Tips on Planning a Destination Wedding

Tips on Planning a Destination Wedding

Couples travel from Cabo to the Caribbean to have their dream weddings in glamorous, photogenic, and memorable locations. Continue reading to learn more about how to plan your own destination wedding.


What Exactly Is a Destination Wedding?

A destination wedding is a ceremony and reception held in a desirable location other than the bride's or groom's hometown or even home country. Because of the high costs involved, these events are typically smaller than more traditional weddings. It's often easier on both a financial and logistical level for a small wedding party of close friends, family members, and loved ones to travel for such an event.


3 Advantages of a Destination Wedding

Taking an unconventional and exciting approach to your wedding can provide you with memories that will last a lifetime. Consider the following benefits of having a destination wedding:

1. Built-in honeymoon: If your wedding ceremony and reception are in different states or countries, you can spend more time in the new location for a built-in honeymoon. One of the best ways to save money is to extend a destination wedding into a longer romantic getaway.

2. More intimacy: For those seeking a more intimate ceremony, destination weddings are ideal. If you'd rather make memories with a small group of people abroad than with a large group of guests at home, this could be the path for you. Bring your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family members to celebrate your love in a lovely setting.

3. One-of-a-kind memories: Saying "I do" in a location you've always wanted to visit will provide you with memories to last a lifetime. Furthermore, as you flip through your wedding photo album, you'll see yourself against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery.


3 Drawbacks of a Destination Wedding

A destination wedding may sound exciting, but it is not necessarily the best wedding for you. Here are a few drawbacks to consider:

1. Increased costs: A destination wedding can cost significantly more than a more traditional ceremony and reception closer to home. You may also need to cut costs in other areas to cover travel expenses. For example, in order to afford the airfare, hotel room blocks, and other associated costs, you may have to spend less on wedding rings than you would otherwise.

2. Less personalization: A hometown wedding allows you to customize your event more, whereas destination wedding packages are often one-size-fits-all. For example, wedding venues in tourist areas may require you to use on-site vendors. You may also miss out on tastings or rehearsal dinners unless you plan ahead of time.

3. Reduced guest count: For a destination event, expect to reduce your guest list. To save money, you could make a destination ceremony and reception much smaller than you would on a more traditional wedding day. People frequently bring only the bridal party and a few close family members.


How to Plan a Destination Wedding

The destination wedding planning process can be stressful, but with the right knowledge, you can move forward with confidence and calm. Keep the following suggestions in mind as you create your own dream destination wedding checklist:

Select a location. Before you can begin creating your destination wedding planning checklist, you must first decide where you want to go. Look for reputable wedding venues and experienced destination wedding planners who can make your event a success. Don't wait until the last minute to set a wedding date. People reserve desirable destination wedding venues months in advance.

Develop a long-term strategy. Allow plenty of time to prepare for your big day. Get your wedding gown fitted, decide on décor and catering, and make sure everyone has the necessary passports, visas, or vaccines well in advance. Keep potential language barriers in mind as well—perhaps you want to achieve conversational fluency before you arrive. Send out wedding invitations early and encourage your guests to RSVP as soon as possible.

Hire qualified individuals. Make certain that all of the wedding vendors you hire have prior experience with destination weddings. Assemble a knowledgeable team of caterers, florists, hair stylists, makeup artists, officiants, photographers, and videographers. Some venues will even throw a welcome party for your guests when they arrive.

Establish a wedding budget. You must be able to afford a destination wedding event in order for it to take place. Calculate the cost of travel, hotel rooms, vendors, and other related expenses ahead of time. Look for places you can visit without using all of your credit cards. Look for ways to save money and cut costs in order to make your dreams a reality.

Provide your guests with amenities. Consider creating a wedding website where you can provide information about what your guests should pack. It's also proper destination wedding etiquette to thank them for making the long journey to celebrate your union. Give them welcome bags, take them to brunch, and make sure their needs are met throughout their stay. Make sure your wedding guests' rooms are in good condition before they arrive.

Select a wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings. Find a wedding coordinator who is experienced in planning destination weddings in the state or country to which you are traveling. Investigate local wedding planners to find people who are well-versed in the area. They can assist you in locating wedding photographers and other vendors in the area who can meet your requirements.

Maintain your sanity. Keep wedding costs and logistics in perspective. Recognize that you will almost certainly have to make tradeoffs as you plan your special day. If you've always wanted to wear a ball gown, a beach wedding in Jamaica might not be the best option. In this case, you could still find an indoor venue or another location to accommodate your preferences.

Work out the legal kinks. Every country has different marriage laws. To marry in a foreign country, you must be aware of both its laws and those of your home country. Bring all of the legal documents required to complete your nuptials. You can avoid this by first obtaining a legal marriage license in your home country before traveling to a more symbolic wedding ceremony abroad.


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