Planning a Destination Wedding in the Digital Age
Walt Disney World. A magical place for the young and the young at heart. You can do many things at Walt Disney World besides visiting the parks – parasailing, fishing, golf just to name a few – but did you know you can also get married at Walt Disney World? Planning a wedding in your hometown can be stressful enough, but planning a destination wedding is a bit daunting. I am in the home-stretch of organizing a wedding (6 more weeks!) at the Happiest Place on Earth, and I am so glad I had knowledge in social media and digital marketing to help me.
Using social media to gather inspiration and research
I have always known I wanted a Disney wedding and the location is inspiring in and of itself, but I needed more inspiration than that for all the details. Following Disney Weddings on social media channels provided a great help for inspiration – pictures, video, handy hints, and more. Their website also had great information on what to expect to budget for one of their weddings (and really, the sky’s the limit at such a magical venue). I highly recommend you follow potential venues on social media to find out more about them, regardless of the type of event you’re hosting.
Pinterest is an excellent way to gather tips on multiple wedding-related topics like how to save money and keep to a budget, timelines, and of course decor inspiration (or would it be Pinspiration?). I organized multiple secret (no spoilers from me!) boards for dress inspiration, floral inspiration, decor and helpful advice.
I also joined Disney Wedding related forums and Facebook Groups to gather research and tips from real Disney brides. They were eager to provide wisdom on how to save money, guest transportation logistics and other guest-related concerns that could happen at Walt Disney World, and decor ideas that have been tested by the lovely brides in the forums or groups. Some topics would be things I had not even considered. (What do you do when both the parents of 3 infants are in the wedding party?) WeddingBee and other wedding-related forums are great to gather ideas from the time-tested to the innovative for your wedding. Picking out vendors from 500 plus miles away could have been very difficult, but with the reviews and information from the brides, I was able to find great photography, videography, personal floral, and transportation with relative ease and at reasonable prices.
Communicating with guests via a website
A destination wedding is a bit of an undertaking for guests (everyone is travelling to the location), so I wanted to create a website full of information they may need for making plans including discounts on resorts, tickets (because let’s be honest, you can’t go to a wedding in Walt Disney World and not visit at least one park), other fun events going on in the area and logistics for the wedding day. The website I used also allowed people to RSVP and answer questions I had for them. AppyCouple was easy to set up and they also provide an app guests can download.
I hope I have provided some helpful tips for you about ways to use social media in planning a destination wedding, but these tips also apply to any event you may be hosting. Embrace the digital tools at your fingertips to benefit from the experiences of others who have been through the process, to communicate more effectively with your event coordinator, and to keep your guests informed and engaged throughout the process. Doing so should decrease stress and cause you to enjoy the day and your event, whatever it may be.
Heather Stone—Special Projects Manager