If you're having a destination wedding, you probably have a vision of how that magical day will unfold: Your guests will board the plane, get to your wedding site and dance the night away. But if you haven't considered the logistics involved in getting everyone to your wedding location, your guests may be in for a much different experience.
How you plan to get your guests to your wedding site is really up to you: You can take a big group flight (the most affordable option if you're having a destination wedding), or charter smaller planes or boats, depending on the number of people coming.
Picking the right location is critical. That private island in the South Pacific you fell in love with looks amazing in photos, but will your guests be able to get there? Before you select a place, take your guests' travel concerns into consideration.
There are many questions, so we have prepared useful tips to help you enjoy your dream wedding in the desired location.
Select the desired location
There are many reasons to pick a destination wedding. You may love the idea of getting married in your favorite city or have a destination in mind that's meaningful to you and your betrothed. Or perhaps you want to book an all-inclusive resort on the beach. However, if you're considering a destination wedding, you should know that it's not all fun and games—especially if you're hosting the party yourself.
The most important thing to consider is where you want to get married. Yes, this may seem like stating the obvious, but it's one of the most important things to consider when choosing a destination for your wedding. Not only will location impact your guests' travel plans and expenses after they arrive, it can also have an effect on what activities are available nearby (e.g., beaches, hiking trails) and how far you'll need to travel from the site of your ceremony to the site of your reception. If you have specific activities planned for your guests while they're at your destination wedding (for example, surfing lessons or horseback riding), then location will also be important in determining whether or not those activities are available when you need.
When you choose a location, research it in detail
The first step to planning your destination wedding party is researching the destination. Keep in mind that some venues have rules about when and how many guests can attend. When you're looking for an amazing venue, you may find that it is unavailable on the date of your wedding. You will want to plan ahead and book a backup location, so you can stay on budget.
For your honeymoon, you'll want to make sure you pick a resort that can accommodate the number of guests you want to bring with you. If they cannot fit everyone into one room, it might be possible to get two rooms, which makes things more affordable. Also, make sure to check out the resort's rules for having friends, or family stay overnight. Just because they will be paying for their room does not mean you aren't responsible for any fees associated with their visit.
You should also think about timing when booking flights. You don't want to choose dates during which attendees might find inexpensive flights because there are other concerns, like hurricane season or family members being unavailable.
Preparing a guest list is easier if you think about who will be able to make it and who won't as soon as possible after your engagement party or announcement of your engagement.
Choose a location of interest
If you want to get married on a beach or in front of the ocean, think about what activities you want to do while there. Sunbathing is fine, but if active pursuits are more your style, consider renting surfboards or boats. If you want to swim with dolphins or snorkel over coral reefs, go for it!
While some people may prefer a more elegant affair, others might like an all-out party with a poolside bar. If it's fun you're after, then plan for fun!
Theme weddings are very popular these days. You can have a destination wedding with a tropical theme as easily as a fairy tale or Hollywood theme. Think about what kind of atmosphere you want for your party and go from there.
Think about the activities you'll enjoy and then find locations that cater to those interests.
Visit the location before the wedding
It's your wedding day. It's the biggest day of your life. Your family is there. Your friends are there. You're there, in a beautiful location getting ready to say "I do." But you're stressed because you don't know where the restroom is. Or the restrooms are broken. Or they are only accessible through an alleyway full of trashcans and construction workers. Or the hotel staff doesn't understand you have a wedding party and can't seem to locate you on the schedule that was provided well before your big day.
There are tons of things to stress about when it comes to planning a destination wedding — regardless how long you've been together with your partner, or how much experience you have with weddings in general, or how many weddings you've attended before, a destination wedding will tax even the most experienced planners' patience and ability to roll with the punches. There are a lot of things to keep track of, and as a planner, it helps to have as much information prior to your event as possible.
The best way to prepare for a destination wedding is by going on site beforehand and visit all of your venues, talk with hotel employees and make sure everything is in order, including any special details of your event.
You should remind the staff what kind of decoration you will have, whether entertainers, singers or dancers will come. It is also important to explain to them how long the party will last and what you have planned from the activities. Remember that you should still organize all other activities as at a standard wedding. You need to get delicious food, enough champagne, a wedding cake, as well as a wedding photo booth. When you provide everything, you will be sure the wedding will go exactly as you imagined and that you will enjoy it.
Travel guide services
Consider employing a travel agent to help you plan and book your wedding. A good travel agent can eliminate stress and confusion, ultimately helping you enjoy your destination wedding party more. There are a number of ways that a travel agent can be helpful when planning your destination wedding party. Here are some examples:
A travel agent can help with arrangements for the entire group. Since it can be difficult to coordinate group airfare and lodging, a good travel agent will take charge of the process so you don't have to do all the work yourself. It also saves you time because it is likely that the same deals cannot be found by searching websites individually or contacting individual hotel or airline representatives. Additionally, if there are multiple destinations being considered, an agent may have insider information that allows him or her to recommend an excellent but less-expensive option than the one initially chosen.
A travel agent will know about destination-specific regulations and laws. If you're hosting your destination wedding abroad, a knowledgeable travel agent will walk you through any necessary documentation required for foreign travel (visas, for example). Also, if there are any local customs that need to be observed the agent will let you know before you leave.
Hiring a wedding planner
If you've decided to get married in a remote location, one of the most important things you should do is find the right planner. A planner can help with costs, the itinerary and ensure everything runs smoothly on your big day.
Hiring a planner who specializes in destination weddings can save you time, money and headaches. He or she will advise you on the requirements for getting married at your chosen location, offer guidelines for hiring vendors (local or not), help you negotiate a special room rate for your wedding guests, and more. If you're getting married in a country where English isn't the primary language, hiring a bilingual planner can facilitate the entire process.
And finally, don't forget this is the most beautiful day of your life and that you should celebrate love!
My name is Grace Wilson. I’m a 27-year-old biotechnologist and kind of a bookish girl. Surfing the Internet is my favourite, that’s why I’ve turned into blogging. Following a healthy mindset and lifestyle is what I consider my life principle. If interested, follow my Twitter.