Seven Tips to Planning a Dream Destination Wedding
22 Oct 2015
An exotic wedding away from home can result in either a hot bridal mess, or a sublime wedded paradise. Ensure yours is the latter with these top tips to help plan a glorious destination wedding, from luxury travel experts Beachcomber Tours
1. Knowing where to go
No matter what your style, whether it’s getting married on the tropical island of Mauritius with white sandy beaches and crystal clear lagoons, or Tuscany with its rolling hills and vineyards – there’s a perfect wedding destination out there waiting for you to say ‘I do’.The location determines not only the mood of your wedding, but also the time and budget so plan well in advance. Why not invest in a destination wedding checklist to keep up-to-date with the whole planning process? Once you’ve picked your dream location, start by pricing flights, so you can see if there are good flight connections for you and your guests.
2. Come rain or shine
A romantic sunset ceremony on the beach sounds like a dream but can turn into your worst nightmare when a hurricane hits and shows up unannounced. Be aware of hurricane season if you’re planning to tie the knot in a destination renowned for that type of weather. Look at the average temperatures for the month and know in advance if it’s a rainy season. If you find yourself getting married in hurricane season, make sure you have travel insurance (a late wedding is better than no wedding at all). Unfortunately, a lot of the best weather tends to be in the summer holidays, where there’s less availability and higher rates. That means you’ll need to reserve your hotel and venue as soon as possible.
3. Choosing the venue
Determine a head count before deciding on a venue. You can’t assume everyone will be able to make the trip overseas, so make sure you have numbers in mind when picking where to wed. In addition to checking out the venue website, browse local wedding blogs and search for the venue so you can see photos of weddings that have previously taken place there. That way it’s possible to gauge how the space was used and you can start to envisage how your wedding will look too.
4. Don’t forget the extras
Choosing a destination wedding often means your guest list will be smaller; drastically reducing the cost of food and drink, flowers, rentals, favours and all the other little extras that come with a wedding. If done right, a destination wedding can cost less than a wedding at home. However with comes a travel and accommodation cost. Keep your guests in mind and offer several options for accommodation with various prices so people on different budgets have options to consider. It might be a nice idea to include a group excursion as a thank you – and keep in mind that your guests are forking out a lot to be there, so if you do register for gifts, make them affordable.
5. Enlisting the help of a wedding planner
Control freak or not, brides will need to hire a wedding planner. They will be a saving grace when it comes to planning. In addition to helping you plan the day, they will also guide you through all of the marriage requirements and local legalities. Most resorts include a coordinator in their wedding packages and offer lots of extras, such as greeting everyone at the airport, creating gift bags for guests and vetting any special requests. A wedding co-ordinator is guaranteed to relieve a lot of the headache that comes with planning.
6. Choosing the vendors
A wedding planner will be able to help with your search for local, well-respected vendors and this is especially important. They will be able to meet with potential vendors on your behalf and brief you on various options. Once you’ve chosen vendors, try to schedule in a video call so there’s no misconceptions about exactly what you want.
7.... And breathe
No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to manage every single little detail that goes into a wedding so don’t get caught up in the tiny details. Destination weddings do sometimes hit snags along the way and things like language barriers and currency exchanges can cause problems but don’t worry. Schedule in regular check-ups and put faith in your wedding planner. Above all else, just remember that you’re likely to arrive a few days in advance of the wedding so you’ll be able to prevent or contain any problems before they explode. Adopt a laid-back mentality and enjoy it!
Photography by Beachcomber Tours