Planning a Destination Wedding

Planning a Destination Wedding

If you are anything like us, just the simple utterance of the words “destination wedding” instantly sweeps you away to an exotic place in your mind. The gentle breeze and breathtaking backdrops are all things you picture as you say your vows. As amazing as this sounds, there are some important items you need to consider as you begin planning your dreamy wedding getaway.

Planning a Destination Wedding

1. Choose a Location That is Important to You

Location is everything when planning your destination wedding. Choose a spot that you and your significant other have an emotional connection to. Is there a specific Caribbean island you always dreamed of visiting? Or did you always picture a romantic Italian destination wedding? Its also important to know your wedding style when choosing the location. Do you want an old-world European feel, a calm beach-side escape or do you want to host your guests in a large resort? Whatever your preferences, narrowing down your location is the key to successful planning.

2. Pick the Right Time of the Year

Timing is another important factor when planning. Take into consideration the different climates and tourist crowds. Many venues are also seasonal and may be closed during specific times of the year so it’s always important to double-check before setting your heart on a specific date.

3. Take a Trip in Advance

If its at all possible, try and schedule at least one trip in the early stages of planning. Seeing the venue in person so that you don’t have to rely on images will help you envision your day and plan the logistics with much more ease. While you are there, try to meet as many local wedding vendors as possible. Spend a couple days interviewing caterers, florists and makeup artists if you are not flying them in.

4. Hire an Amazing Wedding Planner

A wedding planner who has experience with destination weddings in your preferred location is essential to making sure your day goes off without a hitch. Many planners will have a local network of trusted vendors and can help you narrow down your options. They will work out all the details and make sure all your vendors are on time and on schedule.

5. Research and Carefully Choose Your Vendors

While online reviews are a great place to start, they should not be the only decision-making factor for hiring wedding vendors. When selecting vendors from abroad, it is so important to do your research. Reach out to former clients, seek referrals from your venue or planner and ask for examples of their work so that you can be completely confident in their work and that they are a good fit. Also, be sure that everything you agree on is clearly outlined in a written contract so that there is no confusion when the day comes.

6. Research Local Marriage Laws and Customs

Depending on what country you choose, there are different residency requirements that must be met in order for a marriage to be legally recognized. These time requirements can run from anywhere to 24 hours to 40 days. So be sure to research this ahead of time. As an alternative, you can officially get married at your local town hall before you travel to your destination for your actual wedding ceremony.

7. Notify Your Guests in Advance

For your guests, attending a destination wedding is the equivalent of planning a vacation. It requires the same time and financial commitment if they were to plan to travel on their own. That’s why you should inform your guests as soon as you know the date. Sending out a save-the-date will help them to secure time off of work and take care of anything else they need to do in order to attend. If you plan on asking anyone to be in your wedding, you also want to tell them right away so they can plan to make the trip or let you know they can’t attend.

8. Destination Weddings are not Always Cheaper

In many instances, destination weddings can quickly end up costing just as much as a local wedding. Consider factors like, shipping decor elements, exchange rates, paying for travel costs for your vendors, securing accommodations and flights. Your planner will be a great source of help when it comes to cutting costs and staying within budget.

9. Choose Attire That Fits Your Destination

Your wedding attire should go along with the climate and setting of your destination wedding. You definitely don’t want to wear a heavy ballgown in middle of a humid tropical climate, instead opt for a breezy and light gown the will look equally as stunning. On the other hand, if your wedding takes place in a historic French Chateau, then those layers of luxe fabric will feel right at home!

10. Arrive Early

Time is of the essence and you want to make sure every minute counts! You only have a limited amount of time before your the destination wedding festivities begin. Its super important to factor in a couple extra days to get acclimated to any time changes or jet lag so that you can spend the rest of the time getting organized before your guests arrive. Don’t forget about also adding in some time to spend with your guests outside of the wedding day since they traveled so far to celebrate!


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