Destination weddings have evolved from a simple ceremony on a cliff to a three-day event packed full of activities. These “experience” weddings embrace a certain theme; however, they allow each guest to have fun.
With this guide, you can learn how to prepare for a destination wedding. From how to pick the perfect location to what to wear, destinations weddings embrace the true beauty of marriage.
Are you ready to plan the destination wedding of your dreams? Here are ten destination wedding tips to get you started:
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Pick the Spot Perfect for You
Your wedding venue not only determines the style of your wedding but also the time, travel, and budget that’s required to pull off the big day. Also, your wedding elements should express your shared passions. For example, if your both foodies, why not get married in Italy?
Pick a location that has meaning to both you and your soon-to-be spouse. That way, when you exchange vows, it carries a deeper meaning to you both.
Consider the Weather
The most popular wedding destinations tend to correspond with the tourist season. That means more crowds, fewer hotel rooms and venue amenities, and typically higher rates all around. If you plan your wedding for the peak season you should book your venue as soon as possible.
However, if you decide to plan your wedding during the off-season, you run the risk of bad weather. In addition, some destinations might have limited stores or venues available as most close.
Tell Your Guests In-Advance
Before you ask your bridal party to stand by your side, you’ll need to tell them your planning a destination wedding. That way, they can decline if they are unable to afford it. Make sure you send out save-the-dates at least eight months ahead of time so your friends and family can get the best deals on flights and hotel rooms.
Also, don’t take it personally if some of your friends and family members don’t attend. Their travel expenses, car fees, and hotel bills can add up to a steep price that not everyone can afford.
Take a Trip
It’s essential that you take a least one planning trip; however, it’s best if you make two or three. That way, you can scout for venues, reception spaces, and visit photographers and florists. After you’ve chosen your selections, you might want to schedule a hair and makeup appointment with a local salon or organize activities for guests.
That way, you can keep each wedding detail on track. Planning a wedding is harder than receiving an A in specialized high schools, just ask a wedding planner they would know.
Consider the Extra Expenses
Planning a destination wedding includes a few additional expenses one wouldn’t usually have to make. For example, you have to think about welcome bags for guests, importing essential vendors, travel costs, additional activities, and traveling with decor.
These extra costs can add up but don’t fret, most destination weddings cost no less than an average wedding. In fact, destination weddings cost about $28,000. That might sound pricy, but on average most weddings cost around $29,000.
Research Local Marriage Requirements
There are different legal requirements in each country, which can make getting married outside of the U.S a bit tricky. Most countries have a “residency requirement,” which means that you must reside in the country for a certain period of time before your ceremony.
For example, in England, couples must reside in the country for at least 7 days. Most countries usually only require up to a week. However, France requires a longer stay of 40 days.
Research Local Vendors
It’s essential that you vet all vendors carefully. While you can view their online profiles and search through their reviews; however, you must feel comfortable with each one. You’ll be leaving a lot of duties in their hands, so you must trust that they’re capable of honoring what they promised.
It’s suggested that you make at least one trip to meet with all potential vendors to establish a rapport. If you cannot, for any reason, make a trip to your chosen destination, at least schedule a video call so you can understand the personality and demeanor of the vender.
Dress for the Weather
You might want to order a ball gown or a three-piece tux; however, it’s important to choose your wedding attire based on the climate of the destination. If you’re choosing a tropical location, you may want to opt for a dress code that’s more casual to be accommodating to guests.
Also, make sure to give guests a suggestion about the appropriate footwear for your wedding destination. No one wants their feet to hurt, because they wore the wrong shoes for your wedding.
Make Guests Feel in the Know
Weddings can be confusing from the photo schedule to the next-day brunch to make sure your guests understand each planned event, create a wedding website. There you can share the important details of your wedding more quickly and effectively.
That way, no one has to question the address of the hotels or how to get to and from the airport. Instead, with a wedding website, you can upload the weekend’s itinerary and also include a list of nearby activities your guests can do on their own.
Think of the Unexpected
It’s crucial that you think about each detail carefully as when you arrive, you’ll have little time to change anything. Ask your venue about lighting: If your wedding takes place outdoors, do you have any backup lights for when the sun goes down?
While the sound of crashing waves is romantic, your guests will want to hear your vows. Consider asking your venue what microphones they have available. Think of any other details that can improve your guest’s experience, like handheld fans for an oceanfront ceremony or umbrellas in case of an evening shower.
Use These Destination Wedding Tips to Ensure Wedding Success
Planning a destination wedding is never easy, but a little organization goes a long way. It’s important to have a vision of what you want and stick to it. Just remember to research local marriage requirements, and think about the unexpected.
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