How to Plan Perfect Destination Weddings
While any type of wedding planning can take a toll on your stress levels, destination weddings can be particularly intimidating when it comes to making all of the important decisions around creating the perfect experience. After all, when your wedding is far from home, you’re planning for an entire trip and a wedding. Here are 5 of our best tips for making destination weddings something you’ll be excited to plan.
1. Choose a Location That’s Both Practical and Meaningful
While it can be tempting to pick the one location that holds the most meaning for your relationship, it won’t work if it’s a tiny town in the middle of nowhere that can’t accommodate all of your guests. Pick a location that has meaning for both of you, but that also makes sense.
Keep in mind that the best way to do destination weddings is to take full advantage of your location. You’ll save tons of money if you serve local food, use local decorations, and ensure that there are plenty of reasonably-priced hotels for all of your guests.
2. Visit Your Location to Work Out the Details In Person
While this initial visit will be an additional expense in the upfront, it will save you so much money and stress in the long run.
First of all, it’s important that you are very familiar with your wedding venue before booking to make sure it’s going to work for you and your guests. Ideally, you would actually visit your venue once before booking and then again three or four months before the wedding to take care of the details. If two trips aren’t possible, try to make your trip long enough so that you can take care of the important things in person.
For example, you’ll want to be there in person to meet the local florists and rental companies and solidify some of your plans face to face.
3. Create a Comprehensive Budget
As you probably already know, there are plenty of additional and sometimes unexpected expenses involved in destination weddings. The best way to prepare for these expenses is to sit down with an expert before you do anything and create an exhaustive list of potential expenses.
An important item to consider is your choice of vendors. If you’re bringing your own specialists from home, remember to budget for their travel expenses. You’ll have to provide accommodations for them that are no further than 30 minutes from the venue. Work with a professional to make sure you can afford a destination wedding before doing anything else.
4. Carefully Consider Everything To Do With Your Dress
How are you going to pack it? Will it fit with the location? Will it fit in your suitcase?
These are all important things to consider before buying your dress. As a general rule, try to choose a dress that fits with your location. For example, if you’re getting married in a hot, humid, tropical place, you’ll want a dress that’s lightweight and breathable. If you’re getting married at a castle in Eastern Europe, you might want an elaborate, embellished wedding gown that presents you as regally as your environment.
Another important tip: Never check your dress on a plane. Carry it on board, even if you have to fold it. You can always get it pressed and steamed once you arrive at your destination.
5. Hire a Professional
If a planner is in your budget, destination weddings can be made so much smoother when you work with a pro. Remember—they’ve done hundreds of these, so they already know what works and what doesn’t, saving you plenty of stress and time throughout the entire process.