Seeing friends and family converge on a stunning location for a wedding is one of my favourite moments. When they have traveled from all over the world, it is even more exciting. Sometimes guests may have got their first passport for your wedding or they will have been traveling over 24 hours to get to the UK just because they are your best friend. If you are a bride or groom who has led an international life, there is nothing quite like seeing all your loved ones together. It might be something you never thought would happen. I will never forget watching my college roommate from America mingling with my best friend from London or my parents having a drink with my husband’s grandmother. These are the memories you will truly treasure.
Asking your guests to travel internationally to your wedding also means that there are extra factors to take into consideration. At any wedding, your guests’ comfort should be taken into account. However, when guests are traveling far for your special day, they should be given a little extra special attention. They will be spending a large sum on travel and likely taking off a large chunk of work to celebrate with you. So, they should be rewarded with a stress-free experience to remember!
1. Organisation is everything. Send a save the date early and direct guests to your wedding website.
In a guest list of 100 people you will very likely have guests who are not comfortable traveling internationally or who require hand holding. They might not know about handing money abroad, getting taxis at the airport, and using public transport. This means all of these questions will be sent to you, who will be busy with wedding planning. By creating a thorough wedding website you will undoubtedly save yourself time, headaches, and mistakes. Simply update it as you go and when guests ask questions, send them to the relevant material on your website.
2. Make postage easy.
If you would like your RSVP cards posted back to you, they should have stamps already on them. This can be a problem; a UK stamp will not work if the post is being mailed from America. You would need to get a US stamp to put on your RSVP card. This can be very tedious if you have guests coming from many different countries. If you don’t include postage and guests need to do it on their own you are likely to have delayed RSVPs. So, here are alternative options:
- Ask guests to scan and email an RSVP card.
- Use an online RSVP system online via your wedding website.
3. Include pre-wedding and post-wedding events to create a multi-day wedding.
This is the perfect opportunity to stretch your wedding out. It’s difficult for guests to travel from far and wide for only one day. But create group activities, dinners, brunches, or barbecues for a couple more days and your guests will be jumping up and down at the opportunity. London and the UK have so much to offer and what a better chance than your wedding to show it off. Lazy afternoon teas, clay pigeon shooting for the boys, English cheese and wine tastings, luxury spa days for the girls, and horseback riding through the country are just a few ideas of activities that can be arranged.
4.Decide what will need to be translated.
Your save the dates, invitations, orders of service, and menus may all need to be printed in two or more languages. Similarly, will you need a translator at your ceremony and for your speeches? Think about this early and incorporate everyone’s languages so that all your guests feel included.
5. Welcome your guests in style.
Always taking your guests comfort into account at your wedding is the gracious thing to do. Arranging airport transfers and coordinating champagne on arrival sets the tone of an exciting wedding.
Similarly, welcome packages in guest rooms show how much you care that you friends and family have arrived to celebrate with you. Include items that represent your home countries and your wedding host countries, items your guests may need (medicines, plasters, etc.), a wedding schedule, emergency phone numbers, and a personalised letter from you for a special touch.