Admit it, there’s something exotic and inherently fun about a destination wedding. Your location options are endless. You can go to a beach, mountain top, Las Vegas, or wherever else you feel like saying your vows. The only hitch here is that you have to realize the logistical difficulties of a destination wedding. There is a lot of planning and preparation to do if you want to pull off a destination wedding.
10 Things To Consider When Organizing A Destination Wedding
Choose The Destination
Choosing the destination is very important, obviously, since this is the cornerstone of your planning. If you want to have a destination wedding then you need to find the perfect place to have it.
Usually, couples already have a good idea of where they want the ceremony to take place. Maybe they know they want the ceremony on a beach, but don’t know which beach in particular.
At this point, it’s a good idea to consider a few options and then pick out the perfect place for your wedding.
Know The Weather Patterns And Seasons
You don’t want to plan your beach wedding in Thailand and set it for August – it’s the monsoon season! Since you’re probably unfamiliar with the actual location, you have to do your research and make sure you know when the perfect time is for your wedding.
Be sure to avoid the rainy season in your chosen destination, as well as peak season, because you will most likely feel overwhelmed by too many tourists.
Plan Your Guest List
This is something you need to do the moment you decide on a venue. Since you’re planning a destination wedding, you may want to keep the guest list short. After all, not everyone will want to travel and spend money just to make it to your wedding. Keep the wedding cozy and invite only your nearest and dearest friends and family members.
Inform The Bridal Party
Don't wait till the last minute to inform your bridal party that it’s a destination wedding.
They will have to make arrangements, save up money, and more, to be able to travel for your big day. And if they can’t make it, at least you’ll know early on and will be able to make adjustments accordingly.
Choose The Right Vendors
Since you won’t be there all the time to discuss things with vendors, it’s a good idea to find the ones you can trust at an early stage of your party planning. Find the right vendors, agree on the price, and make sure they’re ready to work with you on your big day.
As well, remember to get everything in writing so that both you and the vendors are clear as to what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and the price you are paying for things.
Find A Local Wedding Planner
Again, since you’ll be away most of the time during the planning stage, it’s good to have someone “on the ground”, so to speak. Instead of negotiating with individual vendors, find a reliable, local wedding planner who can help you with the whole process. It’s much easier when you have someone you can trust to handle most of the details of your wedding planning.
The thing about destination weddings is that they can get expensive really fast, and that’s not even counting the money your guests will be spending just to be there with you.
It’s a good idea to have a budget for the event and to discuss this with your wedding planner so you don’t end up going overboard. You don’t have to spend too much but you will have to spend a little extra. Just make sure you can afford it.
Research Local Marriage Laws
Since the ceremony is a legal and binding one, you might want to do a bit of research on local marriage laws. Will you need to apply for a marriage licence when you get there? How far in advance do you need to apply for one and how much will it cost? Will the marriage licence from your chosen destination be valid in your home country?
In some cases, the couple will get married in their hometown first (a simple civil wedding, perhaps) to make everything legal at home before doing the ceremony at their destination wedding. It doesn’t hurt to know about local practices and customs, either.
Consider Your Guests’ Expenses
While a destination wedding may sound very exciting to you, it could be an imposition on your guests.
This is why you should limit your guest list to those who really want to be part of the ceremony. After all, it’s a major effort on their part.
You don’t have to foot the bill, but you may want to at least help them book their flights, hotel rooms, etc. See if you can get a discounted group rate at one or two hotels for your guests and then let them know that they can book their hotel room there.
Also, provide your guests with suggestions of things they can see and do before and after your wedding to ensure they enjoy their entire trip.
Plus, if the cost to attend your wedding is expensive, tell your guests you don’t expect gifts since their presence at your wedding is enough.
It may seem like a lot of work, but a destination wedding is first and foremost all about fun. Leave all your worries behind and enjoy your big day.