Drumroll please… Ta-da! Part III in our series on creating written materials for your Caribbean destination wedding has finally arrived — writing a welcome letter that won’t have them wandering lost all over the island missing the good food and drinks that you’ve already paid for at the party they can’t find!!!
I realize that most of you probably think I’ve lost my mind — you are thinking, really, how important can the welcome letter be? I need to tell you right here and now that I think the welcome letter is one of the most important tools to creating a smooth-flowing wedding weekend for you, your families, and your friends.
Odds are that none of your wedding guests have ever been to the location where you’re holding your destination wedding. Now there are flukes, but as a general rule, very few of our wedding guests had ever been to Vieques Island or Culebra Island before. That means that when they arrive on the island and learn that we have no stop lights, wild horses in the road, and no breathalyzer on the island, a lot of them tend to act like fools. They also get lost. Really lost. And they fail to use common sense regarding their own safety.
A welcome letter is just the ticket to provide all the necessary information in one place, and get it into your guests’ hot little hands as soon as they arrive on the island. One of the things we do at Weddings in Vieques is deliver all of the welcome bags to your guests’ accommodations before they arrive on the island. We like to think we’re taking that task off our clients’ plates so the bride and groom can relax when they first arrive on the island. I remember stuffing my own welcome bags with Bill in our suite at Hacienda Tamarindo — what a mess!!! We were stepping over boxes and tripping on bags for three days. It wasn’t pretty. If you have a wedding planner, it’s well worth it to ask her to deliver your welcome bags.
The welcome letter should contain the following elements:
— a welcome note from the bride and groom
— tips about the destination, basically some do’s and don’ts and safety tips
— a detailed schedule of events for the entire weekend
— directions to all of the scheduled events
— contact information for your wedding planner or whomever is playing the role of point person
It’s also a good idea to include local maps and other publications about businesses and events in and around your destination. Never ever expect to your guests to bring any of the materials with them that you’ve sent them in advance of your wedding weekend. 99% of them won’t pack the travel information packet, the invitation, or the newsletter they’ve just received. You must provide all of the information they’re going to need for the weekend in front of their faces once they arrive at your destination. And even then, some of them won’t read the damned the welcome letter.
Okay, maybe I sound a little stressed out about this. But you can’t blame me when I deal with bridesmaids calling me, with their rental cars stuck in the mud, nowhere near anything they’re supposed to be, because they failed to read the directions in a welcome letter that was provided to them where they are staying. I mean, for God’s sake, all of these women are high school graduates, most of them have college and professional degrees as well. But they can’t be bothered to read a simple welcome letter for a wedding weekend on an island they’ve never visited before. Well, that’s just a fantastic plan. Yes, I am dripping in sarcasm. So do yourself a favor, tell your wedding party and your family and anybody else that’s attending your wedding whom you happen to talk to in the week prior to the big day that they should read the damned welcome letter when they get to their hotel rooms.
Okay that’s it, I managed to complete my three-part series. Wow! I feel so accomplished. 🙂 But I have to go think about what I’m going to blog about next time. Remember, you can always send me blog ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!