Planning a Destination Wedding? 7 Things You Need to Know
Destination weddings are quickly taking the place of larger, traditional church weddings. Couples are choosing to travel long-distance for their nuptials for a variety of reasons. Budget concerns lead many couples to far-off destinations where only friends and family are in attendance and the pressure to throw a lavish reception is alleviated. Whatever has led to your decision to plan a destination wedding, here are seven tips that can help you pull off your big day without a hitch:
You’ll need to decide what is more important: the venue or the guest list. If you have fantasies about getting married in a small chapel on top of a mountain, you won’t be able to invite hundreds of friends and family. If it’s important to you that everyone who can afford it is able to travel with you, choose a destination that allows for an unlimited number of guests.
2.Plan In Advance
While you may be able to pick up and travel at a moment’s notice, your guests might not have that luxury. You should select your destination at least six months in advance of your wedding. This time frame will allow your guests to put in for vacation time at work, save for airfare, and get their affairs in order prior to traveling. Advanced planning will also allow you to reserve a block of hotel rooms for your guests without concern that the resort or hotel is fully booked.
3.Consider the Weather
Nothing will ruin your beach wedding faster than a tropical storm. If you have a destination in mind, research the weather patterns before you decide on a date. A hurricane can ruin your wedding even if you aren’t planning on getting married outdoors. You want your wedding to be memorable for what it is, not because guests had to run for cover.
4.Requirements Can Differ
Every country has different laws and requirements regarding a legal marriage. If you are traveling to a different country, make sure that you know what these requirements are. You may need a specific number of witnesses, blood tests, or proof of residency. Don’t assume that getting married in a special locale is a simple matter of getting a license and saying “I do.” You don’t want to spend the money on a destination wedding only to find out that you aren’t legally married when you return home.
5.Check Your Vendors
Just because it’s a destination wedding doesn’t mean you should forego all those wedding “extras.” Hiring a horse drawn carriage is just as possible in Jamaica as it is in your hometown. Check online for local services. You may find that horse drawn carriages and florists are cheaper at your destination than at home. Remember to carefully check the background of any vendors you choose before sending a check. Ask each vendor for a list of past clientele and references. If any vendor balks at providing this information, look elsewhere!
6.Forego the Gift Registry
It has become standard for a bride and groom to forego the gift registry when asking friends and family to spend money on travel. The fact that your guests made the trip with you should be gift enough. If your friends and family choose to give you a wedding gift, consider it a bonus and thank them appropriately.
7.Use a Consultant
Many brides find that using a consultant takes the headache out of planning a destination wedding. Most popular wedding destinations have staff on hand to help you plan your nuptials. The services of a consultant are often included in your wedding package, so don’t be overly concerned about the cost. These professionals can help ensure that your wedding day is planned to the smallest detail, saving you a great deal of hassle and possible heartache.
Destination weddings are a fabulous way to start your life as a married couple. Plan your wedding in advance, take consideration of your guests, and use a consultant. If you do all of these things, your wedding will be a dream come true.
Allison Nieves is a freelance blogger who writes advice for wedding planners. Ever the romantic, Allison recommends hiring a horse drawn carriage for your special day.