It doesn’t matter if you want to marry the love of your dreams at a vineyard in France, on a private island in Mexico or in a Mexican resort, a destination wedding could be for you. Although it may seem daunting to put together an event of this magnitude, research and understanding the details will help you make your dream wedding a reality.
These are some considerations and tips to keep in mind as you plan your destination wedding.
It’s crucial to begin planning immediately after you have decided on a destination marriage. Before you start planning every detail, there are a few things that every couple needs to consider.
There may be times that aren’t suitable for your wedding celebration depending on where you live. The winter months in countries of the southern hemisphere run from June to September. In contrast, the Caribbean Islands experience a rain/hurricane period that can make any event less enjoyable.
Notify guests early
It is a sign of extreme consideration to notify your guests in advance about future expenses. It is likely that your guests will need to plan ahead for future travel and save money. The more notice you give them, the less stress they will feel. It is better to communicate with your guests frequently. To communicate with your guests, use your wedding website to save the dates and send out invitations.
8 TIPS FOR DESTINATION WEDDING PLANNING
1. See the location in person
Be sure to see your favorite wedding venues before you make any bookings. It’s possible to look online at the pictures and decide that it’s the right spot for you big day. However, visiting the venue in person will help you make a decision. Sometimes, the photos and reality don’t match up. You want to find the perfect place to marry your love. You can also interview local vendors by visiting the spot.
2. Pick Your Vendors in Person/Budget For Vendors
Local wedding vendors will be most preferred. If you’re in the area to see the venue, make sure to meet with more well-known vendors. Ask your venue to refer you to local videographers, caterers, and officiants. You might be able to find some talented, but less well-known vendors. Local vendors can help you keep your wedding costs down.
Discuss how you will bring vendors, such as photographers, from your home. You may need to pay for their travel expenses depending on the terms you have agreed to with your photographer. You might have to pay for their hotel and/or plane tickets. You should make sure that they feel comfortable, and that their hotel is within 30 minutes of the venue.
3. EMBRACE THE SETTINGS TO SAVE MONEY
To save money, use local flowers, cuisines, and decorations. Local florists can help you keep your destination wedding authentic to its rustic or island vibe. You can also use local chefs to create a menu that reflects your tastes and the local culture’s cuisines. You will be able to save on shipping costs which can be costly, especially if shipping internationally. Your guests will be drawn to your dream wedding if they feel connected to the area.
4. CARRY ON YOUR BRIDAL GOWN
Always carry your gown as a carry-on. Even if you have to fold it. Once you reach your destination, you can steam the gown. You don’t want your gown to get lost, no matter if it is a beach wedding, a lace or ball gown. Sometimes, if you notify your airline in advance or inform the gate agent when you check in, you can store your dress in one the baggage spaces at the front. Your wedding accessories should be packed in your carry-on. All wedding accessories and clothing should be kept with you.
5. THINK ABOUT YOUR GASTS
Consider your guests at every step of your event planning. Before you decide on the date, find room blocks close to the venue. Maximum distance from venue to hotel rooms should be no more than 10-15 minutes. You can also make a special welcome bag for guests when they arrive at your hotel. This could include snacks, a map and a schedule. Many couples love to host a welcome party for guests on their first night. You can also book activities that are suitable for all ages to be held on the days leading up to and after the wedding. Multiple events are possible throughout the weekend, so your guests can choose which ones they wish to participate in.
6. SEND WEDDING INVITATIONS EARLY
With the Save-the Date invitation, give your guests at most 4 months notice. This will allow them to request vacation time and plan their travels. It’s a good idea to inform your guests as soon as possible if you can set the wedding date earlier. You will have more time to collect RSVPs, so that you can provide a firm guest list to your venue sooner.
7. KNOW THE LAW (MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS)
Check the requirements for marriage in that country or city during the planning phase. To legally marry there, you will need to have residency. Double check the hours of the city offices if you plan to have your wedding on a holiday. You will need to check if you require a permit for a beach wedding. It is not worth spending so much time planning a magical ceremony only to have it stopped by the authorities. Double-check if in doubt.
8. SPEAK THE LANGUAGE (OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOS)
Even though destination weddings are romantic and memorable, it can become difficult to communicate with the venue staff if you have a language barrier. To make things more smooth, hire a wedding planner who is fluent in both languages. Ask the venue if they have staff who can speak both languages. You just need to ask. There are always people who will help you.