the fact that silver prices are down. Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with stainless steel. People are getting more practical and modern all the time, and no one likes polishing.

As far as registries go, brides should give their guests a variety of options in all price ranges. Relatives give money, but people still enjoy the idea that you will get a wrapped and delivered gift from them. They know that their taste is reflected in their choice. It is not supposed to be about money, but thoughtfulness and an understanding of typical newlywed needs. Wine glasses have always been one of the best gifts in terms of appropriateness, price, and quality. A gift of four or more says that your guest has clearly understood.