If you like the idea of a wedding overseas but are a little scared about the logistics, this guide is for you! Planning a destination wedding is much easier than you think, plus there are plenty of people who’ll be able to help you every step of the way. Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular for a number of different reasons.
- For some, it’s the lower cost of such a ceremony that’s attractive.
- For others, it the chance to say “I do” in the most exotic of locations.
If you’re a little hesitant about making such plans, read on to find some handy tips.
Choose the Best Location
There’s little point in sticking a pin into an atlas and hoping the location will have everything you need. You could take a look at a list of the top 10 destination wedding locations. However, a certain amount of planning and research will be required. A number of factors will need to be considered when looking for the perfect location, such as:
- Does it fit your budget?
- Is it close enough and within the budget of all your guests?
As well as the facilities on the day, consider what other activities will be available. Your wedding guests aren’t going to want to leave for home straight away.
How Big is Your Guest List?
One of the reasons couples are choosing destination weddings is that they can be much more intimate affairs. A destination wedding is also far less stressful, so don’t complicate matters by inviting too many people. It might also be beneficial to discuss your arrangements with close family and friends and check that they’ll still be able to attend. Send out your wedding invitations well in advance so that people have time to prepare and make the necessary travel arrangements.
Build a Destination Wedding Website
This is an excellent way of keeping all the guests informed of your plans, rather than having to keep ringing around! You’ll be able to include suggestions for how the guests can keep themselves entertained once your honeymoon is underway. It’s also possible to add details of vendors and service providers in the area so your guests can be prepared.
Check Out the Location First Hand
This is something that’s well worth doing provided your schedule allows for it. Take some time off together and visit the resort, undertaking the same travel arrangements you’ll be making for your wedding. It will give you a good idea of what you can expect and ensure you’re not disappointed with your destination wedding. You’ll also get a chance to speak with the wedding coordinator and discuss your needs and desires. Many of the decisions you have to make will be easier if you can experience your options first hand. There will also be an opportunity to look around the area to see what else is on offer.
Additional Costs You Can Expect to Pay
On average, a wedding in the US can cost as much as $30,000. A destination wedding, on the other hand, can cost less than $10,000. It’s no wonder so many couples are choosing to get married this way. However, just because you’re paying less, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to watch what you’re spending. There are certain additional costs you’ll have to pay that won’t be included in your destination wedding package. You might find you have to pay a tax and service charge for set up and rentals. There is also the issue of tipping at restaurants and bars that need to be taken into account.
When it comes to tying the knot, the legal requirements tend to be different depending on where you’re getting married. Wedding venues in the Dominican Republic will have different requirements to those in France, for example. Before you make your final decision on a destination wedding, it will be wise if you check you can comply with any legal regulations. You might be required to reside in a country for a certain number of days before the wedding can take place. For many couples, it means going to the courthouse before the destination wedding trip to make it legal. In these situations, the destination wedding ceremony is simply symbolic.
Trust in a Wedding Planner or Do it Yourself?
It is possible to do all the planning yourself, but it will be much less stressful if you make use of a wedding planner for some of the arrangements. They will be able to research and secure local vendors, organize logistics such as lighting, wedding food, and entertainment. If you decide you want to book an all-inclusive wedding package, the services of a coordinator will be included in the price.
Check the Weather Carefully
Do you know what the weather’s like in the Caribbean? Are you aware that at certain times of the year countries in Asia are in the middle of the monsoon season? From July through to October in the Caribbean, it is hurricane season, not the best for a destination wedding. If you want to get married in Hawaii, the months between November and March are not the best if you want to have blue skies!
Your Wedding Dress
If your wedding is going to take place in a location where it’s hot and humid, choose breathable fabrics. A fairy-tale satin wedding gown is not going to be much fun to wear in tropical humidity. If you want your groom and his groomsmen to wear tuxedos, make sure the weather is favorable for such formal attire. If you’re going to be exchanging your vows outside, then a long train is only going to get muddy or covered in grass stains, and your stiletto heels are going to get stuck in the mud.
Start Making Plans Now
Give yourself at least six months to make the arrangements beforehand. The best destination wedding locations get booked up pretty quick. You might not be planning to get married until 2020, but don’t leave it too long before you set the date and decide on the location. Leaving all the planning until the last minute will leave you exhausted and too tired to enjoy your day.
Having plenty of time to make the necessary arrangements will make the planning more fun. With a wedding on the horizon, you should be excited, not lying awake at night worrying about all the things you haven’t done.
This is a partner post.