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Finding Time to Reconnect and Remain Present During Your Destination Wedding


Finding Time to Reconnect and Remain Present During Your Destination Wedding Week

One of the things that’s most important to me as a luxury destination wedding planner is ensuring my couples always have time to enjoy one another during the whirlwind that is their wedding week. With travel logistics to manage, jet-lag setting in, and family and friends in town—it can be so easy to get swept up in stress and spend all of your time entertaining your guests…but you never want to look back on your wedding week and realize that you didn’t get any alone time and were overwhelmed rather than overjoyed.

Today, I wanted to offer my top tips for reconnecting and remaining present with one another as you celebrate your destination wedding week. Let’s get straight to it…

1. Plan to arrive a few days earlier than friends and family. 

If your schedules allow for it, I always recommend arriving in your wedding location at least two days before your guests begin arriving. This allows you time to settle in, explore your surroundings as a couple without any outside distractions, and enjoy a date night or two entirely to yourselves before family and friends land and the festivities begin. Taking time to get present and connect with one another allows you the quiet space you need to truly soak in what it is you’re celebrating: your once-in-a-lifetime love…before you begin to heed the call of hosting and entertaining.

2. Recommend plenty of activities for your guests.

Work with either your destination wedding planner or a local travel agent to recommend (and possibly plan and schedule) some activities for your guests that you won’t attend. Keeping friends and family busy by giving them options for exploring the city on their own will free up more time for you two to connect, rather than be relegated to constantly playing host. This will also help minimize text messages and phone calls from guests asking for restaurant recommendations or ideas for things to do. Include clear information about great local restaurants, architectural attractions, and must-see spots on your wedding website and/or in a guest welcome bag. (That way, if guests do reachout asking for recommendations, you can simply point them in the direction of a web page or card in their welcome bag.)

3. Use your wedding website to set guests’ expectations ahead of time.

Your guests never mean to bug you—they’re simply excited about celebrating your love in an incredible location and might express that excitement via well-meaning (but unwanted) checking in and constant communication. A great way to keep unexpected knocks on your hotel-room door at bay (and to ensure you’re not inundated with text messages about meeting up all hours of the day) is to simply set clear expectations on your wedding website.

Include a timeline that breaks down when you’ll be celebrating with your guests (the rehearsal dinner, perhaps one other city outing together, your wedding day, a farewell brunch, etc.) and when you’ll be spending time alone. You can do this in a tactful way by including wording along the lines of: “Friday: We’ll be taking the day to ourselves—and leaving our cell phones behind—as we spend a screen-free day together in the city to prepare for the incredible festivities with family and friends that are to come! Head to our travel recommendations page to check out all of the exciting things you can do with your free time.)

4. Schedule a pre-wedding couples photoshoot.

In my opinion, there’s simply no better way to reconnect and celebrate your love than with a pre-wedding photoshoot a day or two before your celebration. It’s a perfect way to sneak in some alone time and explore your wedding location—while also warming up to the camera, meeting your photographer if you haven’t already, and alleviating some of the pressure of having to capture thousands of perfect images on the day-of.

5. Plan for one post-ceremony moment with just the two of you.

Here’s something you’ve likely heard countless times throughout your planning journey: your wedding day is going to be a whirlwind! To ensure you snag at least one secret moment where you can really soak in and savor what’s happening, then, I recommend planning a brief moment after your ceremony—but before your reception—where the two of you can take a few minutes to toast each other, reconnect, and spend some time away from everyone before the remaining festivities begin.

Have your wedding planner sweep the two of you away to a small table in a quiet setting where you can sip champagne, indulge in the memory of what just happened, and connect as spouses for the very first time. Keep in mind: this should be fairly quick—you don’t want to leave your guests, who flew across the world to celebrate your love, for more than 15-20 minutes or so—but it’s an important moment to indulge in if you want to look back at your wedding day and have the ability to recall a just-the-two-of-you moment that was slow, sweet, and incredibly special.

Perhaps no images better capture the importance of one-on-one moments than E+F’s dreamy pre-wedding shoot in Budapest. Let’s take a few minutes to immerse ourselves in the palpable connection these two have…

Until next time, happy planning—and remember to stay connected as you celebrate!

Photography Credits:
Eva Tarnok |

Contact Exalt Africa for more details or to discuss your upcoming wedding.

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