There is definitely something remarkable about getting married in a unique place, whether it’s by the beach or amongst mountains. Destination weddings are becoming even more popular with couples, and it certainly gives the weddings attendees a new experience as well. It looks great in photos, and you will probably draw in oohs and ahh’s the moment they see the place. Of course, there is definitely more than meets the eye and more to consider.
No matter how stunning and beautiful the destination is, you shouldn’t be swept off your feet by the thought of having your wedding there just yet. There are tons of things you need to consider, and legwork is something that you have to be prepared for. You probably already have an idea of just how meticulous and detailed you need to be, but it’s best to have all the cards on the table before you dive head first into planning a destination wedding.
If you’re thinking of having a destination wedding in order to tie the knot, then you are in luck! You have just stumbled upon the perfect article to get you geared up and ready to start wedding planning. Read on to find out everything you need, as suggested by destination wedding planners.
1. Have your location locked down.
As the name probably already suggests, the most important thing about a destination wedding is the actual destination. You have to pick the perfect spot beforehand, and plan around it. Expert destination wedding planners even suggest having back-up spots in case the one you have in mind is inaccessible, or will not hold up well against harsh changes in the weather. Make sure that your plan will be as foolproof as possible by having a plan A to Z locked in.
The elements of your wedding all work together with the destination you will choose. The activities, overall feel and vibe of the ceremony, and even the music you pick should all tie in to your wedding’s theme and your personality as a couple. Make sure your chosen wedding destination will be a suitable spot for wedding photography too, discuss this with your chosen photographer who will gladly provide feedback.
The location should say something about your shared personality traits, as well as individual ones. The objective is to celebrate the love you have for each other, so you should personalise it as much as you can!
One quick tip that we can give you is that you should choose the location based on something that is important to you both. It could be that that is the place where you got engaged, or it could be the place where you guys met or had your first date. No matter where it is, the most important thing is that the location bears significance to the engaged couple.
2. Save the dates, and make sure to pick the right one!
At this point, you are probably already stressing about the date of your wedding. The harsh reality of it is that a destination wedding requires you to know when the right time to send save the dates is. The date is incredibly important, especially when it comes to a destination wedding. This is because if you choose a destination which is famous such as a tourist spot, you will inevitably have trouble with the date. Tourist spots tend to have the best weather for a wedding during peak travel seasons. It can be hard trying to gauge whether or not the influx of people will affect your big day, among many other considerations.
If your destination wedding is somewhere that will take more than half a day’s trip to reach, then we recommend that you send out your save the dates as early as you can. This is so that your guests can file leave and block off the date for your big day. Doing this will prevent any last minute no-shows!
3. Work within your destination wedding budget.
It is extremely tempting to splurge, especially if you have already decided on celebrating with a destination wedding. There are only one of two ways that your thought process can go. First is that you tend to be a bit tight on wedding details because you have spent a lot on the location, or you could let yourself loose and completely forget about your wedding budget.
The secret here is that, if you do it right, a destination wedding does not have to cost an arm and a leg to execute. It can cost the same, or even less, than hosting the wedding at home! For example, if you live in a very busy city where the facilities and rental cost way more than normal, then the travel and other expenses of a destination wedding may match your costs for the former!
You should also keep in mind that you may incur extra expenses as well. If the place you choose is quite remote and inaccessible to suppliers, then you may find yourself having to import the vendors for decor, etc. Our pro-tip is that you should have a realistic budget beforehand, and that you have factored in extra costs in it.
4. Choose from the best destination wedding planners.
While you can plan your destination wedding by yourself, we still recommend getting help from a professional destination wedding planner so that you can get hitched without any headaches on your part! You will need to get used to receiving help and working with your wedding planner to make your big day as good as you imagine it to be.
Someone who is experienced with wedding planning can give you the best tips as well, since they have most likely been witness to tens of hundreds of weddings, so they know what should be avoided. They will know nitty-gritty details such as when rsvps should be due for a destination wedding!
If you are not too keen on entrusting the whole wedding to another person, then you can even consider just getting a destination wedding coordinator! This person can be in charge of coordinating everything on the day itself. Of course, you will be busy with actually getting married, so you will need someone to keep everything running smoothly as you just enjoy your big day. A coordinator will keep the wheels running behind the scenes, such as greeting guests and keeping the program running.
Our expert tip for this is that you should get a local coordinator for a destination wedding. A local will be able to know the ins-and-outs of the place, and may even score you good deals with local suppliers! They will not spend a huge chunk of time fumbling around the area and trying to figure out where everything is! That is time saved and crisis averted for you.
5. Do not forget about the details.
Location, decor, reception, officiator, entourage, and guests. These are just some of the pillars to wedding planning, but the gaps in between can either make or break your wedding. One of the things that people tend to overlook is the lighting, especially in outdoor destinations. It can be easy to mistake that the outdoors means that you will get plenty of sun, but that is not always the case. You may need to install artificial light, especially if you want to document your wedding. Otherwise, it may end up being too dark for photos or even for your actual guests to see.
Crashing waves may also seem to be peaceful, but not when you are saying your vows and no one can hear it. Consider getting an audio-visual and lights team to make sure that you are seen and heard well. Apart from those things, you should think of what else you can do to entertain your guests and to help them celebrate the day with you.
6. Visit the place for yourself.
Photos will never be able to fully encapsulate the true feel of a place. Our last tip is that you should take some time off and actually visit the place before you set your heart on it! Take at least one planning trip, or maybe more with some key people in the decision-making process. You will first need to scout the exact place you want to hold your wedding in, as well as finding out any permits or forms that you will need for that place. Next up, you may want to visit local suppliers for your wedding essentials, and maybe even schedule tastings from local caterers, or see local florists.
There is definitely a need for careful planning and attention-to-detail in order to successfully pull off a destination wedding. Keep in mind our tips above and have a happy wedding planning!