Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding
If you’re thinking of having your big day at an exotic location away from home, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are a few tips for planning a destination wedding:
Timing is everything. Depending on what destination you choose, the best weather dates may correlate with tourist season – which means higher rates for everything. If you’re scheduling your wedding for tourist season in that area, you’ll want to reserve hotel rooms and the venue about 11-12 months in advance.
Scout out the destination. Visit the destination prior to planning the wedding to scout out the area, venues, and hotels. Schedule tastings with the caterer and scout out fun local activities for your guests.
Research local marriage requirements. Some countries have “residency requirements” prior to your wedding. Turks and Caicos requires you to be on the island for at least 24 hours prior to your ceremony where France requires you to arrive at least 40 days before.
Only DIY small things. It’s important to make sure these items are small and will be easy to travel with like reception chair signs, seating cards or guest books.
Ask for help from someone who is already at the destination. Many resorts have on-site wedding planners that can help coordinate and do the legwork for you.
Check airline carry-on rules. Sometimes it’s actually cheaper to ship all of your wedding DIY items to your destination than it is to carry them on yourself.
Make your destination wedding your theme. There are so many ways you can have fun with a destination wedding and incorporate it into your theme for all of your wedding events. Your invitations could be faux airline tickets or passports. Your favors can be suitcase tags. Be creative!
Make welcome bags. Your guests have traveled a long way to attend your big day so assembling welcome bags for them to receive in their hotel rooms is a nice touch. If you’re putting these together yourself, send all the items to the destination ahead of time and make sure you arrive at your destination a few days early so you can put them together without stressing about time.
Embrace the local culture of your destination. Your signature wedding cocktail can be a local-made liquor or you can choose to include music from your destination in your reception.
How to book your destination wedding. There are many sites that can help you with choosing where to go and booking your destination wedding. If you’re focused on exclusively Caribbean beach wedding locations, IslandBrides.com might be helpful and it’s free.