How to make your destination wedding a true experience for your guests

It is true that a destination wedding itself is already an experience: you go abroad, in a country as beautiful as Italy; you find yourselves in new places and settings; people and languages are different; you visit beautiful villas and all this for many couples is enough to create an experience for their guests.

Sometimes, however, there is the possibility of further enriching this experience, making guests experience new moments other than those strictly related to the wedding, which will surely make their stay even more memorable. It is thanks to these particular experiences that they will not be mere spectators of your union, but they too will be able to actively participate in experiences that can also enrich their cultural baggage.

So, especially if your celebration lasts 3-4-5 days and maybe there are half days or full days off in between events, you could add a beautiful experience tailored to your guests.

Let’s see together some experiences that the guests of some of our couples have already lived:

1. Wine Tasting

One of the activities that couples often request is wine tasting. Italy is a wine country, so famous for its wine production and different parts of the country produce different wines. Therefore, depending on where your wedding takes place there will certainly be the opportunity to taste the local wines, as well as Italian wines known all over the world. In fact, giving your guests the opportunity to taste these wines can be a very pleasant multi-sensory experience. Who doesn’t like Italian wine, not only red but also white or prosecco? So why not organize a wine tasting with a sommelier who will not only let you taste the wines, but also explain their characteristics.

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This is exactly what our Christian&Jesmin did, as they celebrated their wedding in a beautiful wine estate in Umbria. The venue produces wines and organizes wine tasting around the estate in various spots that are suitable for this activity. Therefore we organized for their guests this beautiful experience that was definitely much appreciated. We chose three panoramic and characteristic points of the estate, each dedicated to a particular wine, in which together with the tasting of the wine, samples of typical local products prepared by the chef have been combined. Each guest was given a glass holder to put around their neck, which could then be kept as a memento of this experience. A nice idea could also be to personalize the glasses with the names of the spouses, the date and the place. This way they could have a personalized wedding gift.

Starting with Prosecco, of three different types, continuing with white wine and ending with very famous red wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Barolo and Barbaresco, we have given the guests of their wedding an unforgettable destination experience.

A sommelier at the Villa or a cellar nearby as an option

In case the Villa you have chosen does not produce its own wine, this is not a problem! This activity can be organized in any case – you just need to find a suitable corner and invite a sommelier who can provide this experience. Or  it can be done by organizing a tour in a nearby cellar. You can taste the wines produced by them and do a tour of the whole production. You will also visit vineyards, machines that pound the wine, beautiful wooden barrels in which the wine is aged which are typical of these places. In any case, wine tasting will be a perfect experience for a destination wedding in Italy.

2. Pizza Making Class

Another activity loved by guests is the pizza making class, because who doesn’t love pizza? It is difficult to find people (both in Italy and abroad) who do not like pizza. So learning the secrets of this dish is certainly a unique experience to have in the homeland of pizza. It might seem simple but it has a particular preparation, so it’s definitely a nice idea for the guests of your destination wedding in Italy. And that’s exactly what Monica&Aniruddh decided to do for some of their guests during a free half-day in between wedding events.

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For their wedding they chose Sorrento, on the Amalfi Coast. This area is extremely famous for the pizza. It was in fact born in Naples, so no surprise! And the typical Neapolitan pizza is very characteristic, with its high and soft crust. So we chose a farm located among lemon gardens, pergolas and sea views, where we organized this class. Each guest had the opportunity to knead the pizza dough and understand which ingredients to use and what the right doses are. Then they learnt how to roll it out and how season it to their liking. The last step was precisely the cooking of the pizzas they made in the typical wood-burning oven done together with the master pizza maker. And of course, to conclude, everyone tasted their pizzas accompanied by a glass of Prosecco.

All guests received an apron to wear. Also in this case it would be nice to personalize the aprons to be given to guests at the end of the experience. Surely some people’s pizza came out better than others, but it was a very fun experience for everyone and above all a memory to take back home with them, together with the original recipe of real Italian pizza.

Not only Pizza but also Pasta Making Class

Pizza Making Class can also turn into a “Pasta Making Class”, as Italy is not only known for pizza but also for pasta. And given that a wood-burning oven is needed to make pizza and not all villas have it, then in that case you can have a similar experience but with pasta. In this case the guests will learn the secrets for making fresh pasta at home, which they can then implement it even when they are back home. This way they could enjoy a real plate of pasta that is definitely better than the one bought at the supermarket.

3. Sightseeing in the main Italian cities

Another activity much appreciated by guests of a destination wedding in Italy is the possibility of visiting nearby places during a free day. Italy is so beautiful and full of stunning places, historic cities and artistic places to see, that not all guests might be able to visit if not during the celebration days. So organizing tours of even just a few hours, or a whole day, can give guests this opportunity. 

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In fact, Kavan&Harman organized this experience during their wedding week in Umbria. They had a day off in between the celebrations, during which they did their pre-wedding photo shoot, while the guests were able to participate in two tours that we organized with our in-house travel manager. Some guests took a shorter tour, visiting Perugia, Assisi and the characteristic places of that area which are very beautiful and little known abroad. While others guests went to visit Rome, just a couple of hours away, famous throughout the world for its beauties.

This type of experience can also be organized for your destination wedding if you decide to have half a day or even a day off. Because wherever you choose to get married in Italy there will be beautiful places nearby that deserve to be visited. We can organize tours with an expert English-speaking guide and transfers for guests. We can even combine some small tastings during the tour, which will make this experience not just a simple tourist visit but a more local experience and certainly appreciated by your guests. Not everyone stays in Italy before or after the wedding days, and in this way they will have the opportunity to visit wonderful places that will enrich the experience of your destination wedding.

4. Outdoors activities

Obviously “outdoor activities” includes infinite choices and also depend on the villa chosen for your destination wedding and what it already offers on-site. There are several venues that already have, for example, soccer fields, tennis courts, wide green spaces in which to organize tournaments by dividing guests into “Team Bride” & “Team Groom”. These activities can be organized at different levels of difficulty, like a real tournament where you can combine several games together for all guests. There are also specialized suppliers, through whom you can rent the necessary tools to make everything even more dynamic and pleasant. Like for example giant chess, jenga … then if you choose a seaside location, you can use the beach for some of these activities.

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If the hotel or villa chosen for your celebrations has a nice large swimming pool, a pleasant activity to do that can add fun is water games, with suitable accessories that float or by setting up a net to divide the pool in two and organize a “pool volleyball” tournament, just like Shivona&Nikesh did in the large swimming pool of the resort they rented for their wedding. The elderly or less sporty guests relaxed on the sunbeds and cheered on the teams while sipping a drink or eating an ice cream by the pool. An alternative way to entertain your guests and make them bond, since surely many of them do not know each other yet.

And if the venue doesn’t offer such facilities? No problem, you go elsewhere!

You can also think about organizing these activities outside the venue, especially if you are outdoorsy and sporty – for example, hiking, kayaking, or visits to volcanoes can be organized if you are in a location close to mountains, streams and woods. And if you are by the sea, then you can take boat tours, with the possibility of swimming in the crystal clear waters and spending a relaxing day. This type of activity can also be organized after the wedding if perhaps you decide to do it with a small group of people who stay a few days longer. Just like again, Monica & Aniruddh did, by renting a boat for 40 people with whom they went on a tour of Capri and swam near the famous caves and “Faraglioni”.

5. SPA activities

If your guests are not so inclined for outdoor activities and prefer something more relaxing, then SPAs are certainly a more suitable choice. Often wedding venues such as hotels already have their own SPA center. In that case special treatments can be organized for your guests with massages, sauna, Turkish bath and heated swimming pools. This experience can especially be organized perhaps for the bride’s squad, with manicure, pedicure, head massage… And – why not – a glass of prosecco or herbal teas to better relax before the wedding day!

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As you can see, there are various possibilities to make your destination wedding a full experience for your guests, who will definitely feel even more included in these days of celebrations.

The list of ideas for these activities is truly endless. There are also Cocktail Making Classes with a professional bartender who can teach mixology to your guests with typical Italian cocktails. With a Live Painting Class you can take advantage of the beautiful Italian landscapes available. We can organize the lavender harvest and then creating personalized scented bags to give to guests as wedding gift, if you choose a place near these crops during the right season. It’s also possible to take part at the harvesting and pressing of the grapes during the harvest period near a winery, and so on.

Surely the ideas can vary according to the place, the season and the number of your guests. Consider that not all of these activities are suitable for too large or too small number of people. If you want to learn more, take a look at our Facebook page. You can find there photos of these activities chosen by our couples for their guests.