Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding
A destination wedding can be a fun and exciting way for you to start your new life together. Don’t let this adventure get bogged down and ruined by poor planning. In most situations, destination weddings take months of preparation to pull everything together. Use this destination wedding checklist to ensure you’ve got everything taken care of for your special day.
The Wedding Location
Consider all the possibilities when choosing your wedding location. Before settling on your dream location, determine:
- The Perfect Spot – where you choose to have your wedding will be a big factor in determining the overall mood. Pick the spot that is not only within your budget, but has the feel you want for the ceremony and reception.
- Know the Wedding Traditions of Your Destination – there are so many different wedding traditions around the world, if necessary become familiar with those at your destination. You can incorporate these into your wedding day.
- Legal Marriage Requirements – if you are getting married out of the country, there may be different requirements before your marriage can be officiated. For example, to be married in France you must be in the country for at least 40 days before getting married. Know the requirements beforehand.
- Dress for the Location – choose your wedding dress based partially on the location. You won’t want a big, hot ball gown if you’re going somewhere tropical and humid.
- Get Your Passport – if you’re traveling out of the country, make sure you obtain your passport well in advance.
The Right Time
Even the most beautiful and tropical locations have off-seasons. Plan your wedding at the right time by:
- Know the Weather – because weddings are planned so far in advance, it can be difficult to know just how the weather will act. Even so, check the normal weather conditions for your destination, planning ahead.
- Take a Trip – Pictures won’t be enough to determine if you love the location. Take a trip to your wedding destination beforehand. This allows you to meet with venues, hotels, caterers, the florist, and anyone else who needs to be part of your big day.
Finances and Guests
Weddings are expensive. Choosing a destination wedding can add some expenses while eliminating others. In addition to this, it may drastically change your guest list. Take these things into account:
- Determine the Difference in Cost – depending on where you live, a destination wedding may cost the same or even less. Take into account the financial advantages and disadvantages.
- Use a Wedding Planner – a destination wedding has many more logistics to think through. For a busy bride and groom, a wedding planner may not only be helpful, but essential. Be prepared to put your trust in a planner, or even friends to help pull your wedding together.
- Give Family and Friends Plenty of Time – your family and friends both need ample time to schedule off work, save for the trip, and plan. Give them fair warning of where the event will be and when. Don’t be offended if even those close to your aren’t able to attend a destination wedding for financial reasons.
- Keep Guests in the Loop – Give your guests recommendations of which hotel to stay, when the events are, and other tips they may need. Remember your guests are somewhere they may have never been, they’ll likely need directions or other information.
Don’t let things slip through the cracks in your destination wedding plan. In addition to the destination and ceremony, don’t forget to plan your wedding reception as well.