HOW TO LOOK AF­TER OVER­SEAS GUESTS

For guests trav­el­ling ex­tra miles for your wed­ding, here are five ways to show you’re ex­tra glad they came.

New Zealand Weddings - - CONTENTS - By ANYA TRUONG- GE­ORGE

Show them you’re glad they came

1 Cre­ate a wed­ding web­site

Un­less you’re a sea­soned trav­eller or have a pen­chant for spon­ta­neous trips, it’s un­likely you’d jet off to un­charted wa­ters with no in­for­ma­tion about your des­ti­na­tion or what you’re do­ing when you get there. If some of your guests are trav­el­ling from over­seas, a sim­ple way to pro­vide them with info about your big day is by cre­at­ing a wed­ding web­site, sug­gests wed­ding plan­ner and stylist Becks Mur­ray (en­vyevents.co.nz). In­clud­ing ba­sics such as the time and date of the big day (along with maps, ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions and things to do in the area) will help them feel in­formed and at ease.

2 Tai­lor ac­com­mo­da­tion to suit all bud­gets

If you have a rea­son­able-sized group of guests trav­el­ling from over­seas, or even from out of town, con­sider find­ing out whether ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions in the area of­fer dis­counts. Of­ten, they will pro­vide con­ces­sions for groups. If not, com­pile a list of op­tions that of­fer a va­ri­ety of rates. Your guests will have different bud­gets; some may like the op­tion of splash­ing out on a lux­ury villa, while oth­ers will be happy to share a cheap and cheer­ful room with a cou­ple of friends.

3 Add a lit­tle per­sonal touch

There’s noth­ing like a sur­prise gift to make guests feel spe­cial. Con­sider or­gan­is­ing a care pack­age for them on ar­rival at their ac­com­mo­da­tion, com­plete with a hand­writ­ten note for an ex­tra touch. Think about what’s unique to your lo­ca­tion and tai­lor the pack­age ac­cord­ingly. For ex­am­ple, if your guests have never been to New Zealand, a block of Whit­taker’s choco­late or a bot­tle of wine from the lo­cal re­gion would set the tone per­fectly. Keep the sea­son in mind too; a mini tube of sun­block for a sum­mer wed­ding, or per­haps some lip balm for the cooler months. Com­plete the care pack­age with a mini guide to the area and a list of things to do.

4 Make trans­port su­per easy

Guests trav­el­ling from afar will have al­ready spent money just get­ting to your wed­ding, so it can be a great idea to or­gan­ise a pick-up from the air­port to their ho­tel, and then on to your venue. And by hav­ing trans­port al­ready sorted, guests who are un­fa­mil­iar with the area can re­lax in the knowl­edge that they are headed in the right di­rec­tion.

5 Ex­tend the in­vite

If you’re think­ing about hold­ing a re­hearsal din­ner be­fore the big day, con­sider ex­tend­ing the in­vite to over­seas visitors. “Big re­hearsal din­ners or next- day brunches are a great way to spend more time with these guests,” says Becks. This gives you the op­por­tu­nity to have some fun with peo­ple you may not see a lot of on the wed­ding day, and gives your over­seas guests the chance to get to know other at­ten­dees ahead of the main event.

Some­times, it’s the small­est touches that make the big­gest dif­fer­ence. Par­tic­u­larly if you don’t have much time to spend with guests who have trav­elled from afar, a hum­ble gift will leave no doubt that you ap­pre­ci­ate their pres­ence.

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