September 26, 2019
When planning a destination wedding, there is a lot of things to consider both before the process and during. Below is your guide to planning your perfect day.
Select a destination that can accommodate all your guests. Do you have children coming? Do you want adults only? Are you and your family looking to party, relax, or both? Whatever you decide, there are resorts to accommodate all the above. Be sure to know who you are catering to, and let your coordinator know, so that they can provide you with all applicable resorts. While the day is certainly all about the wedding couple, you do want your family and friends to be comfortable and happy once they get there.
Create a wedding site! There will be a lot of information that your guests will need and to avoid your phone ringing every other minute, put all the information they need in one place. Things to include should be the room options and their rates, check in and check out times, which restaurants the resort offers, all ceremony, cocktail, and reception times and locations, resort details, which airport they should fly into and transfer information, their point of contact for booking rooms, and lastly your love story and pictures! This will give your guests some peace of mind and will allow you to focus on the planning of your big day.
Work closely with your onsite wedding planner and trust them. It may seem scary to not be in destination while you are finalizing the details of your ceremony, but keep in mind, this is their job and they have it down pat. They are there for all questions and customization that you may need and will make sure your event is everything you want. If you are having doubts, you can always schedule a site inspection to view the property and ceremony locations, as well as meet the face behind all your planning emails and phone calls.
Research information about the marriage requirements in your destination. Often, it is much easier to get legally married in the US and hold a symbolic ceremony in the resort. No one needs to know you’re already married, as the day will not seem any different. You should be sure of the ceremony you want before selecting your destination. If you do want a legal ceremony, you will need to know all that it requires and entails to be positive you are prepared when you arrive.
Make your wedding day special to you and your fiancé. Your guests are traveling a long way, and it is not just to see the beautiful destination sunsets and blue water, but to celebrate your love. Include pictures, pick some of your music, and make it true to you. Everyone will feel much more at home.
Bring your dress in a checked bag. This is a big question when planning a destination wedding. You want to be sure your dress is arriving there safely and does not get lost. Purchase a garment bag for your dress and bring it on the plane with you. You can lay your dress over the bags in the overhead, or even purchase an extra seat to sit it next to you. Sometimes, there is a closet in first class and you can ask the flight attendant to hang it in there; if willing, this is probably the best option possible to minimize wrinkles. Regardless, when you arrive at the resort, you will want to take the dress out and hang it. Ask the concierge or wedding planner if they are able to steam the dress on your wedding day; this is usually possible!
Send your invitations last minute. While the standard save the date is sent out about 4 months before the date, you will want to give guests at least 6 months or more to prepare for this. People have budgets and schedules and jobs that they will need to work around and it is important to give them ample time to save and plan.
Expect all your invited guests to come. This one is tough to fathom, as you, of course, want everyone you love to be able to make it. Destinations weddings can be expensive and not everyone will be able to save enough or even get off work. Keep in mind, you can always plan an event when you get back home for those who were not able to come.
Ignore your guests on every other day besides your actual wedding day. People are coming a long way to see you, and while it is a vacation for them as well, they do want to spend time with you while they are there. Plan activities during your travel week for everyone. This could include a welcome party, private dinners, and even group excursions. Let your guests know you appreciate them coming by showing them a good time.
Book your room near the rest of your wedding party. Ok, this one is optional, but you will have plenty of opportunities to hang out with your friends and family on the resort property without running into Aunt Sue every time you need ice or a snack. Be sure you and your fiancé have your own private space to really bond before and after the big day.
Planning a destination wedding can be stressful at times, but it is important to remember why you are having this event in the first place: to gather your closest family and friends and celebrate your new journey of love. You will have great time whether your event is sunny or cloudy, held inside or outside, private or public, or big or small. Do your research, know what to expect, and trust that the wedding planner and travel team know what they’re doing. Follow this guide and your day will be just as beautiful as your destination!
Cover Photo: Weddings by Funjet Traveled Wedding
Photo By: Hyler Media
This post was written by Skyler Rentz