Destination weddings can be gorgeous and scary at the same time, for some couples. Brides and Grooms choose destination weddings due to their intimate nature, the time they can spend with the closest family and friends and the tropical photos. Here is some useful information and tips related to destination weddings.
Account for extra time
Best case scenario is that you would arrive at your destination 5 to 7 days prior to the wedding, also give yourself enough time after the wedding to enjoy your honeymoon. It would be best to try to clear about 2 weeks of vacation time with your job. This will ensure that you will have the necessary time to plan and execute the final details of the wedding, and still have the time to enjoy your wedding day and honeymoon.
Be prepared for not having all of your family and friends with you at your wedding. Destination weddings are pricy for guests and they may require time off that people might not be able to afford to take. However, you will need to know who can realistically attend. Make a guest list and start asking the people on your list if they will be in attendance. The more time that you give people, the more likely it is that they would be able to come. Once you have a realistic attendance list, you can start communicating with hotels and finding the best deals for you and your guests. You might face some challenges with this process if your guest list is too small to warrant a discount. Some of the bigger resorts have a minimum guest count, if you don’t meet that number, you may not get their best pricing. For instance, some hotels may require that you pay for 15 people even if you have only 10.
Hire a planner
Usually a destination wedding is more cost efficient. Even with all the expenses of travel and stay, the cost difference may come from the smaller guest count. Having a wedding planner at a destination wedding can bring you great value. Being in a new place, way out of your comfort zone can be stressful, never mind adding the possibility that there might be last minute details that need to be figured out. When you are in a time crunch, the planner can be very helpful to you.
Make sure that you give plenty of information to your guests regarding the wedding destination. It is important that they have plenty of options on places to stay, along with varying travel dates and possible transportation. This information will be helpful for you to get as many of your guests on board with your plans as possible.
You must give yourself and your guests enough time to get through the legal paperwork that may be necessary for a destination wedding. It usually takes about 8 weeks or more to get a passport. If you’re not giving the proper warning needed to take care of legal paperwork for travel out of the country, you may lose some of your guests.
Pick a place you have visited
While choosing a tropical destination could be a tempting thought, maybe you have imagined yourself getting married there but you have never actually visited the area before. This could lead to a greater chance of things going very different than you may have imagined, or being disappointed with your destination and hotel that you have reserved for your wedding. Can you imagine spending all your money, and having your hopes and dreams crushed at the last moment, because your venue doesn’t look as you have envisioned for your special day. On the plus side, checking out destination wedding venues in advance is a great excuse for a vacation.
Pick a popular destination
This is not a must, but it would be helpful to you and your guests though. It will be helpful by providing you with more choices. When a destination is more popular for weddings that means that there will be more vendors located in that area for wedding planning, and you will have more options to choose from. That way you will not be forced to choose a vendor that you really can’t afford because they won’t accommodate your budget needs. Having plenty of vendors to choose from could result in making your budget go further, which is a primary concern for many couples. Also, popular destinations could help your guests find budget friendly flights and hotels as well. So, it’s a win-win situation for everyone. But if the lure of the popular destinations just doesn’t speak to you that’s fine, just make sure that you are willing and able to compromise elsewhere in your budget and planning.
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to plan. Typically, weddings are planned on a time frame of 12 to 18 months. You can read my previous blog post on this topic for helpful tips. However, when it comes to destination weddings things can be a bit more complicated. There is more major decisions to be made that will affect the wedding and the guests. Therefore, giving yourself more time will not only be helpful to you but your guests will appreciate it as well.
The worst thing that could happen to your destination wedding is for your luggage to get lost, and for you not to have your wedding dress or suit on your big day. That’s one of the reasons why arriving earlier is a great idea, it leaves you extra time for problem solving the unexpected. Also try to fit your dress and suit in your carry-on luggage. Usually beach wedding dresses are light and small enough to fit. This could be a lifesaver and resolve a possibly huge problem.