Wedding Destination Ideas

How to Plan a Destination Wedding?

Weddings on sandy beaches, in historic castles, or against the backdrop of recognisable city skylines are just a few of the exotic and picturesque locations that have lured engaged couples to elope. Weddings are stressful no matter where they are held, but those held in exotic locations present additional obstacles.

There's something special about exchanging vows amidst the mountains or on the sands of a tropical location, where your future spouse first proposed to you. Don't let the beauty of these places distract you from the planning effort that is required for a destination wedding. Actually, there's more to think about than just the location.

Every couple organising a destination wedding must think about the ceremony's timing, the local climate, and the guests' travel schedules. If you have the right information, however, you can organise a trip that you and your guests will never forget. If you want your destination wedding to be truly unforgettable, follow these guidelines. Saying “I do” at Vines of the Yarra Valley is an elegant and luxurious affair.

Table of Contents

Pick the Perfect Spot

Your wedding's location not only sets the tone (rustic, elegant, beachy), but also the travel distance, time commitment, and overall cost. Each detail of your wedding, from the venue to the activities to the overall feel, should reflect something about your shared tastes and interests, and leave guests thinking.

Selecting a location is the primary step in organising a wedding that guests will travel to attend. Recall the best trip you ever took together as a couple. I'm curious as to what exactly it was about the setting that you enjoyed so much. How important do you think the weather was? How did you feel about the locals and their customs? Did you find any motivation in the building design? Do you have a "must-visit" location in mind? The answers to these questions should point you in the right direction when choosing a wedding venue. Here is a quick check list to keep in mind as you plan the location of your destination wedding.

  • Think back on your travels for clues as to where you might find the most fulfilment in life.
  • Seeing the site in person before diving into wedding preparations can help alleviate some of the stress associated with a destination wedding. Risking a large sum of money on a ceremony, hotel, and resort without first seeing them is foolish. It's not a good idea to ask loved ones to spend a lot of money on a trip to a place you haven't seen for yourself.
  • Learn the necessary passport and visa information. In order to attend your wedding, will your guests have to fill out a tonne of travel paperwork? Keep them apprised of the situation in plenty of advance notice.
  • Get a feel for the state of travel advisories and precautions. Is there a health crisis, political unrest, or a rise in crime that would make the location unfavourable?
  • Check to see if any major sporting events or cultural celebrations will be happening on your wedding weekend.
  • How will the climate be during the time of year that you've chosen for your wedding? Make sure your guests know this when they receive the wedding invitations so they can prepare appropriately.
  • Where are you going and what languages are spoken there? If English is the only language spoken, will that be a problem for your guests?

Wedding Destination Ideas

Time It Right

The best weather in popular vacation destinations, unfortunately, tends to coincide with tourist season, when there are typically more people, fewer hotel and venue availability, and higher prices. Destination weddings during this busy season require prompt action to secure the venue and room blocks via an online booking service. You can save money on lodging for both you and your guests by travelling during the shoulder seasons. Although there will be fewer people during the off-season, the weather can be unpredictable and many businesses may be closed.

Set A Budget

Know your financial limits before you start looking for a location and making decorations. For your convenience, we've laid out a comprehensive guide to putting together a wedding budget. Once you have a set budget, you can move on to the next step in the planning process. The first major choice you'll have to make is whether or not to hire a wedding planner to help you with the logistics. A local wedding planner can help alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with planning an event in an unfamiliar location. They will have the names of dependable and experienced venues, florists, photographers, and other service providers to give you. In all likelihood, the money you save by employing them will more than offset the initial investment.

The number of people who can actually make it to your destination wedding may be reduced if you ask them to pay for their own travel and lodging as well as possibly take a few extra days off work or away from their children.

You can save money on the basics like food and drink and on the size of the venue because your guest list will be smaller than it would be if you held the wedding in your hometown. A wedding's budget may be strained if the couple opts for a hotspot location. Planning a wedding for the off-season, during the week, or on a Sunday can help you save even more money. Need help planning your wedding? Check out our list of Wedding Event Planners here.

Give Everyone a Heads-Up

Before you ask your attendants to stand by your side, let them know that your wedding will be held at a remote location. Not only should you give your VIP invitees plenty of advanced notice, but you should also give the rest of your guest list plenty of time to book flights and lodgings before costs skyrocket. Don't be discouraged if some of your closest friends and family members don't respond to your save-the-date invitations that you sent out at least eight months in advance. Their travel, hotel, and car rental costs can add up, even though you're helping them out with some of their food costs. It's possible that they wouldn't choose to take a short vacation to attend your wedding, despite the fact that it's a big deal for you.

Take a Trip

We can't stress the importance of this enough: Plan on at least one trip, and ideally two or three. The first trip should be spent scouting and booking local vendors like caterers, florists, and photographers, as well as the main locations for the ceremony and reception. You should also arrange "tastings" with your caterer, see sample bouquets from the florist, book a hair and makeup session at a local salon, and plan activities for your guests after you've made your selections.

Factor in the Extra Expenses

It is possible that a destination wedding could end up costing less money than a traditional one. Event spaces are in high demand, having your wedding will likely be cheaper than having it at home, even after accounting for airfare, hotel expenses, and planning trips.

The cost of travel for you and your immediate family members, as well as the cost of importing necessary vendors and decorations, as well as the cost of welcome gifts for guests, are all things to consider when planning a wedding in a far-flung location. Keep in mind that if you decide to fly in certain vendors, you'll also be responsible for their lodging and transportation costs. It's important to create a budget that takes these additional expenses into account.

Research Local Marriage Requirements

Getting married in another country presents unique legal challenges. Many countries have what is called a residency requirement, which states that you must have lived in the country for a certain amount of time prior to your ceremony. This is typically just a few days, but it can go on for a while if necessary.

If it will be extremely difficult to do so at your desired destination and have it recognised legally, you may want to consider making it official before you depart. In this way, not only will your guests be present on your wedding day, but they will also be able to see that it is the real deal.

Get Help

Beware, control freaks: if you want to have a wedding in a faraway place, you'll have to put at least some of the planning in the hands of others. If there is a language barrier, a wedding specialist at the resort can help the couple find and book local vendors, handle logistics, and put out any fires that may arise in the weeks leading up to the big day. A coordinator can also be your behind-the-scenes point person at the destination, making gift bags, greeting guests at the airport, organising fun activities for everyone to enjoy, verifying special requests, and making sure everyone gets where they need to be on time.

A local planner with ties to your venue is usually your best bet, as they can act as your eyes and ears on the ground when you can't be there yourself. If a planner from your home country is what you're after, though, just make sure they've handled weddings in your location before, and be prepared to foot the bill for travel expenses related to meetings and the big day itself. Check out our post on Who Pays for What in the Wedding Budget.

Be Patient

Don't constantly check your watch. Don't mistake a vendor's apparent lack of urgency for incompetence; after all, many tropical islands operate on island time. Keep from trying to control everything from afar. Instead, rely on your vendors to do their thing and check in with them at regular intervals.

Vet Vendors Carefully

Though online portfolios and reference checks can help you find reliable vendors, nothing is more important than feeling at ease when working with them. You're going to be putting a lot of faith in their abilities, as you'll be leaving a lot to them. As a result, it is highly recommended that you take at least one trip for planning purposes and visit possible suppliers. If you have no choice but to hire your vendors blind, at least try to arrange a video chat with them beforehand so you can get a feel for their demeanour and personality.

In addition to assisting you in finding the best vendors, a wedding planner can possibly interview and meet with them on your behalf. Alternatively, you could hire professionals from your home country to take care of the wedding's photography, hair and makeup, and design (lighting, flowers), and even supervise the local vendors in order to avoid any misunderstandings. Keep in mind that you'll be responsible for their lodging and transportation costs.

Make Guests Feel Welcome

Your loved ones want to travel from far and wide to be a part of your big day, and a wedding website will make it simple for them to find all the information they need in one place, such as group rates for airfare and hotel rooms, directions to and from the airport, fun things to do in the area, and a schedule of events for the entire weekend, including the rehearsal dinner, welcome party, and Sunday brunch. Provide them with welcome bags stocked with sunscreen, water, and bug spray when they check in.

Dress the Part

When planning your wedding attire and the appropriate level of formality for each event, remember to take the weather into account. It's polite to warn guests about footwear if the ceremony will be held on the sand, as a satin ball gown or wool suit will make you sweat like crazy in the tropical heat and humidity.

Consider the Elements

When arranging a wedding at a remote location, it's crucial to prepare for the unexpected. Discuss lighting options with your event planner or venue. When the sun goes down, you'll need a plan B if your reception is outside. You could hang up some market lights or light a tonne of candles for a more intimate atmosphere.

Even though the sound of the waves is soothing, your guests will be more interested in hearing your vows. Think about using wireless lapel mics and make sure the DJ or band has enough gear to keep the party going all night. If you're having an outdoor ceremony on the beach, consider providing your guests with flip-flops, and if it rains in the late afternoon, make sure they have umbrellas.

Be Decisive

You'll have to be twice as prepared as a local couple would be and think through every detail in advance, as you likely won't have much time to decide anything, especially if you can only make one or two trips to the area for research.

Do your homework, make your appointments, and conduct any preliminary meetings via email or phone so that the time spent together in person can be dedicated to more important matters, like tasting the cake. Planning will go more quickly and with less stress if you don't let the distance get in the way of your vision.

When Should You Send Out Your Save the Dates for Your Destination Wedding?

Sending out "save the dates" 10 to 12 months in advance will give guests plenty of time to save up for travel and accommodations if your destination wedding is scheduled for the busy wedding season. Since the cost of airfare fluctuates frequently, it's best to give your guests as much notice as possible so they can choose the date that best suits them. Although save the dates aren't required for local nuptials, they are essential for destination weddings where guests may need to start making preparations well in advance to be able to attend.

Setting the date for sending out destination wedding invitations is a crucial first step. Invitations for a destination wedding should be sent out four to five months before the big day. Thanks to the save the dates you sent out in advance, your guests won't be too taken aback by the news that your wedding will be held in another country when they receive their formal invitations. If you can't fit all the information on the invitation, be sure to include a link to your wedding website in the wording.

It can be very intimidating to organise a wedding that will take place in another city. So, where do you even begin? Is it really worth it to have to coordinate with an event venue that is several thousand miles away, figure out airports to fly into, find suitable accommodations, and possibly communicate in multiple languages? Ultimately, the answers to these questions depend on how much you value the chance to make a truly unforgettable memory. We hope that this post on planning a wedding in a faraway location will help you immensely.

It's encouraging to know that weddings at exotic locations are increasingly common and affordable. Though it might seem like more trouble to plan a wedding in another country, there are many advantages to having a destination wedding. It may come as a surprise, but weddings at exotic locations are frequently less expensive than those held closer to home. Depending on the specifics of your ceremony, this cost could be higher or lower. You can save money and still have a beautiful, personal wedding if you invite only very close family and friends.

FAQs About Destination Wedding

No, a destination wedding is not objectively selfish. A couple has the right to choose when and where they would like to be married. However, it is deemed selfish to shame guests or to make them feel bad for not being able to afford to attend one's destination wedding.

​Most often, destination wedding guests will remain on-site for a few days to participate in all of the wedding activities and the big day itself. Some may decide to either stay a few more days or head to a different nearby hotel to have their mini vacation, so this works out perfectly for everyone!

Yes, you read that right—CHEAPER! Destination weddings aren't just for those with big money. 1 in 4 brides have a destination wedding and pay for it themselves! The average cost of a destination wedding is $20,000, far less than the national average for traditional weddings.

The average time that couples plan their destination wedding is around a year and a half, with wedding planners claiming that anytime before two years is best to get a head start on organizing your special day abroad.

Having a destination wedding miles away from home means you're in for a much more intimate ceremony and can enjoy a two-for-one wedding and honeymoon. However, planning such an event is no easy feat.

Conclusion

Destination weddings are difficult in general, but those in far-flung places add another layer of complexity. However, if you know what you're doing, you can plan a trip that your guests will never forget. We have compiled a short list of considerations to help you narrow down potential locations for your destination wedding. It's irrational to spend a lot of money on a ceremony, hotel, and resort without checking them out first. Most people travel at certain times of year because that's when the best weather is at the places they want to visit.

Traveling during the off-season is a great way to save money on lodging for you and your guests. You can move on to the next stage of planning once you have a budget in place. The stress of organising a wedding in a foreign country can be lessened by hiring a local wedding planner. Expenses can be reduced by scaling back on necessities like food and drink, as well as the size of the venue. Make at least one trip, and preferably two or three.

A wedding at an exotic location may end up costing less than a local ceremony and reception. Costs will include getting you and your immediate family there, as well as bringing in any vendors or decorations you might want. A coordinator can act as your unofficial host once you arrive. When you can't be physically present, they can serve as your ears and eyes on the ground. The resort has a specialist who can help the couple locate and book local vendors, even if they don't speak the language.

To ensure that your guests have easy access to all the pertinent details, consider creating a wedding website. You should plan ahead for everything twice as much as a normal couple would. Be accommodating to your guests' needs, and keep the weather in mind. When Is the Best Time to Send Out Save the Date Invitations for a Destination Wedding? Four to five months before the ceremony, invitations should be mailed out for a destination wedding.

If you don't let physical distance get in the way of your planning, you'll be able to get things done more quickly and with less stress. A wedding in a far-flung locale requires a different approach than one in a more familiar setting. Destination weddings have become increasingly popular because of the many benefits they offer, including lower costs than traditional weddings. The rising popularity and accessibility of destination weddings as a viable option for the majority of couples is heartening.

Content Summary

  • Every couple organising a destination wedding must think about the ceremony's timing, the local climate, and the guests' travel schedules.
  • Seeing the site in person before diving into wedding preparations can help alleviate some of the stress associated with a destination wedding.
  • Learn the necessary passport and visa information.
  • Keep them apprised of the situation in plenty of advance notice.
  • Get a feel for the state of travel advisories and precautions.
  • How will the climate be during the time of year that you've chosen for your wedding?
  • You can save money on lodging for both you and your guests by travelling during the shoulder seasons.
  • Know your financial limits before you start looking for a location and making decorations.
  • Once you have a set budget, you can move on to the next step in the planning process.
  • The first major choice you'll have to make is whether or not to hire a wedding planner to help you with the logistics.
  • You can save money on the basics like food and drink and on the size of the venue because your guest list will be smaller than it would be if you held the wedding in your hometown.
  • A wedding's budget may be strained if the couple opts for a hotspot location.
  • The first trip should be spent scouting and booking local vendors like caterers, florists, and photographers, as well as the main locations for the ceremony and reception.
  • The cost of travel for you and your immediate family members, as well as the cost of importing necessary vendors and decorations, as well as the cost of welcome gifts for guests, are all things to consider when planning a wedding in a far-flung location.
  • It's important to create a budget that takes these additional expenses into account.
  • Beware, control freaks: if you want to have a wedding in a faraway place, you'll have to put at least some of the planning in the hands of others.
  • If there is a language barrier, a wedding specialist at the resort can help the couple find and book local vendors, handle logistics, and put out any fires that may arise in the weeks leading up to the big day.
  • A local planner with ties to your venue is usually your best bet, as they can act as your eyes and ears on the ground when you can't be there yourself.
  • Instead, rely on your vendors to do their thing and check in with them at regular intervals.
  • Alternatively, you could hire professionals from your home country to take care of the wedding's photography, hair and makeup, and design, and even supervise the local vendors in order to avoid any misunderstandings.
  • When planning your wedding attire and the appropriate level of formality for each event, remember to take the weather into account.
  • When arranging a wedding at a remote location, it's crucial to prepare for the unexpected.
  • Discuss lighting options with your event planner or venue.
  • Setting the date for sending out destination wedding invitations is a crucial first step.
  • Invitations for a destination wedding should be sent out four to five months before the big day.
  • If you can't fit all the information on the invitation, be sure to include a link to your wedding website in the wording.
  • We hope that this post on planning a wedding in a faraway location will help you immensely.
  • It's encouraging to know that weddings at exotic locations are increasingly common and affordable.
  • Though it might seem like more trouble to plan a wedding in another country, there are many advantages to having a destination wedding.
  • It may come as a surprise, but weddings at exotic locations are frequently less expensive than those held closer to home.

 

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