Planning a destination wedding is no easy task. It is never easy to plan anything if you are not able to physically be there to do it. One good thing is that technology today makes it easy to contact people from anywhere. Since we know that so many people have destination weddings, whether it be in the location you first met while you were in college together, or you want to say “I do” on a beautiful beach somewhere, we put together these 10 tips to planning a destination wedding, that we hope will help you in your planning.
1. Pick Your Location Carefully
Depending on what your budget is, there is a destination you can find that will fit that budget… you just have to do your research! Just make sure you know upfront how many people you will be having attend your big event. You don’t want to choose a tiny beach location when every single person on your guest list will actually want to join.
2. Plan Ahead… Early
When you are planning an destination wedding, it pays to plan and book everything early. It is also important to get your invitations out early as well. You have to remember that your guests may need to get passports (if they do not already have them) or book flights. They may also need to know well in advance so they can take off that time from work. Planning earlier also will get you and your guests a better rate on a room block at a hotel…the closer to the event, the more expensive the rooms will be. Flights also tend to be cheaper further out.
3. Make Your Destination Wedding Also Your Honeymoon Location
If you have been longing to have your wedding at a beautiful beach, why not think about making your honeymoon be at that same beach location? You can save money as many resorts offer wedding and honeymoon packages. Also, many guests who attend a destination wedding stay for a few days longer than the actual wedding if they are able to. You can enjoy some one-on-one time with your new husband or wife but also enjoy some quality time with your family and friends if you want to.
4. Think About The Weather While Choosing a Location and Date
That Caribbean destination seems like the perfect spot, but it would be awful to have a hurricane hit right on the week of your wedding. If you are going to choose a destination wedding, make sure you consider the time of year you plan the event. It may be best to stay away from the months of hurricane season if you want to have your wedding in a hurricane prone area.
5. Understand The Marriage Laws
It is very important to make sure you know what the marriage laws in the country or destination you are tying the knot. Every country has its own requirements… some including blood tests, residency requirements, proof of immunizations and more. Make sure that you check out what those laws are before you even consider booking a venue for your destination wedding. Some of those laws may not be ones you want to deal with and it is MUCH better to know that upfront.
6. Only Book Reputable Vendors
Booking your florist, wedding photographer, caterers and more are difficult when you are all the way on the other side of the country… or world! Make sure every vendor you book is one that can provide a great list of satisfied clients. It is also helpful to check with the contact you are working with at venue, hotel or resort you are using for your event. They typically will have a list of great vendors that they recommend, and that way you know you are getting the best.
If you are looking for your wedding photographer for your destination wedding, make sure you start a FREE account here on SnapKnot, and we will help you find your perfect photographer within your budget and in the location you will say “I do.”
7. Be Mindful Of Your Guests
Coming to a destination wedding can be costly for guests. Make sure you have all the details for the guests planned out in so when they arrive, they know exactly where they are going. Have car services or transportation information available for each guest. It is also good etiquette for any couple having a destination wedding to let the guests know that their attendance is a gift in itself, it may be best not to have a wedding registry so people think they still have to buy you something. Although, many guests still may want to buy you something nice for the start of your lives together!
8. Use a Wedding Planner
It never hurts to hire someone who knows the area, all the various vendors you need, as well as all those specific laws that you will need to follow. Many times, if you are getting hitched at a resort, they will have a wedding planner that you will work with. It not, you may want to look into finding one that can do wonders for planning the wedding that you have always dreamed of.
We hope these tips to planning a destination wedding have been helpful for you! Also, be sure to download our wedding planning checklist, to make sure you stay on schedule with all of your wedding planning.