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How to Plan Your Best Destination Wedding


Planning a destination wedding can be complicated, regardless of where you plan to marry. You have a lot to consider, from finding a venue that suits your budget to helping guests organize their travel visas.

To help you get started, here are 11 tips for planning your ideal destination wedding.


Pick your destination carefully



Absolutely the most important step when planning your destination wedding is choosing your location. You may love the idea of tying the knot on a beach somewhere in South America, but do you really know whether that’s viable?

The area you have in mind may not be particularly suitable or safe during the timeframe you have penciled in for the big day. For instance, political or social issues could create safety concerns, or extreme weather conditions may put the venue at risk.

Make sure you pick a destination that, bar a highly unlikely event, will be safe, secure, and comfortable for you all.


Think about your guests’ financial and lifestyle considerations



Weddings tend to be expensive, even if you make careful choices with your wedding rings, catering, and evening entertainment. It all adds up over time. And that’s particularly true with destination weddings.

Consider the cost of taking your ceremony to another country — not just to yourself, either. Can everyone on your wedding guest list afford to fly to Cuba, Italy, or anywhere else outside their own country? Do they have too many other financial commitments to prioritize? Or do they simply have so many domestic and professional responsibilities that they can’t take time away for a small break?

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and adventure of planning a destination wedding. But try to be realistic when choosing a location. If the people who you definitely must have at your wedding can’t go, you may need to find a way to compromise. That’s where the next tip will come in handy.


Consider a local destination to cut costs



Let’s say you may not be in a position to get married in front of your closest family and friends in Hawaii as you hoped. It looks likely to be too expensive for you and your guests.

So, why not choose a beautiful location close to where you live, but still far enough away to feel like you’re truly somewhere else? A destination wedding doesn’t have to take place in a far-flung locale — it could be anywhere except your hometown.

Depending on where you live, you may have areas of outstanding natural beauty just a few hours from your home, ideal for hosting a blissful wedding in stunning surroundings.

Going for a more local destination will help you save big money on flights, and it can make the wedding more accessible to your guests. Guests will probably be happier to spend an afternoon on the road driving to your wedding than splashing hundreds of dollars on a flight.

That will leave you with more money to put into other aspects of the wedding, such as the catering, entertainment, hotel, and wedding rings.


Make sure you check out the destination



It’s vital that you visit your chosen destination and venue in advance to check it out. A location may look amazing on a website, and the staff may impress you in their emails, but you can’t really understand what a place has to offer until you’re there.

Visit the venue at least once and spend one or two days there to get a first-hand insight into what it has to offer. Make sure you both truly like the venue and its location enough to get married there. It’s a big emotional and financial commitment once you make a deal with the venue, so you must feel happy with your choice.

Prepare a checklist of questions and potential issues you want to address during your visits. Does the venue offer all the facilities and amenities you need? Is it accessible to all of your guests (e.g. those with mobility limitations)? Is the area surrounding the venue safe and secure?

Visiting the destination beforehand will add more expense to the entire process, sure, but it’s crucial for your peace of mind.


Research local marriage rules



When planning a destination wedding, look into the local marriage requirements and find out everything you need to know about getting married legally. Countries can have different requirements for weddings, so look into all the rules and regulations related to marrying in your preferred country far in advance.

Any oversights could cause disruptions and potentially incur legal ramifications. If you have a venue in mind, they may be able to offer advice and guidance on meeting the local requirements.


Get your passports and travel visas in order



If you’re determined to travel to a different country to get married, check that your passport will still be valid by the time of the wedding. It’s easy to overlook this, but you absolutely don’t want to find yourself without a valid passport on the day you’re due to fly to your dream destination.

Having the right travel visa for yourself and your partner (when necessary) is essential. Some visas must be used within six months of issue, so you’ll need to time your application correctly to make sure you’re covered. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of information about travel visas online, wherever your chosen destination is.


Work with a wedding planner



Hiring a wedding planner will bring extra expense, but a professional can help to make the entire process much more straightforward and efficient. Ideally, find a wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings rather than local ones.

They will be able to handle the intricacies of planning the big day for you, leaving you and your partner with more time to prepare (such as shopping for wedding rings and exploring honeymoon ideas). If your wedding planner has handled ceremonies in your chosen destination before, they will have a better grasp of the marriage requirements, venues, language, and other key aspects.

There are plenty of wedding planners out there, so do your research to find the right one for your needs and budget. Check online reviews and testimonials, speak to previous clients, and reach out to the planners on your shortlist to find out what they can offer.


Give guests plenty of time to prepare



If you and your partner are committed to the idea of a destination wedding, even if you’re not sure where that will be, let your prospective guests know in plenty of time. They may need several months to a year to save up for the trip, and to organize time away from work, child care, housesitters, etc.

Notify anyone you want to attend your destination wedding as soon as possible, even if that’s a couple of years in advance. They will appreciate having plenty of time to prepare.


Consider other ways to keep you and your guests entertained



Attending a destination wedding means being on vacation for a few days or more. What else can you and your guests do beyond the ceremony? Does the location have plenty of activities to enjoy and places to see? Or are you all likely to be cooped up inside the hotel, waiting for your flight back home?

Make sure that you come up with a few ideas for before and after you exchange wedding rings. The day before your wedding, you may want to host a dinner to welcome your guests and give them all a chance to meet (which should reduce the risk of awkward interactions later). For the days after the wedding, give your guests information on local events, popular sites, and more.


Express your gratitude to your guests



Attending a destination wedding is usually more expensive, time-consuming, and inconvenient than attending a local one. Your guests may fly a long way to celebrate your wedding day with you, and it’s important that you express your gratitude clearly.

That may mean giving your guests a goodie bag on the big day, sending them all a personalized letter once you’re back home, or both. Even if they were genuinely thrilled to be part of your wedding and expect no thanks in return, a small gesture is still a fantastic way to show your appreciation.


Check the weather forecast when planning your wedding outfits



Last but not least: make sure that your outfits are a good fit for your destination. For example, wearing a three-piece suit or a heavy dress may simply be out of the question on a sun-soaked beach at the height of summer.

Check the weather forecast for when you plan to travel, or if that’s too far in advance, look at information on previous years for an idea of what to expect. You may need to rethink your outfit if you’re likely to be too hot or cold.

We hope these 11 tips will help you plan your ideal destination wedding. And if you’re looking for the perfect men’s and women’s wedding rings, browse our amazing range today.

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