Tips for planning a Destination Wedding
I am based in Southern Utah which is a destination for many couples, but I travel for destination weddings up to half of the year. I have had the chance to photograph events in Europe, The Caribbean, Hawaii among many beautiful locations on many occasions. A destination wedding can be the most romantic of any wedding. Traveling to a far off location to have the wedding of your dreams and share it with your closest friends and family. When planning a destination wedding keep these helpful tips in mind;
1. Give yourself time
Destination weddings often times need to be booked far out in advance. If you are planning a destination wedding in one of the more popular destinations you can expect for many of the venues to be booked a year and more in advance. If you dont want your choice of wedding venue to be limited be sure to give yourself plenty of time to plan. If you are planning on having guests at your destination wedding then send out ‘Save the Date” cards as soon as you have a date and location set. Your guests will be grateful for your foresight in allowing them to plan to attend your wedding.
2. Choosing your destination location
Hopefully the first thing you think of when choosing your destination location is a passion and excitement for the location. If having many guests at your wedding is important, take into account travel times and costs for your guests. Choosing a location with good flight connections as well as a wide variety of local accommodations to suit all budgets. Factor in the travel time from the airport to your wedding location as well to ensure that there are good companies to transport your guests back and forth as many might not be comfortable driving abroad.
3.Remember to enlist professionals
Planning any wedding is a lot of work and can be stressful. Planning a destination wedding can be that much more so. There are language barriers and a lack of personal knowledge of the area which can be serious stumbling blocks. Hiring a wedding planner with a vast knowledge of the area and know how of planning a wedding will make all of the difference. There are also planners that that will travel to your destination wedding and plan it for you from their location. Be sure to hire a planner who can also style your wedding as you dont want to be packing bags of decor and details for your wedding. The last thing you want to do is worry about all of the logistics of your destination wedding. Leave it in the hands of trusted professionals.
4.Taking care of your guests
Your guests have traveled a long way and put into a lot of effort to be present at your wedding. You might want to have additional events for your guests to take part of prior to your wedding day. A welcome gift bag for your guests that is personalized for your wedding and helps your guests have a great time is a great idea. If your having a beach wedding then maybe your bag would include sunblocks, sandals, a pair of sunglasses and a tank top with your wedding logo on it. This is a great chance to introduce your guests to the events and fun in store.
5. Plan for unforeseen changes in weather
You are of course hoping for beautiful weather on your wedding day. Part of this will be doing a little research and choosing a time of year that is beautiful on average for your destination. However there is always the chance that mother nature didn’t get your invite and decides to crash your wedding at the last minute. When putting together your timeline make sure that you have a cushion in place just in case everything doesn’t go as planned. Its important to have a plan b with a location that has a contingency for inclement weather. Most important, if the weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating with your day, dont let it get you down. Enjoy your day and remember to have fun no matter what!
6. Pace yourselves
Many times your destination weddign will be a week long event. Be sure not to wear yourselves out before you even get to the wedding day. Enjoy yourselves and your guests but try to give yourself some down time as well. Taking it easy the day before your wedding is a good idea.
7. Understand what is Legal
If marrying abroad, realize that it is not always straight forward so be sure to check the laws of the country you wish to marry in before booking your destination wedding. In some of the more difficult countries to get married many couples decide to do the legal portion back home while having the ceremony preformed at their destination
Planning your destination wedding will be an exciting time for you and your fiance. You will be tying the knot in a location that is exciting and beautiful. Weather your destination is at one of the national parks in the US, on a beach in Hawaii or the Caribbean or a Tuscan Villa in Italy, remember to enjoy yourselves, and the ones you love. Take the time to enjoy every moment and if possible hire your photographer to cover more then just your wedding day. You will want beautiful photos to remember all of the amazing moments of your event week or weekend.