A destination wedding allows you to choose a more adventurous and idyllic venue for your big day. It is also an opportunity to give your guests a short vacation from their everyday life. Moreover, you can have your honeymoon in the same place and save a significant cost for your wedding budget.
These benefits definitely outweigh the cons of having a destination wedding, but we can’t deny that it’s often a challenging endeavor. Think of it like planning a vacation for your family, but instead of just five people, you’re bringing along fifty. Sound daunting? Definitely, but there are many ways to make planning easier, starting with these:
1. Start planning way in advance
Having a wedding in your hometown can take up at least six months of planning, and that’s just for a simple gathering. Some weddings can take even a year or more to plan, depending on what kind of wedding you want. But for a destination wedding, you may want to start planning more than a year or two in advance. The earlier you start, the better you’ll be able to get the details down without much hassle.
2. Send invites early
Destination weddings often costly, and not just for you and your fiance. Your guests will also have to spend money to get there. So, unless you are covering their transportation costs, send out invites as early as possible so that they can prepare for the travel expenses. But don’t expect everyone or even most people to attend.
Furthermore, ask guests to send their RSVPs early as well so that you can better estimate how many people are attending.
3. Visit the venue
Going to the venue in person is way better than making your decision based on pictures online or videos online. Moreover, going there in advance will give you a good idea of what the trip is like, which will help you determine whether your guests will have too hard of a time to get there. Better yet, you can make it like a mini-vacation for you and your fiance while also working on your wedding at the same time.
4. Ship your wedding dress
After you find the gown of your dreams at the best wedding dress store in your area or online, consider shipping it in advance to your hotel. Traveling with your dress can be an added stress that you don’t need before the wedding, and shipping it in a secure container instead of lugging it with you on the plane can save you money.
5. Arrive a few days in advance
Plan to go to your wedding venue at least two or three days before the wedding. This way, you can sort out the final details before your guests arrive and you can have some time to unwind before the actual event. You can also scout for activities that you can do with your new spouse after the wedding is over.
6. Look for full-service vendors
Make sure that the vendors you hire offer full services, which means that they will take care of the clean-up after the wedding is over and transport the leftovers accordingly. The last thing you want after a tiring day is to have to clean up the mess and figure out what to do with the wedding leftovers, especially not when you are thousands of miles away from your hometown.
7. Have your honeymoon in the same place
Having your honeymoon in the same place as your wedding is a great way to save money and reduce your stress. Book an extra week at the hotel and look for nearby destinations that you can visit with your partner after the wedding. Alternatively, you can travel to a nearby country or city and have your honeymoon there, which is still cheaper than going back to your hometown and then traveling again for your honeymoon.
8. Keep the guest list short
It’s easier to have a long guest list when you’re holding your wedding locally. But for a destination wedding, inviting everyone you want to be there may not be feasible unless you have an unlimited budget.
That said, try to keep your guest list short. Invite only the people you actually want to be there, not the people you feel that you need to invite. After all, enjoying the day with your closest family and friends will feel more intimate and special than having everyone and their mother in attendance.
Planning any wedding can be tough, but a destination wedding is often ten times harder. Nevertheless, you can use these tips to make the planning process at least a little easier for yourself, your future spouse, your guest, and ultimately, your budget.