A Destination Wedding is a popular choice for couples who want to spend a fraction of the money spent on a traditional wedding, vacation with friends and family and start the honeymoon right away.
If you are considering a destination wedding, here are Brides Travel’s tips that you should consider:
1. Location, location, location
The location of your wedding, beach, mountain or city will determine the budget. Also, you must think of the guests that you want to be with you on your big day. You need to consider their travel and cost. The location you choose should leave your guests understanding why you chose the location and why the location mattered to you. Not only is this your wedding, it is most likely their vacation.
2. Timing is everything
The best weather in popular destinations tends to coincide with vacation season, this could mean higher rates and less availability. If it is one of these destinations you want, reserve now! Send out your save-the-date cards 10 to 12 months in advance. This will help guests book flights and accommodations before it gets too pricey. If you choose off season (right after high season), you may be able to save yourself and your guests money and still enjoy great weather. You need to decide as soon as possible, so it will be advantageous to you and your guess.
4. Find a travel agency specializing in Destination Weddings,We Know One Who Can Help, US! Start Now
If you’re planning a destination wedding, you will need to share part of the planning with a wedding planner or a destination wedding specialist. Many resorts include a coordinator in their wedding packages that you and your travel agent can work with. Otherwise, set aside about 10 to 15 percent of your total budget for a local planner. But if you prefer to go with a planner from back home, introduce them to your travel agent. Make sure they have experience planning weddings in your chosen destination and expect to cover his transportation costs for planning visits and the actual wedding.
3. Research Local Marriage Requirements
The legal side of tying the knot in a different country can be complicated. Most countries have a residence requirement before the wedding. This can range from 1 day and up to 45 days! Some countries require blood tests. Depending on the requirements, you may want to get married state side and have a symbolic wedding at your destination. Your travel agent can help you with all the requirements.
Don’t keep a constant eye on the clock. Remember that many tropical islands run on “island time” — things happen when they happen — so don’t mistake a vendor’s laid-back attitude for incompetence. Avoid the temptation to micromanage from afar. Schedule regular check-ins and then trust your vendors to work their magic.
6. Tell Your Friends
Tell your bridal party about the destination before you ask them to stand by your side so that they can gracefully decline if finances are tight. Don’t be upset if some of your closest friends or relatives don’t attend. While you are, in a sense, footing some of the food bills, their fees for travel, hotel, and car rental can really add up. And while your wedding is a mini-vacation for you, it may not be the one they want to take!
7. Pamper your Guests
In addition to arranging group rates for flights and rooms, list information for getting to and from the nearest airport to your wedding locale, invite everyone to the rehearsal or welcome dinner and next-day brunch, and deliver welcome bags to their rooms, full of essentials for the trip, like suntan lotion, water and bug spray. Your travel agent can coordinate most of these tasks for you!
8. The right attire
Don’t forget to consider the destination when choosing your wedding dress . A fairy-tale satin ball gown will not work with a tropical destination because of humidity, ditto with the tuxedos for your groom and groomsmen. Slim line and fluid dresses are perfect for a destination wedding. Also, three-inch heels will stick in the sand so you may want to consider ballet flats or barefoot. Linen or a breathable cotton are perfect for the men. Light weight dresses will have your bridesmaids in indebted to you.
Not tropical, check the weather for the destination and plan accordingly.
9. You need to start now!
Hotels, flights and guests can all get booked up. If you want the hotel you desire, the best flights and your much loved guests for your dream wedding, you need to start as soon as possible. By starting early, you may be able to make a pre-decision visit to the location. For example, Sandals Resorts offers a test drive. A two day trip to the island, lets you check out in person locations, menus, flowers and decor. The best part is the cost for your visit to the island goes towards your wedding!
This is by far the most important tip!