Whether you are headed to a snowcapped mountaintop or a sandy beach oasis, there is something special about getting married at a dream destination. Planning the ultimate destination wedding has its challenges, but we have compiled 10 tips that will make your arrival a smooth ride.
Before flying across the country or abroad to marry the love of your life, follow these important tips to help you achieve an unforgettable wedding destination for saying, “I do.”
10 Tips For Planning the Ultimate Destination Wedding:
Tip 1: Envision your Destination
To enjoy your special day to the fullest, envision the type of day you hope to have. If you like to spend long days in the sun, think tropical. If you envisioned something more intimate, think California wine country. It is important to consider how easy it is to travel to your chosen wedding destination, especially for older relatives, and whether the destination has all the resources you might need on your special day.
Tip 2: Research Marriage Requirements
Regulations vary in different countries and even different states. Especially when tying the knot in another country, there are different “residency requirements” where you must reside in the country for a period of time before getting married. Check with your venue, as they probably have steps to facilitate this process. If this is the case, you may consider a civil ceremony before your wedding day. Last but certainly not least, get your passport. If you already have a passport just double check to make sure it doesn't expire anytime soon. If you don't have one, start the process now so it is one less thing on your future to do list.
Tip 3: Notify Guests in Advance
If a destination wedding is in your plans, consider telling bridesmaids before you ask them to stand by your side. It will allow them to plan accordingly or decline if unable to attend. Send save-the-date cards at least 6-8 months in advance. It's normal for some guests to be unable to attend your big day. Don't let that discourage you, but giving them enough advance notice will help them plan.
Tip 4: Dress the Part
The destination and its climate are two of the most important things when picking wedding attire. If it’s dry weather or very humid, it is important to consider it all when picking a fabric and even how your hair and makeup will be done. Be considerate of guests, explain the weather and give a heads-up for appropriate shoes. If the floor is difficult to walk in heels on,, you may way to buy heel protectors to keep them from sinking in surfaces. If you are headed to a beach or luxury resort, be sure to browse our new bridal swimwear and accessories line.
Tip 5: Hire a Wedding Planner
Although you may want to partake in every step of the planning, it is important to hire a planner for dealing with logistics and last-minute changes that may happen, as they will facilitate things on your behalf. You may want to bring a planner from home, but it is important that they have experience with your chosen destination as they may have to make decisions from miles away. A local planner connected with the venue is another alternative.
Tip 6: Visit the Location
Venues are completely different in person than in pictures, so taking at least one trip to the destination is important for making sure it is what you are dreaming about. Take pictures, and consider back-ups for rain or when the sun goes down if the ceremony is outside. It is quite different to discuss details in person, but if time doesn’t allow it, video calls are just as important. If you decide on a wedding planner, they might know more information they can relay for helping you make decisions. Plus, you get a bonus trip out of if!
Tip 7: Vet Vendors
Read as much information and reviews on vendors as you can, and call their references. If your wedding planner is from the destination, they might have referrals for some local talent as you’re going to need caterers, florists and photographers. You may also bring this talent from your hometown, but it is important to consider their transportation and lodging.
Tip 8: Avoid Busy Destinations and Seasons
If your wedding destination is a busy one, consider other events that may happen in your venue throughout the time you will be there. For a more intimate time, peak season and school vacation periods may be times to avoid.
Tip 9: Wedding Day Transportation
If guests are staying in a separate hotel or if the venue is not located within the hotel, you may want to set up a shuttle service for guests traveling to and from the wedding. This makes it easier on guests for getting around a destination they are not familiar with and eliminates parking issues for multiple cars.
Tip 10: Give Guests the Inside Scoop
Communicating as much information as you can to wedding guests is important, especially for those coming from out of town. If the budget allows, be hospitable with welcome boxes and include maps, activities to do in town, and maybe even the itinerary of the wedding. Showcasing what to do in the area may allow guests to discover something different in a city they have not visited before.
These tips are the perfect start to the destination wedding of your dreams. If you’re looking for the perfect getaway destination for your bachelorette weekend or honeymoon retreat, check out our previous blog post on 10 relaxing spa resorts.