Visualize Your Big Day
When you first start to plan your destination wedding, the first thing you need to do is visualize your big day. Do you want to get married in a bustling city, on a white sandy beach or in a romantic mountain retreat? Once you have thought about your setting, you then need to think about the location and guest list – both of these will affect your budget. After you have visualized your destination wedding, what setting you want to tie the knot in with all your guests and the location, you can then start thinking about all the smaller details that will set your destination wedding apart from the rest.
Find Your Perfect Destination
When thinking about picking a wedding destination, listen to your heart. If you love walking along long sandy beaches with the sun setting in the distance then maybe look at a Caribbean island to tie the knot. If the romance of a busy city pulls your heartstrings, then Rome or New York could be your ideal wedding destination. One thing to consider when picking a wedding destination is how easy will it be to get there. If you are planning to jet off together and maybe elope then this will not be a concern, but if you want your grandparents to attend, perhaps booking a wedding that involves long haul flights might not be the best idea.
How To Pick A Date For Your Destination Wedding
Picking a date for your destination wedding could seem pretty tricky at first. There are so many things to consider when trying to find your ideal date. Back home you would probably just have picked a date that means something to you or maybe its the only date your perfect venue had left for that year.
When planning a wedding abroad though you need to think about not only your wedding venue but about flight times, weather conditions where you are planning your wedding (no one wants to get married in a monsoon) and most importantly about your guests.
If you have invited a lot of families to your overseas wedding, then you need to think about school term dates and when those children will be off school. Most families now will not take their children out of school because it is socially frowned up and the fines from local government are hefty.
It’s also worth thinking about if friends can request holidays at certain times of the year. Some businesses will not allow staff to have holidays around busy times of the year, such as Christmas or Easter.
Weather – What To Wear
Most people book a destination wedding because they want the guaranteed weather, unlike the UK, that seems to be pot luck at best. One important thing to consider is the weather where you plan to have your wedding. If it is going to be hot and you have vulnerable guests attending, it might be worth having a later wedding when the temperature will be cooler. I would also recommend wearing light and airy clothes for the ceremony. Ditch the heavy fabrics you would typically wear back here in the UK and go for lighter, looser fitting clothes. It is also worthing thinking about what style of wedding dress you will be wearing and what the weather will be like at your destination. If it is going to be hot and humid, it might not be best to wear a large and heavy wedding dress.
Don’t Forget To Send Your Invites Early.
As I mentioned above, about choosing a wedding destination and things to consider, it is also essential to get your wedding invites out early. The more time you give people to plan their trip, the more chance you will have of those guests who mean the most turning up. You need to remember that people will need to save to cover spending money, travel costs and accommodation. Then there are all the little extras that people need to purchase, for example, wedding presents, clothes and insurance. Before any of my couples send out their invites, I always remind them to include as much detail as possible. Try to include flight options, transfers from the airport and the best accommodation. The more information you give your wedding guests as early as possible, the better.
Remember Not Everyone Will Be Able To Attend
Try not to be disheartened if not all of your guests can make your special day. People might already have commitments, their employer might not be accommodating with getting the time off, or they might not be able to afford the travel expense. Don’t worry, though, and it could be a good idea to have a celebration when you get back home.
Local Marriage Requirments
Before you set off to have the wedding of your dreams, don’t forget to research local marriage requirements to see if you can legally marry in your chosen destination. Some countries/states have specific legal obligations that mean you might not legally be able to tie the knot. Don’t worry though, you could always have a civil service back home before setting out to your destination and have more of a romantic service while out there.
Visit Before You Book Your Destination Wedding
It might sound like common sense, but try and visit your destination wedding venue as much as possible before the big day. I sometimes know this isn’t possible, but I have heard so many times how couples have turned up to their venue only to find building work going on over the road.
If it’s not possible to visit your wedding venue, then it might be worth hiring a reputable local wedding planner. I would recommend booking a surface planer which has been reviewed by real couples over one that comes with the hotel. This will mean the planner is serving your interests and not the venues.
Meet Your Vendors
As a vendor my self, I can’t stress this enough. If you can afford it and would like a more personal touch, then take your tried and trusted vendors with you. Most vendors who work for the hotel will only serve the hotel and not necessarily you. It can also be hard to find reviews on their services and check the quality of their work. If you love a photographers style or how a makeup artist can make you feel a million dollars then budget for them and try not to cut corners. It will be worth it in the end.
These are my top tips to plan a destination wedding. Remember to take your time, do your research and have extra in your budget for any little extras you might have forgotten. I hope you found them helpful and if you have any more tips, then please share them in the comments.
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