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Creating a Customized Itinerary for Your Guests

May 23, 2023
Words by Jessie Allen
Photos courtesy of Jamee Photography

Planning a destination wedding requires careful consideration of the activities and attractions to include in the itinerary for wedding guests, ensuring their enjoyment and making their stay memorable. We had the pleasure of speaking with experienced travel specialist, Jessica Hallauer, who shared insights into her research process, customization factors, and strategies for balancing group activities and free time. Hallauer also reveals the key to creating successful itineraries and how they handle unexpected changes to ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for you and your wedding guests.

Q: How do you go about researching the best activities and attractions in the wedding destination to include in the itinerary for wedding guests?

A: I first communicate with the client to figure out what they’re looking for and what sort of weekend they have in mind. I offer a few different itinerary options that they can ultimately choose from. I also have access to some pretty great suppliers that specialize in wedding destinations. When in doubt, they always have great advice as to what popular activities and attractions are best for group settings. 

Q: What factors do you consider when creating a customized itinerary for wedding guests, such as age range, interests, and accessibility needs?

A: When creating a customized itinerary, it’s important to keep age, interests, and accessibility in mind – as well as budget, timing, dietary restrictions (if applicable), and what is practical for everyone to attend! 

Q: How do you ensure that the itinerary provides a balance of free time for guests to explore on their own and join in on organized group activities?

A: Communication is key! I always chat with my clients about what they want their wedding week/weekend to look like. Some brides just want their family & friends to be able to arrive and relax – while others want it to be jam-packed with activities. Either way, we chat about your goals and vision and go from there. It’s nice to provide an itinerary and have a list of optional activities, as well as activities where attendance is requested. 

Q: Can you provide an example of a destination wedding itinerary (or something alike) that you created in the past and what made it successful for the guests?

A: I recently had clients with a wedding in Maui. The couple wanted a couple of events leading up to their day. I planned one “big” event per day and made dinner reservations each night that were optional (aside from the rehearsal/welcome dinner the night before). 

Then everyone did their own things from there! 

I work closely with the wedding coordinator to get a bunch of my questions answered when coordinating events, that way the bride & groom don’t feel like they’re being swarmed with questions and information. 

It’s important to be upfront about what is optional and what is not, so a successful itinerary will always have that outlined. 

With group activities, I also always put the start time as 10-15 minutes earlier than the actual start time, so no one gets left out for running a bit behind. 

Q: How do you handle unexpected changes to the itinerary, such as inclement weather or unforeseen closures of attractions or venues?

A: Always have a backup plan! It’s important to keep an eye on the weather as the date approaches and just be prepared for anything. Having a travel agent and wedding coordinator will help so much and make sure that you don’t have to worry about any of those things leading up to your special weekend!

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