LuvTrip Romantic Getaways

Destination Wedding Planning Tips and Ideas

Destination weddings don't have to be a nightmare. Sometimes they can be a lot easier than preparing for a wedding at home. It is important to prepare early and think ahead.You probably are on unfamiliar ground and need to do a lot of research. Remember, never assume anything, especially when dealing with foreign countries. Ask a lot of questions and think all aspects through carefully, especially if you will have a dozen or more people flying out to celebrate with you.Of course, you can keep it even smaller, just you two, and elope to some exotic location alone. Eloping to a tropical resort can be especially easy since many resorts will perform a ceremony for free or really inexpensive. Below are some useful hints to consider for planning destination weddings.

Who Pays?

Make out a wedding budget.The first question you need to ask yourself is how many guests are you going to invite and who will pay for what? Can you afford to foot the entire bill? Travel, lodging, food, entertainment? If so, do you want to? Once you have established a realistic budget, chosen your destination, resort and wedding package, it will be clearer how much you can spend on guest expenses.Be upfront with guests when inviting them, being specific as to what you will be paying for, so that they can accept or decline based upon their financial ability to commit.

Informing the Guest

Give guests plenty of time to plan for your wedding, especially if it is a long distance for them.They may need to request time off or save money.This may be your wedding, but it is also their vacation. As soon as you make your destination and resort decisions, inform your guests so that they can start planning. Be understanding of people who are unable to come to your destination wedding. It is not easy for everyone to get the money or time off to join you.

Wedding Coordinator

Hire a wedding coordinator or planner from the destination. She will be knowledgeable about the local vendors, marriage procedures and destination facts that can simplify your planning process. Many resorts come with an onsite wedding coordinator, which makes it even easier to plan your wedding. If not, choose someone who is easily accessible, with internet access, so you don’t have to call her long-distance all the time.Ask your wedding coordinator for suggestions that can help personalize your wedding and incorporate local traditions or customs, which can make destination weddings more memorable.

Look for Deals

Many resorts are trying to make it easier for couples to plan destination weddings. Look for deals on rooms, airfare, wedding packages or anything else you need. Keep in mind that certain items you may expect to be inexpensive at the location may actually be more expensive; so be open to options and suggestions from the locals.

Resort Selection

Choose a resort that fits your style, wedding preferences and guests. Exotic weddings in remote locations can be a real dream, but you need to consider everyone participating. It is important for everyone at the wedding to be comfortable with the resort or destination. Do you want children at your wedding? Have you chosen an adults-only resort? Consider each person on your list while planning. Once you have the details, be sure to inform guests, and offer other accommodations for guests who might not be able to afford your resort. This is also a good time to find a destination wedding specialist, who can help with arrangements that meet your needs and the needs of your guests.

Marriage Laws

Find out early what types of rules and regulations apply for your preferred location. You should be aware of this before booking in case there are conflicts that you would prefer to avoid. Marriage licenses in some countries can take much longer then expected or may require you to arrive early to process information.

Shipping Preparation

Getting everything to your wedding destination and back home can be a huge hassle. Plan early what you will need to bring and take home to optimize your space. Find out what is available at the destination that may be easier to purchase after arrival, like the attendant or bridesmaid gifts. Or purchase something small and meaningful. Utilize your close family and bridal party by asking them to bring certain items for you. Having to ship boxes can become expensive, so get the most out of your airline baggage allowances. Request that wedding gifts are sent to your home or to a relative rather than brought to the wedding destination.

Arrive Early

If time and money allow, arrive at your destination a few days or a week early. This could be nice alone time for you and your fiancé. You can also have more time to finalize any last minute details, get a good look at your ceremony site if you haven’t already seen it and get to know the local customs and people. This extra time will relax you before guests start arriving, allowing you to be a prepared and charming host.

Welcome Baskets

Putting a specialty basket in guests’ rooms is a wonderful way to thank them for flying out to your wedding and will start your wedding festivities off on the right foot. Put a bottle of water and light snack in the basket for a nice surprise after their plane ride, along with some local goodies or souvenirs.

Don’t Forget the Honeymoon!

After the wedding, if guests are remaining to enjoy their stay, make sure you have a honeymoon instead of a long family vacation. You can switch to a hotel a little farther away and more secluded. If this isn’t an option, you can schedule time for the two of you to be alone, maybe by going on excursions or dinners by yourselves. Let guests know of your post-wedding plans before they make reservations so can decide how they would like to spend the rest of their vacation.

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