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Destination Weddings


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One Year Before/ASAP:
•    Choose a location, taking into consideration your wedding style and guest list.
•    Send out save-the-date cards early, so guests can budget for travel/time off and get their passports ready.
•    Call a tourism office for more destination-specific information.
•    Make sure your paperwork is up-to-date and that you have all the documents needed (birth certificates, passports, travel visa, et c).
•    Research the marriage requirements of the country (i.e. documents, public notices, and residency requirements).
•    Consider a wedding package as a low-stress option. Services of a planner are often included, as are the services of local vendors.
•    When hiring a wedding planner, find one who specializes in destination weddings or who is based in your destination location.
•    Contact the relevant church or temple. If you’re planning a religious/cultural ceremony, be aware that some countries also require a civil ceremony to legalize the union.
•    Consider the climate when choosing your gown.
•    If it applies, get vaccinated (or make sure your vaccinations are current).

4 Months Before:
•    Scout your location. Try to book a visit (or two) to see the venue, taste the menu and meet the vendors.
•    Plan a few events for guests (i.e. a welcome party, day at the beach, golf tournament).
•    Buy plane tickets
•    Book accommodations.
•    Book transportation for shuttling guests to and from the airport and to all wedding events.
•    Inquire about group discounts for flights and hotels for guests.

8-10 Weeks Before:
•    Send out formal invitations.
•    Ask you planner to review your legal paperwork
•    Order gifts and favors

2 Weeks Before:
•    Let your bank know of your travel plans.
•    Submit final head count to the venue.
•    Make a plan for getting your wedding gifts home.

One Week Before:
•    Take your dress as carry-on to ensure it doesn’t disappear if your checked baggage gets lost.
•    Arrive early to finalize paperwork and iron out last-minute details.
•    For some critical elements (photography, hair, makeup), you may want to fly in talent.

Last Updated: May 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm
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