How to Make a Wedding at Home Feel Like a Destination Wedding

There are many great reasons to have a destination wedding. One of the best is the way you’re able to spend lots of quality time with your guests. With planned activities and everyone often staying in one location, there are many opportunities for memories to be made. But what if you’re planning a wedding at home? How do you create the same feeling and ensure that it doesn’t all just rush by? After all, you don’t want to miss out! Especially if you have friends and family coming in from out of town who you don’t see often. With a bit of thoughtful planning it’s possible to achieve. Here are a few of the best ways to make a wedding at home feel like destination.

Limit your guest list. Most destination weddings smaller than hometown weddings. Couples often prefer to keep the guest list to close friends and family. Plus more of your list likely won’t be able to make it because of the travel or time commitment needed, further reducing the numbers. While more guests are likely to be able to attend a local wedding, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep it intimate! And the fewer guests, the more quality time with each.

Host multiple events. Another stand-out feature of destination weddings is the way they generally take place over a full weekend, with several different celebrations. Do the same, even if you’re planning a wedding at home. For example, a welcome party, bridesmaid’s luncheon or big rehearsal dinner, where everyone can mingle. A morning-after brunch is also a great idea, whatever your wedding location. It’s a lovely way to end the entire wedding experience, trade stories from the night before, and say goodbye to any out-of-town guests.

Play tourist. Even if you grew up in your town or city, chances are that you’ve never experienced it the way a tourist would. A group activity is another great way to spend quality time with guests. Why not enjoy a signature hometown experience or explore somewhere nearby? Day trips like a wine or food tour, a boat trip, or even a cooking or cocktail-making class are great ways of making memories together.

Get organized. Many couples leave lots of last-minute tasks or DIYs until the week of their wedding. To be present with your guests at all those pre-wedding activities and events you’ll be planning, you’ll need to be sure you aren’t busy with wedding planning tasks. Create detailed to-do lists, don’t procrastinate, and ask for help. Better yet, hire a wedding planner. A planner can take all those last-minute tasks off your hands so you can kick back and enjoy yourself!

Maximize your timeline. Even though the wedding day tends to rush by, there are many things you can do to optimize the time available to spend with guests. For example, you could have a first look instead of scheduling your couple shoot during the cocktail hour. Choosing a venue with a ceremony and reception space both on-site cuts out travel time. Long tables and family-style dining are other good options, as they allow you to sit with your guests instead of being separated at a head table.

And don’t forget: whatever you do to make the most of time with your guests at your local (or destination) wedding, don’t forget to take a few minutes for yourselves as well!


Image by Amy and Stuart Photography