Destination weddings are not just “altar alternatives”: they are epic, once in a lifetime vacations for the happy couple and their entire guest list.
Many honeymoon-friendly resorts and cruise lines worldwide have made it easier and more alluring to wed on-site. Most have full-time wedding coordinators on staff and offer wedding packages that take care of ceremony essentials. Destination weddings also give you a chance to really put some personality into your big day, and do not have to be limited to a beach.
Believe it or not, the affordability of a destination wedding is more realistic than you might think. A couple can fly to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, get married, and stay for a luxurious week-long honeymoon for a few thousand dollars. Compare that to a wedding with a guest list of 150 people (which can cost about $35,000 and easily soar much higher in a lot of big cities), not including the extra few thousand for a honeymoon.
Brides.com shares top tips for destination weddings from professional planner Koby Bar Yehuda:
Consider the guests before you start planning – Choosing a venue is more than just picking the most beautiful spot you can find. Have your guests in mind when considering your location: Ask yourself if the destination will be affordable for guests to fly to and if there are multiple different hotel options for all budgets.
Do your research – Be prepared to do in-person research. Pictures and videos can give good insight, but when traveling for your celebration, it is well worth the investment of money and time to first visit the location in person. A language barrier may pose an issue, consider hiring a local person to serve as both a guide and translator to show you around and help communicate with the locals and venue staff.
Work with a professional – Remote places often have limited resources, which is why the help of a professional is sometimes crucial. A professional event planner will be able to give you an idea of what the cost of bringing in necessary resources will be. To make the process even more trouble-free, look for a planner who does it all including design and production. Fewer vendors to hire means fewer chances for misunderstandings or miscommunications.
Communication is key – Language barriers, different time zones, and sometimes thousands of miles between you and your venue make communication undeniably important. Make the time for video conference calls two to three times per week to check in and go over details throughout the planning process. Many remote destination weddings are planned over the course of at least a year, so persistent communication will ensure that you and your team remain on the same page.
Know the destination – Do your research. If your ceremony is religious, find out if the country chosen allows religious ceremonies to occur outside of a place of worship. Find out what the marriage license requirements are and be flexible if that means you must tie the knot legally at home.
Embrace the setting – “No one wants to fly to the Maldives for a wedding that would fit better in a chateau in southern France”. To enhance your experience and make the most of the surroundings, immerse yourself and your guests in the place you have brought everyone to.
Information is precious – With long distance travel involved, the more you can tell your guests to help them prepare for your wedding, the better. In addition to including the dress code for any events or activities, share suggestions for flight itineraries, local transportation, currency exchange, and a basic local vocabulary list.
Planning a destination wedding? Let TravelersAlly take care of the trip details, making your day stress free and blissful.