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Let’s set the stage — you’re about 6-8 weeks away from the destination wedding of your dreams. YAY! At this point, all of the hard stuff is out of the way and all final payments have been made, so you’re ready to get creative and start thinking about how you want to keep your guests informed — a welcome newsletter and welcome bags, of course! If you’re like me, you can send the newsletter out about a month before travel, but if you’re a little more short on time, 2 weeks is fine.
Most of your guests will be excited to travel for a wedding and a welcome letter, along with a welcome bag or gift (don’t forget this should probably happen, too) is one of the best ways to make them feel special.
Of course, you can add your own flair! For example, for our wedding not only sent custom luggage tags and a printed version of the welcome letter about a month before travel, but also sent out an electronic newsletter about 2 weeks before. And when they arrived, they had welcome bags in their room! It was a lot of work, but guests loved it.
Ultimately, the purpose of the welcome letter or newsletter is to help guide your guests around the destination, introduce them to some of your bridal party and really set the schedule for the weekend. Guests can never get enough information, they will always have questions, so if you can think of anything, you should put it in there, girl! This is like the wedding website you created but now in paper form with more specific details about the destination + wedding weekend.
With that said, I do not want you to be overwhelmed! Remember, we are almost at the finish line, so follow some of my tips for a great destination wedding welcome letter below, and let’s get to work! (We will get to the Welcome Bag, aka Destination Goodies, in another post.)
There's a lot of information you'll want to remember to tell your guests — whether it's in your welcome letter or on your website. So we've made it easy for you! Check out our full Guest Information Checklist:
Here are six things you should include in the perfect wedding welcome letter:
1. A Personal Note
Writing a personal note to all your loved ones can really make them feel special. Remember, they have traveled, or will travel, far and wide — and some hopped on their first flight, got their first passport, and really went all out for your special weekend. One of my favorite things to see is the Thank You part of the letter, as well as quick story from the two of you.
Some ideas: How did you and your fiancé meet? Why is this location important to you? For those guests who may not know much about your future spouse, this is your time to tell them!
2. Weekend Itinerary
For people who want to follow a plan as much as I do, this is crucial. Just think, you are in a foreign place without really knowing what’s what or who’s who, some things just need to be panned!
This is something a lot of couples include, especially because this helps guests plan their days for other activities off the resort, such as excursions and time outside of the wedding.
Just a quick recap: This is where you can include different activities, times, locations…any other pertinent info. Providing helpful hints on what to wear, especially for a destination wedding, can be extremely beneficial for your guests.
Although, I suggest you send this kind of information out with the invitation, because by the time they get this welcome letter, they are already at the destination with or without the proper attire. You don’t want a guest showing up in black tie attire to a beach wedding.
3. Pictures & Cool Things to Do
As at travel designer, this is my favorite part of the letter! In this section, let your guests know your favorite restaurants, bars, outdoor activities, excursions or shopping places here. If you have never been there or had the chance to explore on a site visit, grab some items from your travel agent and/or the local tourism board with fun facts about the destination.
This gives guests an opportunity to explore the city that you love and see just why you chose to have your wedding here. Add some cool pics of the locale, or some quick facts about the local delicacies and a must-see thing to do.
Tip: try adding a few of these to your welcome bag — this gives you that personal touch. For example: rum in Jamaica, Mezcal in Mexico, Coffee in Costa Rica — think about what your destination is known for and share.
4. Important Contacts & Who’s in Charge
Whatever you do, do not provide YOUR contact information in the letter. This is your special weekend, guests will have questions – let those questions be directed to someone else! Provide the number to your wedding planner and travel agent, or any concierge manager from the hotel, so if there are any issues they can handle them. Also, include a number for someone in your wedding party (Best Man/Maid of Honor) who can answer wedding related questions.
5. Meet the Bridal Party
So, your mom and dad might remember that crazy party friend who got you into a lot of trouble back in high school, but what about everyone else? Make sure to highlight your bridal party, and maybe add an interesting fact or photo about each person.
6. Tips for Travel
This is important. Here, I would make sure they know what to pack, the currency situation, whether or not to prepare for mosquitos, the weather, emergency info, passport details one last time, and TRAVEL AGENT INFO — also maybe just repeat some info from the travel documents that we know they didn’t read!
Looking for inspiration:
Minted and Etsy are our favorites but Pinterest has tons of samples you can take a look at to get those creative juices flowing. Need some help creating the finished project, our team at TravelBash can create a custom designed newsletter with your colors and personalized story. Just reach out to me here.
Also, check out how Darris and I welcomed our guests, hopefully it will give you an idea of just what you can do with this:
Eat, Drink & Don’t Forget the Welcome Newsletter!