Are you in the midst of planning your wedding and does all this colder winter weather have you wishing you were in a far off land with your love and your nearest and dearest to tie the knot? At some point in the planning process, every engaged couple entertains the idea of going somewhere gorgeous and unique to exchange vows but usually get discouraged if they would actually be able to pull off a destination wedding. Despite popular belief, taking the “I do’s” on the road is easier then you think and we encourage you to take the plunge! Here are some tips to help with the planning process!
- Give yourself plenty of planning time: Destination weddings are usually booked well in advance, so start planning early if you don’t want your choices limited. Once you set the place, we suggest sending out ‘Save the Date’ cards as soon as you can to increase the likely hood of guests being able to make accommodations in order to attend your big day!
- Location, location, location: Obviously, when planning a destination wedding location is everything and there are a lot of aspects that need to be considered. When expecting your guests and wedding party to travel abroad for your wedding it is important to factor in the travel time and likely costs involved. If it is too difficult or expensive for your family and friends to celebrate with you, the planning process with quickly becoming more stressful and the likelihood of guest attendance will decrease.
- Look after your guests: Your wedding guests will have gone to a lot of effort and expense traveling to your wedding so it is important to make sure they feel they are appreciated and well looked after. Have a point person for your guest to talk to whether it’s your wedding planner, hotel concierge or a brave friend or family member. As important as it is for your guests to be taken care of and aware of what’s going on, you don’t want to be dealing with your guests’ problems on your wedding day or acting as a personal travel agent!
- Hire professionals to bring: Although many hotels and resorts provide day-of wedding services, we suggest that you hire third parties prior to the wedding and bring them with you. Your location will most likely have a list of preferred vendors they have an established relationship with so we suggest the only people necessary to hire prior is a wedding planner and photographer. There are two very important people when it comes to planning a wedding and it is important to nurture relationships well before the big day.
- Wedding entertainment outside your comfort zone: While you may know what mobile disc jockey or wedding entertainment you plan to hire locally, planning for a destination wedding leaves you with all sorts of entertainment questions. If you decide to fly out the talent, be prepared to rent gear for the talent to use during the ceremony and reception which could hike up the cost. Perhaps the wedding is just a drive away, then the wedding entertainment can cart the equipment with them if they have ample room in their vehicle, which means you may need to cover gas and a hotel for the night. If you are unsure of these extra expenses ask the wedding professionals in the destination you are looking to have the destination wedding for their preferred vendor list for recommendations on wedding entertainment.
- Plan for all kinds of weather: You have decided upon a destination wedding and most likely for the weather, but this is not always as reliable as it once was. So plan for your ideal weather but always have a contingency for inclement weather.
- Be Unique: This is the most important tip of all; don’t forget to be yourself! Cookie-cutter weddings are a thing of the past and it is important that your destination wedding accurately embodies you as a couple. Don’t simply rest on the beautiful location, the wedding should still represent all of your passions and interests as a couple!