How to Plan a Destination Wedding

A short guide to planning a Destination Wedding

So, you’re looking to plan a destination wedding. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! In a world of big weddings, planning an intimate wedding ceremony and experience to celebrate your love with those closest to you is one of my favorite parts of the wedding industry! Lets start by making one thing very clear! Destination weddings and destination elopements are never the same. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it 1000 times! “Weddings are like Snowflakes! No two are the same!” Especially when diving into the world of intimate wedding celebrations! This short guide is designed to help you take the wedding planning and break it down into more manageable subtasks! LETS GET YOU GUYS MARRIED!!!

Choose a Location!

Choosing the perfect destination wedding location is a lot more than just picking somewhere based on how pretty it is. This is something you need to consider your guest list for. Are you wanting to get married on the beach? Mountains? Desert? But have elderly family, or disabled loved ones that may not be able to be present at those locations. Or are you planning to run away with your Honey and it just be the two of you?

Another big key factor here may also be cost! Getting married in an international location surrounded by all your family and friends sounds absolutely dreamy!! However, can everyone afford the flights, hotels, staying there for possibly a week and taking off work?

Hire a planner!

YOU CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION! YAY! Next, all the ins and out. Hire a planner! Especially if you are wanting more than the basic you and your Honey with an officiant, a witness, then those stunning photos! If you want more of a wedding ceremony with the reception, big ceremony, welcome parties… hire a planner! Someone with experience in the location you are planning, someone who knows the language if there is a barrier, the cultures, the best people in the area to go to!

Guest Lodging and Actives!

Start where are your loved ones staying!!!?? And what is there for them to do when not celebrating with you? This is great info to start planning early, to create guest room blocks and negotiate a lower rate for them at a couple different hotels at varied rates, but keeping them within 10 minutes of the venue, possibly walking distance if needed. As well as see what tourist options there are in the area.

These are great things to put on your wedding website when your guests RSVP they can start planning their own outing and adventures!

Visit in advanced/ Meet your Vendors

Visiting in advanced is a great way to understand the location, if you have never been before. Also, is a great time to set up meeting with local vendors! Being able to sit down with your local caterer and plan your meal, meet your photographer if they are local to the area (possibly do an engagement session!)

Get important documents together!

Important documents can vary in this scenario, here’s a quick list!

  • Wedding Insurance (Also known as event insurance) Incase something unexpected may occur
  • Passports if you plan on going out of the country!
  • Assure your ID’s are up to date if traveling domestic (CHECK THE EXPERATION DATES!! This varies state to state!!)
  • Marriage License, in some cases it may be easier to get a domestic marriage license, and have a small civil ceremony (aka, courthouse ceremony) before you head out on your adventure! This varies state to state, so check with your local authorities!
  • Heath Records and vaccinations may be required depending on your location!

Guest Welcome Bags???

If this is something you want to offer your guests, it would probably be very appreciated by your loved ones! If you are in a warm climate, maybe sunscreen, a water bottle (this could be anything form a plastic bottle to something customized depending on budget!) If you are in a cooler climate, perhaps mittens, or cocoa?

Keeping in mind to mention this to your hotel prior!!!! This may be a charged service to put the bags in the specific guest rooms! (There is a lot more behind the scenes at hotels for something like this than most people think!) I would also very much consider tipping your front desk for this as well (especially if there is no additional fee) Yes, this is coming from someone who used to work in a destination wedding resort LOL!!! I speak with love for all the bellmen and house keepers who kept me saine!

Crossing the T’s and Dotting our I’s

Everything is paid and ready to go! Perfect! Lets make sure we cross our T’s and dot our I’s! There are always those little things that we may not remember to do while in the hustle and bustle of planning a dream destination wedding!

  • Do you have to ship your dress to your hotel? or extra Décor?
  • Do you have extra Cash? (Home and Local currency) Unknown costs the might take place: Non vendor tips (bellmen, drivers, ect,) baggage fees, extra meals and snacks!
  • LET YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY AND BANK KNOW YOU ARE TRAVELING!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot stress this one enought!
  • Any car/scooter/bike rentals to get around the area

I hope this little guide starts you our on the right foot!! Enjoy this time! It may be stressful, take it one step at a time, and don’t wish it gone. Embrace the stress, embrace working together with your fiancé to create this! It goes by too fast!



Wedding Planning

March 5, 2024

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