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Updated by kimkiol12 on Sep 17, 2020
Headline for Tips on how to plan a destination wedding
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Tips on how to plan a destination wedding

Congratulations, your big day is coming! Now you're about to start an exciting process. Wedding planning is not exactly a piece of cake. It requires a lot of organization skills, time and financial investments, and if you decide to have a destination wedding then double the investments.


Start with the big picture

Destination weddings bring forward issues such as unfamiliarity with the country/city, it's marriage laws, and distance that doesn't allow you to see the venue, meet with the vendors and arrange all the other details of the wedding. Despite these challenges, destination weddings are extremely exciting and if you've decided to make your one then keep reading to find out some helpful tips on how to organize a destination wedding.

Before you get into the details of organizing a destination wedding, it's important to have an idea of the big picture. Some questions to ask yourselves are:
Where do we want to have a wedding?
How many people do we want to invite?
Is there a theme?
How much can we spend on this wedding?
The answers to these questions will help you work out the smaller details like style, colors or design.


How to choose a destination

How to choose a destination

Essentially, you can have your wedding anywhere you want but spinning the globe and putting your finger on a country is not the way to go. While choosing a destination wedding location keep these things in mind:
Do the marriage laws of the country allow foreigners to get married there?
Can your family and friends afford the trip?
Are there direct flights to that destination?
Is it reasonably priced?
Can you afford a trip there before the wedding?

You can make a list of all preferred destinations locations and then shortlist the ones that meet your personal criteria and the ones described above.

Consider the weather

Just like with any other trip, check the weather. You should use the weather as a guiding point when choosing the date and after that keep continuously checking it for updates. Consider also the overall climate of the destination to pick appropriate attire. Don't keep this information to yourself, share it with your guests, so they know how to pack as well.


Be prepared for the local marriage requirements

One of the things that are very important to do beforehand is checking the local marriage requirements. There are certain countries that require residency permits from couples to have an official wedding ceremony. If this is the case then you can have your civil ceremony in your country, so that you are legally married and then have your party in your destination. If you're not sure where to get started on the research, you can always ask the venue. They have enough experience to be able to guide you.

Send invitations as soon as you can
With destination weddings, you have to be a couple of steps ahead all the time. Send out the invitations or “save the date” cards to your friends and family as early as you can to give them enough time to prepare for the trip. Keep in mind that this is not a financial investment only for, an early heads up will be nice for your loved ones not only to block out the day on the calendar but also plan financially for the trip.


Try to visit the destination at least once before the wedding

We understand that this is an additional expense but doing everything remotely carries risk. If you can, visit the destination before the wedding day to check out the venue, make the necessary arrangements with the vendors and iron out the last details. In case you want to hire a wedding planner then do it while you're there ,so you can meet in person and get to know each other. This will help the wedding planner to understand your needs and wants, and plan the wedding of your dreams. If you can't afford a wedding planner, you can always book a wedding package with the venue, which means that they will be handling the small details (e.g. catering, waiters, etc.).

Minimize shipping
There are a number of things that you may want to take with you for your wedding day from decorations to party favors. If possible take these things with you in person during your first visit or on the wedding day. Postal services don't necessarily work well in all countries. To avoid last-minute inconveniences, take everything with you instead of shipping them.


Help your guest find accommodation and arrange transportation

Help your guest find accommodation and arrange transportation

Yes, this is your special day and we're sure your family and friends are more than excited to share it with you. However since you're having a destination wedding, your guests will be spending their time, energy, and finances to be there for you, so try to be as accommodating to your guests as you can. Give them a list of hotels or guest houses, arrange transportation from the airport, plan a hike, dinners, or other activities that they can enjoy after the wedding

Manage your expectations
The last tip we have for you is to manage your expectations. You probably have this perfect picture in your head - getting married during sunset on a cliff facing the ocean. While it is great to have such a picture in your head (remember the first tip, the big picture), you should also remain realistic. Destination weddings require a lot of compromise from flowers to catering. So, you may need to say yes to options that you don't necessarily 100% love.