Helpful tips for planning the perfect Destination Wedding
The thoughts of having a destination wedding can be very exciting, and very overwhelming! More couples today are looking to plan destination weddings to give their guests a vacation experience and break away from the traditional wedding scene. If you are committed already to having a destination wedding, here are a few helpful tips to help you plan your perfect destination wedding:
Make a list!
Sit down with your fiancée and decide what are the must haves for your wedding. Are you more focused on being able to do excursions vs. seclusion, do you want a private beach setting, or are you most concerned with the food? Write down the various locations that are on your bucket list, special to you/your partner, or perhaps special for other reasons. Don’t take shortcuts here and make sure you are both on the same page!
Consider your guests
If you are planning an international destination wedding, consider your guests by giving them plenty of time to prepare to travel. Special arrangements might have to be made in order to take time off and it gives them time to prepare and budget. When you are planning your wedding, be considerate of family members and friends with small children and decide if you would like to include them by picking a family friendly resort. Destination weddings can also occur in places like Florida, the Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico that might be better for younger travelers. Also plan to take into account the flights to get to our destination and if there are reasonable flights for your guests to choose from. J + A chose to have their wedding on Marco Island in Florida and were able to have younger nieces attend as well as more friends and family.
Talk with a travel agent.
If you are having a hard time narrowing down locations and destinations, consider using a travel agent. They can help you develop a list of countries based on your wants and narrow down resorts. They are also up to date with current travel warnings & restrictions and can help ease your mind by organizing travel info for your guests. Need help finding a travel agent? Click here for a recommendation!
Plan an extra event
Consider planning at least one extra event that focuses on your guests. Planning a large beach bonfire with everyone, a rehearsal dinner, or an excursion with all of your guests will be a special way to enjoy more time with your friends and family. It will also help your guests feel that their travel as worthwhile and feel valued. H + S opted to have a rehearsal dinner the night before their wedding with all of their guests at a rented Air BnB as seen below.
Hire a local wedding planner
If you are using an all inclusive resort they will more than likely provide an on site wedding planner to help you throughout the planning process. If you are planning an off site wedding and utilizing Air BNB’s for guests, hire a local boutique wedding planner (If you are planning a Mexico wedding I highly recommend checking out this wedding planner!). No matter what you choose, trust their process and recommendations. They plan weddings for a living and know the country and resort better than you. Hint: You might also be able to find other amazing local vendors (like hair and makeup) as well!
Be clear & detail-oriented with your onsite wedding planner
Explain what you like, or dislike, about the centerpiece pictures you sent her. Be open with your planner and share the elements that you’re most excited about and what are your biggest annoyances or dislikes with weddings. If you want something unique or special, you have to ask – regardless of how crazy or different you might think your request is. Curious if the resort can fire breathers? Ask! Want to have dancing all night? Ask!
Don’t check your wedding dress!
I cannot stress this enough: Do not check your dress! Keep it with you and plan on having it be a carry on item. Even if it has to be folded, it is safer to know where it is. It can always be steamed once you arrive at your destinations. (You would never know that this dress was stuffed into a carry on bag because the airline said there were too many carry on items!)
Talk with other destination brides
We often call upon our close girlfriends for advice about anything and everything. If you are planning a destination wedding, try to connect with other brides (even if they are friends of a friend). Go out for a glass of wine and ask questions and listen to their experience. Past brides will always be happy to talk about their wedding day!
Understand and accept the unknown.
You can never do enough research, and for that reason it’s important to understand and accept that at some point – you have to go with your heart (and gut). Your wedding will be uniquely your own, and things will go wrong. It is important to remember to take these travel hiccups in stride and relax. You are getting married!
Like what you read? Comment below and be sure to share with other destination brides! Head over to the contact page if you would like to inquire with Carrie to travel with you to your destination wedding.
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