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Destination wedding: what it is and how your hotel should prepare

In recent years, a new wedding model has gained ground among couples looking for originality on their “I do” day. This is a destination wedding, in which the bride and groom choose a city – or even country – to celebrate their union. There are no rules regarding choosing the destination, which can be a place with some meaning for the relationship or, simply, a place that both people like, such as a beach or countryside.

The destination wedding promotes a unique experience not only for the bride and groom, but also for the guests. The list, in fact, tends to be smaller in events like these, as the costs or demands to attend increase. The celebration may include dinner or drinks the night before the ceremony, the celebration itself and the party, and, the next day, a farewell breakfast or lunch.

Hotels must be prepared to host such events, as the occasion is an opportunity to attract and win new customers, as well as increase occupancy in the low season. The ideal is to offer the bride and groom packages that include the complete experience, such as the ceremony, meals and accommodation for the couple, family and close friends. Here are some tips:

Have a place for the ceremony and party

First of all, the hotel must have an attractive space for the wedding ceremony, after all, those looking for a destination wedding are looking for an original place. If your establishment is located by the sea or is surrounded by historic buildings, this is already an advantage. If this is not the case, it is worth investing in creating a space dedicated to weddings. Think of a difference that could attract the lovebirds.

It could be, for example, a party room with a panoramic view of a city, waterfall or park, a beautiful garden or a chapel. Currently, there are hotels that offer an outdoor space for the ceremony and an indoor space for the party. It is important to remember that the establishment needs to accommodate the exchange of rings and the celebration that will take place afterwards, be it a 'party', in the style of a nightclub, or a formal dinner.

Since the couple usually does not live in the city or is even nearby to hire catering and decoration services for the wedding, offering these services as additional or even included in the package is a differentiator. This way, the couple benefits from the ease of not having to negotiate with unknown suppliers or those who are far from where they live.

Before, during and after

As mentioned, the destination wedding goes beyond the wedding ceremony itself and can include experiences before and after the exchange of rings. The hotel that offers other activities, such as meals, tours and spa, on the day and in the hours leading up to the “yes” ends up standing out. It is important to remember that the options must include couples and guests, although some may be exclusive to lovebirds or lovebirds.

Considering a wedding on a Saturday afternoon, the suggestion is to provide a dinner or an evening of drinks, at a festive pace, for the bride and groom and nearby guests. The next day, in the morning, a breakfast or brunch before the wedding and, for the couple, the bride and/or groom's day. On Sunday morning, the ideal is to offer a farewell breakfast or brunch between the bride and groom and the groomsmen.

When a wedding is held in a hotel, it is natural that the couple, their family members and at least some of their closest friends end up staying in the same place. For this reason, the party usually goes on until later, as there is no need to travel back. Therefore, it is necessary to have service options that cover the different times of the party, such as late-night snacks and a coffee table.

Hosting packages

Especially if the wedding is held during the low season, it is worth opting for packages that include accommodation for the couple, with all the perks of a wedding stay, and for guests that the bride and groom select. Today, the most common thing is for parents and godparents to stay in the same hotel, being able to enjoy unique activities before and after the celebration.

Remember that even if your hotel does not have enough space to hold the party, if you are in a city with potential for destination weddings, it is also worth investing in different packages for these occasions. In this case, all additional services – pre-wedding party, quick tourist activities and brunch the next day, for example – can be offered in special packages.

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