How to Plan a Destination Wedding

Today’s modern couples are more adventurous, independent, and risk-taking than any generation before them. As a result, destination weddings have become one of the hottest trends. In fact, almost one in five couples plan to wed away from home this year. If you’re among them and planning to tie the knot away from home, read on for some helpful tips for making your dream destination wedding a reality.

Whether you have your sights set on a lush tropical island or a quaint country village with cobblestone streets and old-fashioned town squares—the possibilities are endless when it comes to locations for your destination wedding. You may be surprised at just how many incredible spots there are around the world that make perfect backdrops for your big day. Even if you’re willing to travel some distance from home, you will still need to start destination wedding planning early and have an organized team of professionals helping you along the way.

destination wedding on a beach

Set a Budget and Stick to It

A destination wedding requires different preparations than a wedding in the UK. The costs will be higher because you will need to factor in travel and accommodations for all your wedding party guests if you are covering those. For assistance with planning and transportation, you might also need to employ a wedding coordinator.

Additionally, you must account for the additional expense of meals and beverages at a destination wedding. A caterer who specialises in serving meals in a different environment or culture may also be necessary. Finding a less expensive hotel, renting your wedding outfit, or having a smaller guest list are some more methods to cut money.

Select the accommodation

You should consider accommodation for your visitors as well as yourself. Once you have focused your search on a particular site type for your wedding destination, you should further focus it by determining whether hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, or other lodging options are conveniently located near the venue. For instance, you wouldn’t want a beach wedding on a far-off island where getting to the event involves taking a taxi, boat, and horse ride.

The number of people you can invite to your wedding day may also be constrained by this choice. Even though you may only desire a small number of guests if you are expecting a sizable crowd, be sure to pick a venue with enough lodging to accommodate them. Once you’ve identified areas with sufficient lodging, be sure to take the following factors into account:

  • Distance from the wedding venue
  • Approximate cost of accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Reservation information
  • Payment procedures

relaxed beach wedding

Choose the right venue

You need to think about the precise venue of your wedding now that you have a spot that has adequate space and the look you’re going for. It could be indoors or outside, but you must ensure that it provides the amenities you’ll require, such as restrooms, electricity, and space. Additionally, you must ensure that you have authorization to use the location, particularly if it is outside, to avoid being bothered by landowners or law enforcement. If you’re going for an indoor setting, you’ll need to think about things like the wedding coordinator, space of the venue, parking spaces, disabled access, band or DJ, dancefloor space and permission for noise.

Choose a wedding planner

It’s a good idea to work with a seasoned and local wedding planner if you’ve never planned a destination wedding before. A competent wedding planner may assist you in choosing a location, discovering a venue, setting up transportation, and creating a menu. Additionally, they may aid you in making a guest list and picking a photographer or videographer. You might need to pay a fee or a portion of your overall wedding budget, depending on the planner you select. You might want to think about working with a wedding coordinator who focuses on destination weddings.

Choosing adequate transportation

Now that you have whittled down your possibilities based on location type, accommodation accessibility, and venue selection, you need to think about transportation. That includes not just how visitors come to the country and how they travel from the airport to the hotel, but also how they get from the hotel to the wedding location.

Make sure it is simple and economical for you and your visitors to travel everywhere they need to go, from flights to local transportation. If you pick a remote location that calls for a 2-hour ferry ride in addition to a 3-hour drive and a 14-hour flight, it’s likely that half of your guests will find a reason not to attend the wedding. The same logic applies if you decide to get married in an expensive-to-fly location, like Hawaii via a long-haul flight.

newlywed bride overlooking turquise sea

Visit venue in advance

It’s ideal to visit your venue once before making a reservation and once again three to four months before the wedding to confirm the details. Arrive at least five days early to make those judgments and schedule hair and makeup trials if a second trip is not feasible.

Couples must travel there at least once, and if their schedules permit, they should stay for two to three days. Additionally, from Thursday to Sunday, it is advised that you visit both during and outside of peak times to get a taste of the atmosphere the area has to offer. This is the ideal moment to experience and witness what your guests will go through. Hire a skilled professional with excellent communication and attention to detail if you can’t make it.

Meet your vendors

Plan appointments with the more well-known florists and rental businesses in your destination before your initial site visit. Ask your venue for recommendations; you might learn about local talent you weren’t aware of and even save some money. If you’re bringing in outside experts, be prepared to pay for their hotel and transport. It should be mentioned that finding a secure hotel within 30 minutes of your destination is essential. So that things don’t spiral out of control, negotiate these costs upfront.

Secure wedding insurance

It’s wise to be prepared for the unexpected when getting married abroad. Aside from providing some emotional security, wedding insurance can help you preserve your financial investment and is even required by some locations. While some businesses may handle a short turnaround, it’s ideal to have this arranged early. When signing up, be sure to be very clear about the policies and the type of coverage you’re consenting to.

church in greek islands

Research local marriage laws

It’s not nearly as simple as hiring an officiant to legally marry someone in a foreign nation. Different nations have different criteria, requiring a plethora of papers, including letters of intent, birth and medical records, and even proof of where you live. To guarantee you have enough time to put everything together, educate yourself well in advance. In some circumstances, it could be simpler to hold a civil ceremony at home before you go and obtain a domestic marriage certificate.

Sort out your passport and other documents

For foreign travel, you must have a current passport, and for domestic travel, you must have a valid driver’s licence. As soon as you decide on your wedding date and location, verify all expiration dates twice, and then do it again! Additional information, such as a list of prior travel destinations, medical documents, or proof of vaccinations, may be requested depending on the nation.

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About Author /

Emma is the editorial director and has been with the brand since 2021. She is is a writer and editor with over 5 years of experience covering Weddings, Fashion and beauty.

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