1. Location! Location! Location!
When you are planning for a destination wedding, choosing the right location is extremely important. You don’t want to have a wedding where half your loved ones can’t be present; some due to poor health and others due to financial constraints. So make sure you have factored in travel time for flights, transfers to the wedding location and that there is a wide range of accommodation to suit all budgets. Ensure that the weather in your chosen destination for your chosen date is not, for example, during hurricane season or during that country’s rainy season! No matter what your budget or style of wedding, there is a destination for every couple.
2. Plan well in advance
Planning a wedding abroad can take many months of preparation. The couple should allow for a minimum of 12 months to actually decide the location and book the venue. Save-the-date cards are essential! Send them off to your guests as soon as possible, to allow them to book time off from work and budget; this will also give you as a couple a better indication as to who is really going to be coming so you can work on real numbers. You don’t want to leave it too late so you miss out on the venue of your choice and your guests have already booked their holidays for the year.
3. Be sensitive to your guests
Your wedding guests have gone to a lot of effort and expense to travel to your wedding so it is important for you to make sure that they are well looked after, appreciated and have a good time. You want to them to go back home raving about how wonderful a time they had at your wedding and with some great memories. If budget permits it is often nice to put on some additional events for your guests such as a welcome dinner, a post wedding brunch, a visit to a local tourist attraction or even a welcome pack in their rooms.
4. Go with the flow!
Try and stay as relaxed and calm as possible. One thing to remember is that in tropical climes things happen when they happen. It is important to remember that for a destination wedding, the vibe is somewhat different – more relaxed, chilled out and stress-free. Your guests are not only there for your wedding but are also there on holiday. It is useful for the couple to arrive a couple of days in advance of their big day to vet their suppliers, do last minute checks, and get in a little down time before the arrival of their guests.
5. Remember to get help!
Planning a wedding is never easy, but planning a wedding hundreds or thousands of miles away from home brings on even more challenges. An experienced destination wedding planner has contacts, good familiarity and experience with the details that make a wedding a successful event. Language barriers and a lack of knowledge of the local area can be a real stumbling block for those who try to go it alone, often resulting in frustration and unnecessary stress for the couple. Using a destination wedding planner allows the couple to truly appreciate their wedding festivities, spend time with their guests and relax and enjoy the most important day of their lives.