Top 10 Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding:
1. Select a perfect location— that you love.
Have a dream location? These days you can get married almost anywhere.
2. Be flexible if the weather is not perfect.
Be prepared…if you’re traveling to areas that are tropical and warm, maybe have fans for each guest so they can stay cool.
3. Dress for the location.
Find yourself at the shore, bare feet are a must.
4. Use local flowers.
5. Feel like a local. Have your guests try new things in the area.
6. Do some research about local foods.
7. Double check the marriage license requirements if in another country.
8. Use a travel themed save the date & wedding invitation to reflect the location.
9. Find local items for fun favors for your guests.
10. Enjoy! How often do you get to enjoy your wedding day and honeymoon with your best friends? Let’s Party…
Thinking about planning a far-flung celebration? Here are the top tips to pull off a flawless destination wedding.
1. First Things First
Choose a location based on your wedding style and nonnegotiable guest list (if any). Unlike a hometown affair, you can’t assume everyone will be able to spend the money and vacation days to attend, so you’ll need to wait to get a read on how many people can come before you choose a venue. You’ll want to compare event facilities and, if you’re getting married at a hotel, room amenities, activity options, and potential group discounts.
2. Think Thrifty
If friends and family are invited along for the ride, go easy on their bank accounts: Consider an all-ages, all-inclusive resort or cruise during low season (generally May through November at resorts in the Caribbean or Mexico), to keep costs down and provide a bevy of built-in activity options. Guests should pay all their own expenses — it helps if you insist they not buy you gifts, and ask your travel agent or wedding coordinator about group discounts on air and hotels.
For specific info, call the tourism office nearest you for the country you’re interested in. Find a worldwide directory of tourism offices online, then contact the Association of Bridal Consultants at (860) 355-0464 to find the perfect planner to help you pull it off.
3. Start Early
Unless you’re doing a drive-through in Vegas, start researching and planning your destination wedding as soon as possible. Not only do you have to reserve your venue, but fulfilling the marriage requirements of the country in which you are to be wed may take a few months. For example, some countries require that documents be translated, public notices posted, and residency requirements fulfilled (ranging from nonexistent to one month).
4. Ask the Right Questions
Two maxims to keep in mind here: No question is stupid and you’ll never know until — and unless! — you ask. Achieving your dream wedding means having all the information you need to make the perfect choices.
5. Be Flexible
In some locales, you may only be able to marry Monday through Friday only. Some places do not permit civil (nonreligious) ceremonies. And unless you’re packing your family priest, be open-minded about who officiates your big day.
6. Work With Those in the Know
Stress not! Work with a bridal consultant who specializes in destination weddings and/or a wedding planner based in the area where you’ll be married to help you navigate a city’s marriage requirements (these can vary by country and within countries). Planners also serve as expert eyes for finding — and overseeing — local vendors.
7. Guide Your Guests
If you’ve chosen a far-flung locale, make sure each guest has a passport or provide them with information on how to get one. Be sure to place a gift basket in each room that is full of essentials for the trip (suntan lotion, bug spray, etc.) and goodies that will remind them of the setting — samples of native food or crafts from local artisans, for example.
8. Arrive Early
Plan to fly in a few days before the main event to assure that the paperwork is processed and to nail down any final details. In faraway locales, this will help you shake residual jet lag, too.
9. Get It in Writing
One last tip: Make sure you confirm all agreements in writing before you let a single dollar bill leave your wallet!