Photography by Lost In Love Photography
You may have heard horror stories about planning a wedding, and truthfully it is no mean feat to get hitched without a hitch.
The drama that goes along with traditional weddings is not for everyone and the idea of getting on a plane and marrying in some far off land is too good for some to pass up. A destination wedding will cut out most of the common complications that a traditional wedding suffers, such as tricky and extensive guest lists, invitations and uncomfortable seating arrangements.
A destination wedding may also just be a good excuse to get all your closest family and friends in the one place for a mini holiday.
Whether your dream is to wed on a secluded beach in the middle of nowhere or to get married in Times Square, we have some essential guidelines to follow so your dream destination wedding doesn't turn into a nightmare.
It's always a good idea to visit your chosen destination before you begin planning, that way you will know the area and can direct guests where to go, what to do and where to stay. If you can't get to the location, try to talk to people who have been there and do some thorough online research.
Seek local help
Does the destination offer any wedding planning services? Does the venue have a wedding coordinator? If yes, then keep in regular contact with them to ensure their vision of the wedding is in keeping with yours.
If there are no planners on hand to help, then make a contact at the venue and talk to this person through the entire planning process.
Be sure to talk to the person who will be marrying you on the day to discuss any requirements you may have and learn of any cultural etiquette that may exist.
Do your guests need transport from the ceremony to reception? Or reception to their hotel? It's a good idea to book a bus for everyone so no one feels pressured to hire a car or nobody is made to be the designated driver.
Depending on your location, you may get away with a much less expensive wedding than if you were organising a wedding at home with over 100 guests. You must be warned, however that it is easy to blow your budget and get carried away if you are not aware of local costs. For example food you may consider to be simple and normal food may be very expensive to ship in - always pick local cuisine.
Consider using an agency
You can find travel agencies that specialise in organising destination weddings or companies such as Wedding Destinations. For companies such as theirs, this is their full-time job so organising your wedding from A to Z should be a synch. It is also much easier to stay on budget if you have chosen one of their package deals.
Make sure you give your guests plenty of warning about your wedding so that arrangements can be made and money can be saved. It is a big ask to invite people half way around the world, so don't be upset with friends or family if they simply can't make it.
We recommend sending out a 'Save the Date' email to everyone invited as soon as you know which destination you are going to, and you can send formal invites out closer to the date. Usually people will need at least 10 months notice before a destination wedding.
Be sure to include an information pack with your invitations detailing:
- How to get there
- Where to stay
- What to see and do
- The itinerary of what will be happening (so they can pack appropriate clothing)
- Any cultural rules or information they may need to know.
A destination wedding is the perfect start to a 'happily ever after' life and the special memories created will stay with you and your guests for many years to come.