Destination Wedding Planning Tips! Seas the day! Did you decide or even contemplated doing a destination wedding instead of a traditional local wedding? We got tips in this guide to help you out!
- Location, location, location
- Decide on your budget and venue
- Consider your guests
- Work with a pro
- Send invitations sooner
- Give your guests options for accommodations
- Check packages
- Always have a Plan-B
- Pack your luggage & bags
- Do a rehearsal
- Engage Your Guests
- Keep it intimate
Destination weddings are so much fun. They are fascinating for your guests and provide everyone an escape from their hectic routines. A destination wedding gives you a once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend a vacation with all your friends and family. These weddings need a lot of research and planning since you will most likely not be on-site until days before the wedding. Here are the top tips to help you how to plan a destination wedding.
Destination Wedding Planning Tips
1. Location, location, location
Destination weddings are all about the place where your wedding will be taking place. It is not just a location but also a whole vibe and theme for your big day.
It should be exciting and refreshing for your guests. Your destination should be a sensible one, it should have all the facilities nearby and your arrangements should be at their perfection. Security, accessibility, and safety are top priorities that you should start looking at. You should keep the season and location of the wedding in your mind.
Whenever possible, visit your chosen destination in advance. This will help you get a feel for the area, meet with local vendors, and make arrangements with confidence.
PRO TIP: Consult with an attorney or legal expert to ensure that your marriage will be legally recognized both in your home country and at the destination.
PRO TIP #2: Complete the necessary paperwork and obtain your marriage license in accordance with the destination’s requirements.
2. Decide on your budget and venue
Destination weddings usually consist of a small group of people. However, they are still difficult to manage due to the expense of traveling and arranging everything at a location far away from your hometown.
It would help if you considered every little thing while planning a budget for your destination wedding and fixed a considerable amount of money for miscellaneous expenses.
Select a wedding venue that suits your style and guest count. Many destination wedding venues offer all-inclusive packages that can simplify planning.
3. Consider your guests
Choose a date that works for you and your guests. Consider the weather, tourist seasons, and any local events that may affect your wedding. Also, be flexible, as popular venues may have limited availability.
We, of course, do not count other people’s money for them. But it’s good to have a chat even BEFORE you decide on having a destination wedding.
It’s good to give them an idea of what you have in mind even before you finalize. They can at least plan, and you can also have a ballpark of how many people you think can attend.
4. Work with a pro
Different countries or regions have varying legal requirements for marriage. Check what documents are needed, such as passports, visas, and marriage licenses. Some destinations may require you to arrive a certain number of days before the wedding.
Destination weddings have many more complexities than local weddings as you don’t know everything about the location, so it’s better to hire a destination wedding planner. Destination wedding planners have particular training to ensure that you can celebrate seamlessly when you reach your destination.
Your destination wedding planner should provide you and your guests with the best experience and the best vendors. You should also ask your wedding planner for the best makeup artist and hairstylist in the town if you can not afford to take yours with you.
Choosing to work with a professional wedding planner opens you up to more connections and a network of other professionals that you could otherwise not come upon on your own.
Since the wedding planner has already worked with most vendors for other destination weddings, there will be a level of confidence on your end that it has been done before. They know the ins and outs of your destination wedding location.
They will also know the requirements for travel/immigration for your specific destination, which is essential and should also be shared with your guests.
PRO TIP: Once you have all your documents ready, put them together and also file electronic documents (take a pic of them in PDF) and have one PDF file for all the documents. You can name it “WEDDING DOCUMENTS PDF” – Send it to yourself, and your partner, and if possible, send it to trusted people who are coming to your wedding, as well as one person you trust who is in your local country so they have access to those documents in case of emergencies.
5. Send invitations sooner (stick to this one destination wedding planning tips!)
It is difficult for your guests to join you when they have not been preplanned. Your guests need to plan days off for your wedding, make up their minds, take a leave from their jobs, and most importantly, manage the accommodation and travel expenses.
Go as far as creating a wedding website like Wedsites, where you can update your guests accordingly. You can share accommodation options, activities, shopping, flight options, and a lot more. This will keep them updated with what they will be expecting for their wedding.
6. Give your guests options for accommodations
Your desired location will most likely have accommodations built around the property or should have hotels that are only about a thirty-minute drive. Check the availability and provide your guests with some options, just if they also want to explore the destination at their own time after your wedding.
Since your guests are traveling, consider planning group activities, like a welcome dinner, local tours, or excursions to make the trip memorable for everyone.
Again, security, accessibility, and safety are top priorities that you should start looking at.
7. Check packages
Packages can make it a little easier for your guests to book. They won’t have to determine so much and do a lot of research and leg work. If you provide them with package options, it will help them make a decision and plan.
8. Always have a Plan-B
You should always be prepared for bad weather conditions or any mishaps. Take everything with yourself, that you think can help you out. It would help if you also guided your guests to bring those things with them too.
This is where your professional destination wedding planner will come into play and really bring in their experience and expertise. They will help you navigate around any challenges that might come up.
9. Pack your luggage & bags (one of the very important destination wedding planning tips)
Make a checklist of the things you may need on your trip. Start preparing your luggage bags as early as 2 weeks before leaving. You don’t want to forget anything important.
Make a checklist with different categories and strikethrough the things you’ve kept in your bag. If you start packing sooner than usual, this will give you time to work on things that you still need and haven’t gotten around to yet.
If you need to have separate bags for certain things, it is always better to do so. Take a picture of your luggage and what’s inside it so you know exactly where and which is what.
Think about how your wedding attire, decorations, and other essentials will get to the destination. Shipping items in advance or packing them with care is essential.
10. Do a rehearsal
Your wedding planner will be able to help you with working on a wedding rehearsal. You should go and visit your destination and hotels before your wedding. If you have never visited that place, then you should go there before planning the wedding.
If you have been there before, you should visit that place some days before the wedding. It will help you play your part in the wedding decor and arrangements and make everything up to your expectations.
11. Engage Your Guests (activities are one of the destination wedding planning tips that you should consider!)
Another tip in planning a destination wedding is to arrange many fun, interesting activities for your guests and make sure they have an experience-filled time at your wedding.
Consider activities PRE and POST wedding. If your guests have chosen to use the same accommodations as you did, it will be easier to plan activities together.
You can also have your wedding planner prepare other options that they might want to engage in on their own time, like spa, snorkeling, etc.
12. Keep it intimate
It isn’t easy to plan a destination wedding if you have a huge guest list. Opt for a more manageable number of guests to keep a lot of things at bay. Surround yourself with the ones you love the most and closest friends, those whose presence matters the most.
Trim your guest list so that you can have a perfect vibe of positivity around you the whole day. Pick out an intimate destination that everyone can enjoy and have time to remember for the rest of their lives.
It becomes a vacation for them, as well. Not just a wedding. They will be thrilled to spend the time and celebrate with you!