Today we're talking all about how to get started planning a destination wedding! Following these tips while you're doing your initial research will help you decide if a destination wedding is right for you. Whether your planning a destination wedding in the United States or abroad, being organized and prepared is the best way to ensure your wedding day's success! For even more planning help, grab your FREE copy of our Ceremony Cheat Sheet!
First and foremost, the most critical thing when destination wedding planning is to let everyone know far in advance. You want to give your guests plenty of time to make travel plans. Not only will they need to book their accommodations and their flights, but they also might have to request off of work and save some money to make the trip. You want to give them as much notice as possible so they can prepare. When picking the wedding destination location, make sure to research local marriage requirements. There are different laws and regulations for each state and definitely for each country. You'll be required to abide by whatever the local laws may be; this way, in the end, your marriage is legal.
Now if you can, take a trip to your destination to ensure everything you want is there and has everything you need for your dream destination wedding experience. So that you know, pictures can make things look a lot different than they do in person. Being proactive and visiting the location beforehand can ensure that you're getting precisely what you're expecting. When you're creating your budget, you want to factor in an extra cushion in case of unexpected travel expenses. About 74% of weddings do go over budget! It's even more likely when planning a destination wedding. Unintended factors pop up during travel, they are unexpected and frequently will cost extra. Make sure that you pad your budget for this expense.
As far as choosing vendors, you want to be careful, especially if you can't meet anybody in person. You can read online reviews and look at portfolios. However, sometimes these can be misleading. I suggest that you go with a vendor that you feel comfortable with, one that has a phone meeting with you or is willing to face time with you via Zoom. This way, you aren't hiring somebody that you've never seen or spoken with. If you can, hire a local wedding planner! A reputable wedding planner can help ensure that you have an A-list team of vendors who'll deliver on what they've promised. If you can't afford a wedding planner, you can get vendor recommendations from the venue that you've chosen. They would most likely have a list of preferred professionals they work with often and know the venue well.
It's imperative to be organized since the wedding is a long-distance away. Let's be honest, if you forget something, you can quickly replace it. A wedding planner will absolutely come in handy during times like this!
Now don't forget to dress for the climate you're traveling to and make sure that your guests know any necessary clothing or footwear that they need to bring to make it to your destination wedding. Your guests won't stay long if they show up wearing high heels to your beachfront ceremony. You want to make sure that you give as much information as possible so that your guests are comfortable and prepared. Also, you can check out group rates for hotels, flights, and rentals. It's essential to be surrounded by your friends, family, and group rates make it more affordable to your wedding guests.
If you're traveling out of the country, you should also consider hiring a travel agent. I know that you can look a lot of stuff up online and find many great deals on your own. But think if something goes wrong? If you looked up everything online, you're totally on your own! If you actually hired a travel agent and something goes wrong, you can call them or a hotline, and they can help you solve any issues efficiently. Sometimes travel agents can match prices you find online!. You'll have a lot less work for you, and they're going to know a lot more about the area. This includes giving you better recommendations than any you would find on your own. Just like everything in life, there are good travel agents and not-so-good ones, so take the time to find one who's willing to earn your business.
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