A destination wedding can lead to a truly unique wedding experience for not just the bride and groom, but the wedding guests alike. Destination weddings give the opportunity to travel to somewhere away from home while celebrating one of the most special events that can happen in a loved one’s life.
For some couples, deciding to have a destination wedding may be a no brainer, while others may have to mull it over for a while. But one thing is certain, once the decision is made to have a destination wedding, remember it is your wedding so you make the rules no matter what any one else thinks. In making the destination wedding process as simple and as painless as possible, here are some dos and don’ts to consider when planning a destination wedding.
Hire a wedding planner
Many locations offer a wedding planner for their brides and grooms to utilize free of charge, but, if in fact that is not the case, couples should still consider hiring a wedding planner when having a destination wedding. The benefit of a wedding planner is that they have inside knowledge on the best local vendors, and may even be able to snag a few discounts along the way. Wedding planners have your best interest in mind, and can help be the middleman in decision making when the bride and groom are not readily available.
Take a site tour
Although most locations have tons and tons of pictures circulating around the internet, there is still nothing better than seeing a location in person. Site visits allow couple to get a better idea of the space they will be working with, and if in fact it is appropriate with the feeling that they would like their wedding to convey. Site visits may make or break all wedding plans, so if possible, a site visit can be very important.
Choose an easily accessible location
The definition of a destination wedding is a wedding that is not at home. Popular locations are the Caribbean, Las Vegas, and Italy, but the possibilities are endless. These popular locations are sure to be easy to access, but more remote locales may pose a bit of a problem. So, if you are dead set on a certain location, make sure that guests can get to and from the venue. This may have to be accomplished by providing transportation from the hotel to the location, or from the ceremony space to the reception. Just make sure that whatever arrangements need to be made fit within the budget.
Make sure all legal paperwork is in order
Marriage license requirements vary from state to state and country to country, so make sure that all documents and blood test are in order so that the marriage ceremony is a legit one. It would be unfortunate to travel to your destination just to find out that a minor detail was neglected.
Send save the date cards
Save the date cards are extremely important when planning a destination wedding because it gives guests the opportunity to plan and save in order to make it to your special day. These save the date cards should be send out 6 to 8 months in advance, and if at all possible, should reflect a little of where the wedding is going to take place. A beach wedding save the date card can have a beach as its background, while a Las Vegas Wedding can somehow incorporate the famous Las Vegas sign. These little inclusions will have guests excited about the wedding, making them more likely to attend.
Expect all invited guests to show up
It is almost guaranteed that the majority of guests invited to a destination wedding may not be able to attend due to financial commitment or work related issues. But, this is a risk that is taken when having a destination wedding. Just because someone is not able to attend, don’t take it personal, it does not mean that they don’t want to attend the special day, it just may be bad timing for them when the other things that they have going on in their life.
Trying not to stress is the biggest don’t on the list. Although it may be easier said that done, try hard to enjoy the surroundings and guests. This day would not be possible without the bride and groom, so, enjoying the day, and making sure that guests enjoy their time is the most important thing.
Everything may not go as planned during a destination wedding. But, the memories will last a lifetime, so, sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.