Everyone wants their wedding to be extremely special and memorable, and one of the best ways to accomplish that is with a destination wedding. In fact, it’s fair to say that there’s virtually no better way to celebrate this occasion.
Sure, there are couples out there that would prefer to have their wedding close to home and perhaps get away on a motorcycle camping trip, but an exotic honeymoon is top of mind for many wedding planners.
However, when planning that destination wedding, it’s imperative that you try to arrange everything to near-perfection to ensure that there aren’t any hiccups that derail your special getaway.
So, don’t start packing your bags just yet — keep reading for a comprehensive list of tips for planning your destination wedding.
1. Send Save-the-Date Notifications Early
While you may send wedding invitations three to four months before the wedding, you need to notify your guests a lot earlier than that for a destination wedding—especially if it’s on the other side of the globe. Send out notifications 8 to 12 months before the event to give your guests time to write it on their calendars and make arrangements to attend.
2. Consider the “When”
While you can’t predict the weather, if your wedding includes outdoor festivities or a chartered boat to St. Barts, you should check the average monthly rainfall. The last thing you want is to find out too late that your wedding is happening right in the middle of the hurricane or monsoon season.
You should also keep in mind that your destination may be a hot spot for tourists. If so, that usually means you’re going to pay more for wedding and reception venues. During the off-season, you don’t have to deal with big crowds, and you’ll likely save some money on wedding hotels in Hawaii and other locations.
3. Forego the Registry
Wedding gifts are great, but since travel and lodging can be rather costly, you should consider nixing the wedding presents. Let everyone know in the save-the-date announcement that their presence is gift enough.
However, if you still want a wedding registry, have the gifts sent before or after the wedding to your home instead. Another thing you can do is request custom gift cards or cash donations.
4. Try to Visit
You should visit the venue before booking, and if possible, once again a couple of months before the wedding. No matter how good the place looks in photos or how many great reviews it has, if you want to control the details for the perfect destination wedding, you need to see everything firsthand.
This will not only give you the opportunity to inspect the location, but you can also ask the venue for florist, reception location, and rental company recommendations.
As an alternative to making a second visit, plan to arrive at least three to five days before the big day to finalize everything.
As a last pro-tip, When you send out the save-the-date notes, make it clear who is responsible for lodging expenses. If you’ve booked a hotel room block, make sure to inform them that they’ll need to reserve their own room within it. You can also include contact info and details for hotels near the venue in case they want to book their own.
Consider providing several options within 30 minutes of your venue and try to negotiate a discount for you and your guests before deciding where to book. Your guests will be sure to thank you for trying to meet their needs.
If you’ve ever considered a destination wedding, take this as your sign! A destination wedding is a great way to ensure your wedding is a special day for you and your guests. Use the tips above to help you get started.