The Beginner’s Guide to Destination Weddings

Whether you are traveling domestically or internationally  you will find a host of picturesque travel destinations. Scenic beaches paired with rich and diverse cultures can make the idea of a destination wedding very appealing.

Though that may be your dream wedding, many couples feel stuck on how  to start the process. A destination wedding can be stressful to organize, and, planning from afar is just the beginning. You have to deal with  the process of booking flights, making hotel reservations for you and possibly even your friends and family on top of the typical wedding planning logistics.

Hiring a planner to guide you through the process will be a great asset.  Our role is to make the process manageable for you so you can enjoy wedding planning just as much as the big day.  We have highlighted the 5 important first steps to plan a successful destination wedding.

Pick A Destination That Makes Sense For You

You can’t overlook local weather patterns, school holidays and legal marriage requirements in other countries, so be sure to do your research first!

Some countries don’t allow foreigners to wed within their borders Others require a 40-day residency before a wedding is legal.  

As with any wedding your budget dictates your destination a great deal. If you’re working with a tight budget, be sure to factor in flights, hotel stays (both for the wedding itself and any planning trips you may make beforehand!) and dining expenses in addition to the cost of ceremony, reception and any other events you may be hosting for out of town guests

If having a large group of friends and family attend is important to you, t reachability to your destination should also be taken into consideration Will the destination be easily accessible by your guests, and can they afford to travel there?.  

International destinations such the Bahamas are accessible and ideal for guests. You can event find great deals on  all-inclusive honeymoon packages to extend  your stay in paradise after the knot is tied  

Deciding On A Wedding Package

At the very least, a minimum destination wedding package usually includes a wedding coordinator, ceremony/reception venue, and a photographer. Others elements include makeup, hair, floral, music, and honeymoon.  (Note that even if you hire a planner who is close to your home, it is still very helpful to have an “on the ground” contact at your wedding destination who can answer specific questions about your wedding venue, local customs and laws, and even help translate if needed!).

Be sure to calculate all the elements you are hoping to include so that you can budget properly.  For ease, most destination weddings take place at a resort where guests can also stay onsite, and that many of your vendors can be included in one package price.

Help Guests, Family, and Friends Arrange Travel

Though not required, it can be very helpful to guests if the bride and groom help navigate some of the travel process.  You can often negotiate with airlines for discounted rates for groups and, of course, arrange a block of hotel rooms as a way to ensure your guests have a place to stay at a lower rate. Many hotels will give you discounted up to 40% off the standard price.

Safely Pack Wedding Essentials

You have waited patiently for your wedding day to come, and it’s finally time to depart for to your destination. Be sure to make a list of all the essentials, since you won’t be able to run home to collect a forgotten item.  

Wedding rings, the dress, and suit or tuxedo would top the list, but also any decor items or gifts you are providing to your guests. It would be a good idea to look into insurance for these items in case they should get lost or damaged in transit.  

I hope that this guide helps reassure you that planning a destination wedding can be a great option for your wedding day!  There may be some added stress, but it’s all worth it in the end when you get to marry the love of your life in a picturesque location with your closest family and friend.  

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