A destination wedding may sound like a simple escape from the everyday hustle and bustle, but without careful planning, it can also be an overwhelming task. Planning an event from afar takes organization, delegation and flexibility. As you start to plan a destination wedding, consider the following details:
Plan a Destination Wedding: Start Early
As soon as you know you want a destination wedding, start planning. Narrow down your options, select your dream locations, and then book your wedding venue before the date is no longer available. Once you have a date and location, start sending out save-the-dates to guests. The more time you give them in advance of the wedding, the more likely they are to be able to take the time off work and budget for your destination wedding. Some will even choose to extend your wedding to become their holiday.
Plan a Destination Wedding: Budget
Destination weddings can be affordable nuptial options or they can wreak havoc on your bank account. Know what you're prepared to spend in advance of planning. The size and formality of your affair, the location and your vendor choices all hugely affect the bottom line.
Plan a Destination Wedding: Recruit Help
Lighten your workload by recruiting destination-wedding-planning help. Take advantage of any contacts you have in the area of your destination location. Consider hiring a planner, either one close to home with extensive destination-planning experience, or a planner at your location who can help you find vendors and iron out local details. Many hotels and resorts offer the services of on-site wedding coordinators. Begin communication as early as possibly to ensure that your vision is possible within the confines of the wedding packages they offer.
Plan a Destination Wedding: If Possible, Visit
Nothing will ease the nervousness of planning from afar like an advance trip to your destination-wedding location. Making a preliminary trip lets you check out your venue, meet with vendors and planners in person, and get a real feel for how your wedding will unfold. If you can't make the trek, try to arrive early for your wedding to make final decisions on details and to confirm that everything's in place. Use your network of family and friends in the area or visiting the area; loved ones won't mind investigating vendors on your behalf. If you can't visit, delegate to your planner and stay in constant communication as you make decisions together.
Plan a Destination Wedding: Stay Connected
If you're planning from afar, emails, faxes and phone calls will be a regular part of your life. Check out portfolios online, have your coordinator update you frequently with the statuses of projects, and communicate with vendors over email. Just because you're not in the vicinity doesn't mean you can't ask for samples; have vendors send photos of bouquet mock-ups and cake ideas. Often you'll be able to find products you want at a company in your area, such as specific linens, and then order them over the phone through a company closer to your wedding venue.
Use the Internet to connect with other destination brides. Seek advice on planning a wedding at the location you've selected; learn from others' mistakes and triumphs.