What could be better than a summer wedding in a far-flung destination? If it's your own wedding, absolutely nothing. If you're attending said wedding, well, spending your precious time-off on a vacation you didn't plan (while wearing a gown, no less), might not sound like the most appealing thing.
If you've got a destination wedding in the works, guarantee your guests a good time by treating your nuptials like a group getaway. "It's your big day, which is the most important thing, but if your guests truly enjoy themselves, you'll be even happier,"says expert destination wedding planner . One of the world's top planners for Italian destination weddings, she has perfected the art of making unforgettable memories for couples — and their entire wedding party.
We asked Torresan to share her 10 best tips for planning a summer wedding that doubles as a vacation.
It's your wedding after all, so you need to start by thinking about the two of you. "There are so many factors to be taken into account when planning a destination wedding: the type of ceremony, the time of the year, the climate, and where your guests will be traveling from. But first and foremost, you need to choose the city where the both of you left your hearts."
Whether it's where you met, where you had your most memorable vacation, or simply a place you've always dreamed of going, pick a place you're both passionate about, and your guests will share your excitement.
"I always investigate the age range of the guests, as well as their preferences, and find some hotels and venues that can fulfill or go beyond their expectations," says Torresan. If there will be a lot of children, make sure to prioritize child-friendly spaces. If your friends are big on glamour, a spa hotel is a great option.
According to Torresan, the most important thing when searching for a hotel is proximity to the wedding venue. Especially if you're in a country where most of your guests don't speak the language, avoid the complexities of transportation by making everything within walking distance.
Greet your guests in the most memorable way possible by making sure every moment upon arrival is beautifully-curated.
"I often work with couples who ask me for exclusive welcome services for their guests. From the moment they book their hotel room, to their arrival at the airport, we make it a seamless experience," she says. "We also add some creativity by putting together a bespoke welcome bag to be delivered to the hotel room once they get there."
It depends on the location you choose, but make sure to plan pre- and post-wedding activities that accentuate the locale and make every moment celebratory.
"If you're staying in a spa hotel, you can book beauty treatments for your guests or arrange an afternoon at the hot springs," Torresan says. "Or you can arrange some unconventional wedding fun, like a BBQ rehearsal dinner on the beach or attending a private concert."
"These days, we all love photo booths, so I often include them in the weddings I plan," says Torresan. "You can also have a video-photographer spend an entire day with your guests while they are enjoying free time before the wedding, especially if it's during a special activity." That way, you can capture the fun in a variety of ways.
Let's be honest: most people travel for the food. And with a foodie dream destination like Italy, your guests are going to look forward to trying all of the tasty local fare.
"Your guests will never forget what delicious specialties you offered them, so make sure the food is an exciting experience," she says. "Invite a star chef if you have a limited number of guests, or set up a food station reception with open kitchens so they can watch their food be prepared."
Everyone wants a little personal time while on vacation. "Excursions are a great idea if you want your guests to feel like they're really on holiday," says Torresan.
"Encourage them to visit some wonderful nearby spots on the days leading up to the wedding. I always prefer guided tours, offering the guests a wide variety of destinations."
Like on any vacation, make sure your guests get to take a little piece of their trip home with them. "Small gift boxes of local goods are always appreciated, but if you can find some beautiful handcrafted artwork, your guests will adore them," she says.
"If you take care of your guests throughout the entire planning process, everything will be fine," says Torresan.
Cheers to that!