Destination Wedding Hacks: Making Your Dream Wedding a Reality
As destination wedding planners, we know first-hand what an undertaking planning a celebration from a far can be. We are HUGE advocates of destination weddings for so many reasons, but mainly because it's the best guarantee that you get to spend quality time with your friends and family. To top it off, everyone is on vacation so they're super happy as well! Wedding planning in general can feel overwhelming, but adding the element of traveling somewhere (potentially even internationally) certainly kicks it up a notch.
We have traveled the world planning destination Weddings and here are some of the hacks we share with anyone we meet looking to plan a destination Wedding.
1. Consider your Guest List
One of the best and worst parts about having a destination Wedding is that it is likely to have an impact on who is able to come. Depending on where you end up, certain people may not be able to take the long trip (such as grandparents and young children). If this is important to you - keep that in mind when picking your location so the people that are important to you can make the trip.
2. Consider a Wedding Planner
Destination weddings can be especially tricky to organize from afar. Hiring a local wedding planner with expertise in the area can be a game-changer. They'll have invaluable knowledge of the best venues, vendors, and legal requirements in the region. They can also help you navigate the language barrier if you're getting married in a foreign country.
3. Destination Wedding DOES NOT Mean Less Expensive
A lot of couples often seen "destination wedding" packages at resorts and immediately think "that's cheaper than what i'm seeing!" Pay attention to the fine print - things such as maximum number of people, location restrictions on property and vendor inclusions such as music and hair and makeup. Most of these packages are targeted towards groups of 25 or under.
4. Visit the Location in Advance
Whenever possible, plan a scouting trip to your chosen destination before the wedding. This visit will allow you to meet with vendors, assess potential venues, and get a feel for the local culture and customs. It can also ease any anxiety you might have about the unknown.
5. Choose an All-Inclusive Resort
If your heart is set on a tropical beach wedding, consider an all-inclusive resort. These venues often provide wedding packages that include everything from catering to decor, simplifying the planning process. Plus, your guests will appreciate having their accommodations, food, and entertainment conveniently bundled together.
6. Plan Activities for Your Guests
Since your guests are making the effort to travel to your wedding, consider organizing group activities or excursions. These can be a great way to bond before the big day and ensure everyone has a memorable experience.
7. Communicate Clearly
Destination weddings require clear communication with your guests. Create a wedding website or brochure with all the essential information, such as travel details, accommodations, and local attractions. Make sure your guests know what to expect and how to prepare for the trip.
8. Embrace Local Flavors
Take advantage of the local cuisine and drinks to add a unique flavor to your wedding. Incorporate regional dishes into your menu and feature signature cocktails using local spirits or ingredients. These are great themes to include for welcome receptions and other celebrations throughout the weekend.
9. Pack Smartly
Depending where you are traveling for your Wedding, you likely aren't able to do as much DIYing. If there are special items you wanted to bring for your Wedding day, look into shipping options to avoid needing to bring extra suitcases. This is great for things like Welcome Bags + Favors. You can even have them delivered directly to your venue (depending on the location).
BONUS TIP: If there is a place where you can do store pick up or ship to store, this is great to get Welcome Bag items ordered and ready for your arrival. Things like snacks, waters, recovery kit materials etc.
10. Divide and Conquer
If you don't have a planner, make sure you have someone with you who can help manage guest questions. If you are having a larger Wedding, you may get a lot of people asking you questions about the resort or location. Have someone in your friend or family circle (our your partner) help you field these questions. It can easily become overwhelming and you are already going to have enough on your plate getting married.
A destination wedding can be an unforgettable experience for both you and your guests. By following these destination wedding hacks and enlisting the help of a seasoned wedding planner, you'll be well on your way to turning your dream wedding into a stress-free reality. Whether you choose a tropical paradise, a European escape, or an exotic locale, your destination wedding will be a cherished memory for years to come for you and your guests.