Imagine reciting your wedding vows to the person of you dreams in front of a majestic mountain range, or on top of the softest sand the Caribbean has to offer or even on the rim of one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Destination weddings are an increasingly popular method to get married in a unique and memorable way. However, before you go dig out your passport, you need to devise a well thought-out plan so you can effectively pull off the wedding of your dreams! Read today’s blog on destination wedding planning tips for more insight.
Most of us wish that we could simply spin a globe, plop our finger down, and hop on the next flight headed that direction. Unfortunately, that is simply not an option for most couples. This is why the very first thing a couple should do while planning a destination wedding, even before picking a destination, is sit down and formulate a realistic wedding budget. You will want to factor in how many guests you would like to attend, how much money you will need for accommodations and airfare, how much you will need for food and entertainment, and how much money you’ll need left over to begin your new life together! Utilizing an online budget calculator can assist you with financing your life after the wedding. After all, you don’t want to start out as husband and wife in mounds of debt!
Once you have devised a budget it can help serve as a guideline to figure out where in the world you would like the wedding to take place. While making the big decision, try to pick a place that matches your personalities. Nature enthusiasts might consider a location somewhere in the wilderness. Adventurous couples might like a safari wedding location with the vast African plains as a backdrop. Don’t be afraid to get creative! If your wedding destination is in Europe thousands of miles away or a couple hundred miles away at Chicago’s Navy Pier, it will be amazing nonetheless!
Save the Date
It is crucial to pick a wedding date fairly far in advance. Destination weddings are a large time commitment. Your guests will no doubt have hectic schedules that will need to be planned around to ensure that they can attend. It also takes time to acquire a passport, book a flight, find a hotel, etc. You don’t want any of your guests to miss out on your wedding simply because they couldn’t take vacation time off from work.
Insider Tip: Be sure to get the wedding dress far in advance as well. You want to leave room for error in case it needs to be altered or shipped from a different location.
Check Out the Marriage Customs
Each country has different laws and requirements for obtaining a marriage license. Some may even require a specific amount of time before it can be obtained. Before you go, make sure you know what you have to do to officially become married. The Internet is filled with websites that will help you discover what needs to be completed in order to officialize your wedding ceremony abroad. After all, you don’t want all of your hard work planning the ultimate dream destination wedding to have been for nothing!
Do Your Research!
Avoid scam artists by doing your research! If it is possible, visit the venue or meet the people who will be working your wedding beforehand. Also, if you have hired an event planner than they will more than likely have a list of credible venues and vendors to consider. It is a good idea to hire an event planner when planning a destination wedding because they will have more resources available and know how to get things done more efficiently. You may wish to interview several planners and find out which have experience with destination weddings, to what extent and what the additional charges and fees will be to bring a planner along for your wedding.
Some Destination Wedding Tips:
- Try to pick a wedding date other than a Saturday (most of the time venues and vendors will be cheaper on a weekday)
- Make the honeymoon the same place as the wedding to save money
- Ask guests not to bring gifts so they get to save money and you don’t have to figure out how to schlep them all home
- Get everything in writing!
- Ask for group discounts to help save money
- Consider purchasing travel insurance
Although your tans may fade, the magic doesn’t have to after you arrive back home again! It is a great idea to consider having another wedding reception in your hometown so that more of your friends and family will be able to join in on the celebration. Snappening can aid you in finding the perfect event planner or local event venue for round two! Have any destination wedding ideas or stories to tell? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter! For more wedding ideas check out our pins on Pinterest! Our honeymoon board can show you some ways to spend a romantic honeymoon after the guests have all gone home!