Destination Wedding Tips
February 18th, 2014
Are you dreaming of a destination wedding? It’s a great way to combine your wedding and honeymoon in one beautiful locale.
You might be surprised to discover how affordable a destination wedding can be, too.
Hosting a local wedding in an expensive hometown like New York or Los Angeles can make a destination wedding in Mexico a more affordable option.
If you are considering going for a destination wedding, check out these tips to help guide you.
Choose your destination carefully
Destination weddings don’t always have to be held on a beach, although there’s nothing wrong with a beach wedding.
Choose a location that has some personal significance for you. You could get married in a spot where you have vacationed together, where he proposed, or that offers activities that you both enjoy.
For example, if you both love fine wine, you could plan your wedding at an Italian vineyard.
If you want to have a destination wedding during the best local weather, lodging and flights might book up fast.
You should plan to send save-the-date cards about a year in advance so that your guests can get reservations and find reasonably priced airfare.
You can typically save some money by planning your wedding during shoulder season, which comes right after peak season. The weather is still great, and costs are significantly less.
Go to the destination
In order to plan a destination wedding, you need to take at least one trip to your destination of choice before the wedding.
This is an opportunity for you to see the venues, have tastings with the caterer and pastry chef, check out hotel rooms, and make arrangements with all the vendors.
One planning trip is the minimum; if you can manage to go two or three times, that’s even better. Factor these costs into your wedding budget.
Investigate the legal requirements to marry in a foreign country
Depending on the country in which you plan to wed, you may need to arrive there anywhere from 24 hours to 40 days in advance of the wedding ceremony.
Many countries have some type of residency requirement, but you usually just have to arrive there a few days before you plan to tie the knot.
Destination weddings are not the best choice for control freaks, because you will have to step aside and let someone else make some of the arrangements.
Many resorts provide a wedding coordinator with their wedding package. If yours does not, you will need to hire a local wedding planner to help you out.
Keep your eyes off the clock
Most other countries are not as obsessive about everything running on time as we are here in North America.
If you find that vendors are running behind, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are incompetent or unprofessional; that may just be the way things are done there, particularly if you are wedding in the islands.
Give your friends a heads up
A destination wedding is a big financial commitment for your friends and family. If you are considering a destination wedding, inform your friends before you ask them to be a part of the bridal party.
This gives them an opportunity to politely decline if they don’t have the financial means to attend.
Go the extra mile for your guests
You need to do more for your guests than you would at a local wedding. Provide welcome bags, plan activities, and invite them to the rehearsal and brunch.Back to Blog Index