Whether you’ve decided to visit a favorite city, head to the beach, or make your way to the mountains, a destination vow renewal adds an extra layer of festivity to your celebration. It turns a special day into a weekend or week of fun and excitement. Since you’re asking guests to travel to the destination and join your celebration, there are a few need-to-know bits of etiquette that you’ll want to keep in mind. Here are the top etiquette tips for planning a destination vow renewal.
Timing is Everything
Research and consider popular tourist seasons before you book anything. Selecting a date during peak travel season, which could mean significantly higher hotel and flight costs for you and your guests, as well as lower availability. Consider a date during the period between the peak and off-peak seasons to make planning easier and more affordable. Otherwise, you’ll need to start planning extra early so you can ensure availability. You’ll also want to consider seasonal weather patterns, such as hurricane season in the Caribbean or mud season in the mountains.
Find the Perfect Day
If you and you’re guests are planning on being at the destination for four or more days, plan your vow renewal for two days after everyone is scheduled to arrive. Weather and cancellations can make travel unpredictable and throw a wrench into even the best-laid plans. Leaving a buffer day between arrivals and your vow renewal also gives everyone time to relax.
Arrange for Group Rates
If you’re expecting a large group to attend your destination vow renewal, make things easier on your guests by arranging for group rates whenever possible. Securing a group rate for local transportation (shuttles and rental cars), flights, and a room block can save your guests a lot of money. Check into anything that offers a discount for guaranteeing a large number of bookings. Be sure to offer guests multiple price range options when it comes to the room block, so they get a room that meets their budget needs.
Let Guests Know ASAP
Let your guests know as far in advance as possible, even if it’s six to nine months before your vow renewal date when asking them to travel. Once you’ve selected and booked your venue, you should send out your save the dates. Guests will want to mark their calendars, make vacation requests, and start looking at the hotel room blocks and travel tips you’ve provided right away. If you’ll be traveling internationally, this also gives your guests plenty of time to make sure their passports are in order.
Keep Guests Entertained
Take the time to provide your guests with lists of suggestions and recommendations for the days surrounding your vow renewal. This should include recommendations and contact information for local activities and restaurants. You can also schedule something cost-free, such as a hiking local trail, taking a free tour, or visiting a public garden. This allows your guests to join you for a little down-time without spending extra cash. While you’re not required to provide all of your guests’ meals and activities, it is nice to host a welcome party and morning-after brunch to bookend the trip.
Ensure your guests arrive prepared and happy by creating a website for your destination vow renewal. Include the standard details like the dates you’ll be at the destination, the dress code, hotel room block options, and any group rates you’ve secured. Be sure to include packing tips and list any items they won’t want to leave home without, and details on things they should be aware of like bringing layers because your warm destination cools off at night, or like the need to stay hydrated in the mountains a high altitude. You’ll also want to post recommendations and ideas for restaurants and activities to make their visit more enjoyable. If it’s a need to know, put it all on your website!
Give Guests a Warm Welcome
A welcome bag is a perfect way to give your guests a warm welcome for a destination vow renewal. Fill the bag with useful items like local maps, sunscreen, and reusable water bottles, along with tasty snacks and treats that coordinate with your theme and destination. Don’t forget to include an itinerary for the trip, so they’ll know where they need to be and when.