Planning a Destination Wedding
Alyssa Pendleton - June 30, 2015
Planning a wedding in a far off location can be challenging. It's not easy to coordinate the intricacies of such an important event without the convenience of local knowledge. If a destination wedding is meant for you, follow these tips to make your planning process simpler.
Start with a Venue
The whole point of a destination wedding is for the scenery. If it's important that your ceremony takes place on the beach, make sure you get that booked before anything else. Often times, when you book through a hotel or other accommodation, they will have preferred or required vendors for you to work with. Venues that have a preferred caterer or florist may be more expensive, but the cost could be worth it if you are planning from a distance. Keeping your planning as centralized as possible is very helpful.
Because you probably aren't familiar with local vendors and don't have friends to recommend anyone, looking up vendor reviews online is your new best friend. Never book a vendor you haven't seen in action without checking out their user reviews. Listening to the advice of couples who have already used a vendor is priceless. Not only will it help you weed out lower quality options, but it will also give you a better idea of what to expect.
Take a Trip
If there is any possible way to make at least one trip to your destination spot before the wedding, do it. Give yourself a couple of days and plan to meet with every single vendor you have booked. This way you can get an idea of how your wedding day will look and your vendors will be able to meet your wishes more accurately. If it is just not an option for you to travel pre-wedding, ask your vendors if you can have at least one video conference. Meeting your vendor face to face helps you to establish a relationship and will make you feel so much more comfortable and confident that your big day is going to happen just like you imagined. To touch back on the first point, a venue with preferred vendors is even more important if you can't take a trip yourself. Preferred vendors will have experience in the venue and be able to make your wedding beautiful without needing as many specific instructions.
Prepare Your Guests
Destination weddings aren't only expensive for you; the cost for your guests is also significant. Your guests are not only going the extra mile to support you on your big day by spending their hard earned money, but also giving up vacation days that may have been used on family trips or other events. You aren't expected to pay the way for all your guests, but it is definitely best to give your guests extra notice if these are your plans. Giving your guests time to both save money and take off work will ease the burden and make it more likely that all the people you love will be able to support you on your wedding day. It is also important to set aside rooms for your guests at the same hotel to make travel easier and more efficient. Again, this does not mean paying for the rooms. This just means you need to let the hotel know how many guests you expect, and they will reserve rooms for your guests to book themselves.
Know Your Location
Every city has its own information that you need to know. Since many destination weddings hinge on the weather, it is the first thing you should research. If a wedding on the beautiful Florida shores is your dream, don't plan a wedding in hurricane season. See if your location has rainy months, dark months, overly hot seasons, etc. so you aren't disappointed in the reality of your wedding. Aside from weather, remember to check the marriage laws and requirements - these vary by state and country. Not every place is the same, and you don't want to mess with fixing incorrect marriage licensing. Lastly, be sure to find out the time difference and communicate this to your guests. Grandma is going to be very unhappy if she misses the ceremony because she didn't show up until six o'clock your time.
Destination weddings are planning marathons requiring patience and organization. Still, they can be magical opportunities to celebrate your love in the place most representative of who you are. For some people, the beach is home, others feel the call of the mountains, but no matter where your far away nuptials take place, these tips will make the planning smoother and simpler. If you need some more help, subscribe to our newsletter for weekly tips and check out these blogs to find the answers to some of the toughest wedding planning questions and learn which traditions are really required! Let us know how else we can help by Tweeting at @bridalbprint, commenting below, or finding us on Facebook! Happy wedding planning!Share on Facebook