Tips for Planning A Destination Wedding

July 9, 2013  |  
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Planning a destination wedding can be fun, exciting, and nerve-wracking all at the same time. What’s better than being able to plan your wedding to take place in some exotic location with amazing scenery? Though destination weddings are a one-of-a-kind experience, there is a lot of time, effort, and planning that needs to go into them to make sure that they go off without a hitch. Here are some tips for planning a destination wedding.

Pick a place you both love

When deciding on a destination wedding venue, it’s important that the location you choose is a place that the two of you can envision having your wedding. If you love beaches but your husband-to-be doesn’t, you may want to reconsider having a wedding in the Bahamas. It’s important that the two of you can come to an agreement on a specific location so that you are both happy.

Consider the weather

Since you’re not getting married just 20 minutes away from where you live originally, it’s important that you consider the weather. You of course don’t want to get married some place tropical during hurricane season. Before you settle on a specific date, be sure that the whether around the time of the month is ideal for your wedding.

Watch out for language barriers

Do you mind if the location you go to isn’t one that is extremely fluent in English? Language barriers can be tough to overcome, especially when planning a wedding. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle and frustration that can come with language barriers, be sure that you choose a location that speaks English or you have enough understanding of the foreign tongue to make due.

Travel requirements

Traveling to any far-away location isn’t going to be cheap, but if possible, try to pick a place that has everyday flights or at least semi-affordable ones. It’s also important to consider the type of travel that must be done. Is there one direct flight to the location, or will guests have to take several different flights. You want to make things as affordable and convenient as possible for everyone involved.

Visit the location beforehand

Before you start solidifying your destination wedding plans, be sure that you take a trip to your wedding location ahead of time. You want to be able to get a feel for the place as well as scope it out. You’ll either get a really good gut feeling from the location or you won’t. Either way, visiting ahead of time will allow you to do a little bit of planning in your head.

Send RSVPs out early

When you’re planning a destination wedding, you want your guests to now ASAP when your wedding date is. Since more time and planning will need be put into attending your wedding, so it’s important that you notify your guests as soon as you can. This also increases your chance of having more guests be able to attend the ceremony.

Plan a small guest list

Unless you think 200 guests can afford to fly to your destination wedding, it may be best to keep your guest list rather small. Don’t plan on having 12 bridesmaids and don’t expect tons of people to show up to your wedding, especially if it’s pricey. Invite the people who are most important to you as well as those who you think can afford to travel for a wedding. Inviting too many people will be a waste of money invitation wise as well as a sad experience when you receive a lot of “no” RSVPs.

Book a hotel

Rarely do destination wedding guests only stay for the day of your wedding. Since your guests will need somewhere to sleep after your wedding, be sure to contact a local hotel about your upcoming event. Many hotels will allow you to reserve a block of hotel rooms that are all in a similar location. This makes it easy on your guests to know that they have somewhere to stay as well as somewhere to unpack.

Hire a wedding planner

When you’re planning a wedding in a place that you aren’t overly familiar with, it’s nice to be able to work with someone who knows your wedding venue like the back of their hand. If it fits your budget, consider hiring a wedding planner who lives or works in the area to help you get things done. This will take a lot of stress off of your shoulders.

Read reviews religiously

Since you may not be able to meet with your photographer and others involved in your wedding directly, it’s highly important that you take the time to read as many online reviews as possible. These reviews will tell you the good and bad of the services you are looking to hire. Without reviews, you’re blindly giving someone your money and hoping for the best.

Keep an eye out for any marriage regulations

Just as marriage regulations vary state to state, they also vary country to country. Before picking a location, be sure that you are able to read their set marriage regulations. You don’t want to get married somewhere that has all sorts of rules and regulations, which may hinder your marriage entirely.

Plan well in advance

With a destination wedding, the earlier and sooner you’re able to plan and book things, the better. Since destination wedding locations don’t have dozens of hotels or caterers to offer, you want to make sure that you’re able to have everything you want without settling for second best. Get your deposits and such out of the way as soon as you can.

Buy a dress that’s easy to travel with

When you’re having a destination wedding, you’ll clearly have to be traveling on a plane to get to where you need to go. This means that you’ll need to be able to transport your dress safely from point A to point B. And that means that you’ll want to choose a dress that will be easy to travel with. Dresses with a lot of poof as well as dresses with long trains may not be so ideal.

Consider having a reception once you return home

Since it’s unlikely that you’ll have a large amount of people attend your destination wedding, consider having a second reception once you two return home. This will be a good way to celebrate with all of your other important family members and friends who weren’t able to attend your wedding. A second reception is a good way to celebrate again.

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