Have you always wanted a tropical island getaway or a romantic European escape? Whatever your wedding dream, here are some top tips on how to plan a destination wedding that’s perfect for you.
You may be wondering where to even begin planning a wedding in another location. It does have its own challenges -- you need to make sure you have all the important details lined up before jetting off to marry the love of your life. But with a bit of research and helpful vendors, you can build the wedding of your dreams!
When is the best time to have a destination wedding?
This depends on your schedule and availability. But wherever you go, bear in mind the seasonal patterns as this can have an impact on the day. If you’re looking to have your wedding outdoors, make sure to check the rainfall by month – nobody wants their big day in the middle of a monsoon. If you know your destination is popular among tourists, keep this in mind when booking. Is low season a better choice?
Select a destination that works for you AND your guests.
There are so many wondrous locations to choose from. But finding the right one that works for you and your guests is critical. Check whether your guests have any travel concerns and consider these throughout the planning. Will it be a long-haul journey or a couple of hours? Make sure your guests know the precise location of your wedding and whether any transportation is needed to arrive. If the journey is too long or too expensive, your guests may be less likely to attend. This may not be a dealbreaker for you, so be sure to check your priorities and honor what you want.
When do you notify guests?
Like any other wedding, save-the-dates are sent eight to 12 months before the wedding date and invitations no later than three to 4 months before the wedding. Give guests additional time to prepare and make suitable travel arrangements.
Consider visiting your destination in advance.
This will give you peace of mind when it comes to travel, whether the destination is appropriate and an idea of expenses for the trip. By meeting with vendors and seeing the venues in real-life, it will result in a wedding that is tailored to your vision. You will know what it’s like to travel to your destination and whether it’s doable for your guests to travel. If this isn't an option, consider reaching out to other visitors on travel forums for firsthand tips and experience.
Who pays for accommodation and travel?
Traditionally, it’s expected for guests to cover their travel and accommodation expenses. But this needs to be made very clear from the start. You can do so by providing recommendations for accommodation and booking travel arrangements. Use your save-the-dates, or even create a wedding website, to supply all the need-to-know information. When it comes to travel, it’s a nice gesture to provide them with information to make the process easier. Set up group chats or pages where guests can share information and deals to travel together. This way might work out cheaper. Keep this in mind as you plan your destination wedding.
Find a photographer and venue.
Again, this can depend on your priorities. You may want to hire a photographer before you even have a location picked out - if they specialize in adventurous elopements or travel weddings, they may be able to serve as a guide while you plan. You can find photographers in all sorts of places, from Instagram to Google, but the key is finding one you connect with.
As for a venue, this can come at any point in the process, but many people want to seal the deal early on. Or perhaps you don't even want a traditional venue - treat picking a location with the same importance, and learn everything you can about the spot you want to get married!
Hire a wedding planner.
If your budget allows, hire a wedding planner who specialises in destination wedding planning. They can save you money, time and lots of stress. Your wedding planner will advise you on all the requirements for getting married at your destination, guide you when hiring vendors and more. They can even help bring down room rate prices for guests.
It may seem like a daunting process to plan a destination wedding, but you can do it! Your dream celebration is worth it.
Want to find out more about wedding destinations and planning the perfect day? Take a look at my other articles. For wedding photography quotes or advance, contact me through the form on my website!
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