Destination Wedding

 

Destination Wedding Planning

Whether you have dreamed of a wedding in a small church in your hometown, or on a beautiful beach in the Caribbean, making your fantasy destination wedding a reality is not as difficult – or as expensive as you might think.  As always, the size of your guest list will determine the size of your budget.  Couples heading to exotic locations is trending.  Here are some things to think about if you are deciding where you and your hubby want to tie the knot.

It is Intimate:  Typically, destination weddings involve a much smaller guest list.  It is held in a remote location where only close family and friends attend.  With the average wedding lasting just a few hours to a day, it makes sense to allow everyone to enjoy their time while relaxing on such an occasion.  Now days, the bride and groom may have family from out of state or the country.  Choosing a destination wedding allows everyone to enjoy the occasion with a spectacular view while relaxing.

Guest Lists:  With everyone being much more mobile now days, it’s not unusual to family will need considerable transportation to arrive at the ceremony.  In the case of a destination wedding, everyone travels, including the bride and the groom.  Understand that unless you or your parents are footing travel expenses, not everyone will be able to make it.  After all, not everyone can afford to take a few days off and travel to an exotic location.  If that is the case, think about have the destination wedding in the same country.  Destination weddings are popular among intimate groups of people where a small and inexpensive vacation is a great idea.  With that said, give your guests as much of an advance notice about your wedding as possible.  Discuss the possibilities before sending out “Save the Date” cards.

Budget:  Choosing a destination wedding is often less expensive than hosting one in your hometown.  Traveling to an exotic location means that the fairy tale wedding of 250 plus guests will likely not happen.  Smaller wedding parties usually save on accommodations such as food and reception space.  The size of your guest list will determine the size of your budget.  If you are watching your budget, opt for less expensive destinations or destinations that offer a wide range of dining and lodging options.  Choosing an off-season date may save you money as well.

Accommodations:  Destination weddings have considerable advantages in terms of accommodations. They are often cheaper and easier to plan then normal weddings. This is because they are smaller and less elaborate, requiring less space and less expensive catering and entertainment. In addition, many countries have lower prices and favorable exchange rates, which will further cuts down on prices. The downside is that there are usually fewer options available. There will probably be fewer choices for food, music, decoration and other wedding elements.  For couples looking to create a really memorable occasion without breaking the bank, destination weddings are a perfect option.  These are things to consider when choosing a location for the event.

Destination Weddings

Location:  Hiring a wedding planner and/or vendors where the destination wedding will be held.  It will cost a fortune to hire a local 15 minutes down the street from you now.  Hiring the vendors and caterers where the location is being held is a must.  Whoever you choose to hire, your on-location contact much be reliable.  They must be familiar with our wedding style and aware of your wedding budget.  If you choose a resort, tourist destination or hotel, consider asking your concierge or reception site contact to recommend planner or help coordinate the details.  Because destination weddings are trendy, hotels  and resorts have an on-site wedding coordinators.  Ask about customizable wedding packages to make the big day as stress free and friendly as possible.  With all the excitement of a destination wedding, be aware of resort traps.  We have all heard about them – the places that look stunning and breath taking, only to turn into a nightmare.  Research specific locations and read reviews.  Search for plenty of photos of the place.  Read the fine print before signing anything.  Know what you are getting yourself into and have a back up plan.

Details:  Getting married in another state or country will mean that you need a local marriage license and maybe a passport.  Obtaining a marriage license can be tougher, especially in a foreign country.  Get permission from the local city hall to be married in the location.  Be aware that some place vary from demanding normal documentation to more unknown and bizarre demands before being legally married.  Also, note that there may be a waiting period or a certain number of witnesses that must be present for proper documentation to be approved.  If getting married in the United States, visit the US State Department to discover more on documentation on a specific state here.  I cannot stress this next part enough, so I will repeat it.  With all the excitement of a destination wedding, be aware of resort traps.  We have all heard about them – the places that look stunning and breath taking, only to turn into a nightmare.  Research specific locations and read reviews.  Search for plenty of photos of the place.  Read the fine print before signing anything.  Know what you are getting yourself into and have a back up plan.

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