Opting for a destination wedding is a great way to add an extra high to your lovely celebrations. Unlike the preconceived notion that it is an option only for the rich and famous, remember that no matter what is your budget or style, you can find a destination accordingly. Well, destination weddings have their own set of pros and cons, which you need to assess before finalising it.
But, if you have already made up your mind and set your heart on a destination then let us help you out and tell you the basics of planning such a wedding. Here is a list that will get you on the way towards planning a successful and unforgettable destination wedding.
1. Give yourself ample time to plan
Always make your destination wedding plans well in advance. Almost 5-6 months before the D-day, everything should be sorted out. Destination weddings require a lot more planning than the local ones as you are going to be in an absolutely new (and maybe even unknown) region. So, start planning as early as possible. Most destination wedding vendors and venues require advance payments and many other formalities, so planning ahead is good.
2. Inform guests in advance
Be sure to inform your guests in advance. They too need to make a lot of prior adjustments in their schedules and take care of various chores before leaving town. If your destination is out of the country then make sure your guests have legal essentials like passport and VISA, in place. If not, help them apply and sort things out with time on your hand. A time span of 8-9 months is advisable for smooth management and error reduction.
3. Check local weather and calendar
Be aware about the weather conditions of the chosen destination at the time of your wedding. Find out if the weather at that time (month of your wedding) is cold or rainy. All these are essential as they help you make your plans and arrangements accordingly. Also, keep a check on the local calendar of the location. For instance, if there is a major festival or event taking place during that time, it can cause an influx of tourists and can also lead to price hikes.
4. Choose your vendors carefully
If you are looking for wedding vendors over the phone or Internet then check their portfolios carefully. Also, use the Internet to your advantage to check their references before finalising one. Well, vendors related to venue, decorations and few other requirements have to be local ones only; but there are certain areas where you can select professionals according to your choice and can take them along. Say if your budget allows then you can choose a caterer, chef, makeup artist, photographer and videographer according to your choice and can take them along to your destination.
5. Hire a wedding planner and travel advisory
It is advisable to hire a local wedding planner and travel advisor but again the choice solely depends upon your budget. These key individuals work as your consultants, planners, advisors and coordinators. They keep you well informed and cut your research time in half. They provide the same insight on your destination, suppliers and legal documents needed. Local wedding planners in particular help you manage your wedding from start to finish. Remember, hiring the right professional will ease you through the whole process. Also Read: 6 Reasons to Hire a Professional Planner for Your Wedding
6. Try to travel to your destination location before your wedding
If possible visit your desired location before your wedding. Finalise the wedding contracts, and oversee all the arrangement plans personally. No matter how descriptive your hotel manager or other vendors are, there is no substitute to visiting the location yourself. Find out if there are any foreign requirements that need prior fulfilling and gather some local knowledge. Also, check out the place keeping your guests in mind as well.
7. Look after your guests’ needs
This should be your primary responsibility. Make the experience as enjoyable and memorable as you can for your guests. Provide them with detailed information about the location, check and re-check on their accommodation reservations, plan little surprises for them, have them picked up from the airport, acquaint with your guests as soon as they reach in and make them feel at home. Their comforts are your initial concern and make it your personal responsibility that your guests have a wonderful time at your wedding.
A few other tips in general:
- Do not overlook the destination’s legalities and customs so that you do not fall in any kind of legal entrapments later.
- Be ready for the fact that some of your close ones might not be able to make it to your wedding, due to their budget or time constraints.
- Look into all kinds of travelling and accommodation options based on different budgets to help your guests out.
- Arrive early to counter jet lags and deal with minor problems.
Dear couples, remember that a destination wedding requires as much planning as a local one. But yes, it does offer a beautiful backdrop to your D-day celebrations. Once all the planning and preparations are in place, sit back and relax!