When planning a wedding, there are so many things to consider. The most important decision after choosing the wedding date is deciding on the location. One of the most romantic ways to celebrate your love is with a destination wedding. Take a moment, picture saying “I do” on a gorgeous beach in Mexico or in an ancient Roman cathedral. There is so much that goes into planning a destination wedding. Follow these tips to have the destination wedding of your dreams.
Do your research. Sit down with your fiancé and discuss the different places you may want to hold your wedding. Once you have decided on a city or country, research all the different possibilities within that location that you can have your ceremony and reception. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you will need from the venue and what you are willing to provide. Keep a list handy while you are doing research. Once you narrow it down to a few venues, list out the pros and cons of each location, read reviews and learn everything you can about each place before you make a final decision.
Do stay organized. There will be a lot of decisions, planning and coordinating involved ensuring that everyone gets where they need to go for the wedding. As the bride, you will be the go-to person for all questions and people will expect you to have answers. Keep all information in one place. A convenient way to do this is with a wedding website. You will be able to include information and photos about the destination. Your guests will be able to visit the website to help book their travel, lodging, etc. When it comes to the traveling aspect of the celebration, make lists of everything you will need to bring. If you have items that may not travel well, such as flowers, favors or your wedding dress, look into the options ahead of time. Make sure you know how each item will get to the destination location well before the day of travel. The more organized you are, the smoother things will go.
Don’t invite too many guests. The fewer guests you have, the easier it will be to plan and manage everything. Keep the list limited to just your closest family and friends. While it is thoughtful to include more people, it will increase your stress levels and the cost of your wedding.
Do make it clear what you will pay for and what your guests will be expected to pay for. Your guests will be paying a lot to travel to your wedding and may want to enjoy local activities before or after the wedding day to take full advantage of their travels. If there are deals you can get through the hotel or venue, make sure your guests know. If you are able to pay for things such as hotel rooms, meals or travel from the hotel to the wedding venue (if in a different location), it would be a nice gesture and a way to say thank you to those who traveled to celebrate with you.
Don’t expect everyone who is invited to come to the wedding. As previously discussed, traveling for a destination wedding can become very expensive. If a family member or friend can’t make it to the wedding, you will undoubtedly be sad but make sure they know you understand. There is a lot that goes into traveling and not everyone will be able to take the time and/or cost to travel for the wedding.
Do consider planning an event at home for those who can’t make it to the wedding. This doesn’t have to be a second wedding or a huge event. If you have any family members or close friends that can’t travel for the wedding itself, they would love to have another event they can attend so they can celebrate with you. Throw a casual party after your honeymoon where guests can reminisce about the fun time they had or hear the great stories from the day if they weren’t able to join in the festivities. You can also use an event like this to invite those who did not make the original guest list that you may have wanted to celebrate your big day with.
Don’t be disappointed if you do not receive every gift on your registry. If your guests are making the effort to travel to a destination wedding, they shouldn’t also be expected to give an extravagant gift. They are already putting so much into getting to your wedding and you should appreciate that whether they give a gift or not.
Destination weddings are romantic and dreamy and can make your wedding day extra special. There are many things to keep in mind when planning a destination event but if you do your research, stay organized and keep your guests’ needs in mind you will be able to plan a special event that everyone involved is sure to remember forever.