You're starting to plan the destination wedding of your dreams. Whether you're heading for the beach, the mountains or the outback, some important factors apply to all weddings far from home. Here's how to have the best destination wedding possible:
Best Destination Wedding: Recruit Experts
Odds are that you haven't planned a destination wedding before. If you want your day to perfectly capture your vision, hire an expert in destination wedding planning. Use a planner at home with destination experience or hire one at your destination location. A wedding planner will be able to source the best deals, vendors, and sort out the paperwork needed to make your wedding legal.
Stay connected with your planner. Even if you've delegated some of the decision-making power to him/her, check in regularly to ensure you're both on the same page and that things are moving ahead according to your schedule. Whether you meet in person, talk over the phone or send regular emails, be sure to touch base frequently.
Best Destination Wedding: Stay on Budget
Don't let the romance of a destination wedding take over your practical side. Stick with your budget and find ways to compromise rather than overspend and create additional stress to your new marriage. Work with your planner to find great deals, consider the off-season for discounted rates, and be willing to compromise on the less important details. The best destination wedding isn't necessarily the most expensive; find ways to add personal touches without hurting the bank.
Best Destination Wedding: Accommodate Loved Ones
If your dream wedding includes celebrating with friends and family, keep them in mind as you plan. Make sure that the location is accessible to those with special needs, and that the chosen accommodation is relatively affordable. Give guests plenty of notice so that they can plan for your wedding; a destination wedding is a big commitment for everyone, so send out the save-the-dates early. They may turn your wedding into a memorable "mini-vacation."
Best Destination Wedding: Scope It Out
If you can, take a tour of the venues and locales before booking there. If you can't, ask for multiple photos and have an on-location coordinator check out the places on your behalf. The more you know about a place, the better. Find testimonials from other brides to learn of any red flags or unforeseen challenges. Seeing a place in advance may also kick-start the planning as it may inspire wedding details previously not thought of.
Best Destination Wedding: Stay Healthy
Wedding planning can be stressful. As you plan, be sure to take time to relax, de-stress and eat well. If you're traveling to an exotic location, look into immunizations and research any health concerns visitors typically have in that area. Stay hydrated, drinking bottled water instead of tap water.
Best Destination Wedding: Flexibility
Expect the unexpected. Destination weddings can see unpredictable obstacles popping up. Be willing to go with the flow. A destination wedding is an adventure. So whether you encounter crazy weather or locals joining in on your fun, remember that you're there to commit to each other. Relax and enjoy your wedding. And be sure to have your photographer ready to capture the unscripted moments.