Planning a Destination Wedding
Destination weddings can be an amazing way to celebrate your union! Even though many details of a destination wedding may come as part of your wedding package, there is still a lot of planning involved. There are many things to consider, and we have put together this guide to help you get started!
Choosing a Location
When choosing your location, be sure to take into consideration the cost of travel. Not only for you and your partner, but for any family or friends that you would like to join you. Will you be covering any part of their costs? Will they be able to afford the trip?
Make sure to find a venue that fits your needs and budget. Many destination locations have an all-inclusive package for weddings, and depending on the size of your wedding, some locations provide a free ceremony when you book your stay. If you are having a destination wedding joined with your honeymoon, be sure to check out the amenities and activities that will be available for the rest of your stay. You may even want to take a short trip with your partner to check out the location firsthand before the ceremony!
Also, be sure to research what would be involved to travel to your chosen location. Will you need a passport or any special documentation? Will you need any special immunizations? Will you need local currency or a translation guide?
Be sure to send out invitations to any guests that you would like to join you well in advance (6-8 months.) You may want to send a save-the-date as soon as possible as well. You want to make sure you are giving them ample time to make travel plans, ask for time off of work, budget, etc.
Planning the Event and Itinerary
We recommend using an experienced destination wedding planner that is familiar with the location of your wedding. Planning a local wedding can be difficult enough, but adding thousands of miles between you and your wedding location can be immensely more difficult! Having a planner in your corner that knows how to navigate a destination wedding can be invaluable!
We also highly recommend making a wedding website for your destination wedding. With so much information surrounding a destination wedding, your guests will appreciate it and it will make communication, planning, and travel go much more smoothly. A wedding website is a great way to let guests know costs and details associated with their travel, where/how to book travel (especially if you have secured special group pricing), weather and attire, itinerary, and more!
And speaking of itinerary, make sure to plan out and communicate to guests exactly what the plans will be. What day will you arrive? What day will guests need to arrive by? Who will be doing what and at what time on the day of the wedding? Will you have a brunch with guests the next day? Your guests will have traveled all that way for your special day, so you will want to be social. But is there a point that you and your partner will want to say goodbye and honeymoon alone?
Celebrating at Home
Even though your ceremony may take place in another location, you can still celebrate with friends and family that were unable to attend. Plan a separate reception to take place once you arrive back home! Whether you would still like to have formal event with all the decor and trimmings, or just a casual and relaxed barbecue or potluck, it is a great way to celebrate your wedding with loved ones.