10 DESTINATION WEDDING PLANNING TIPS!
Our wedding planning tips for a successful and Stress free Destination Wedding anywhere!
If you are planning or thinking about planning a destination wedding then this article is just for you!
Knowing what’s involved and what to expect is crucial to considering, planning and hosting an amazing destination wedding experience. If you have the right tools, which I will provide for you and know what to expect you are sure to have the most amazing destination wedding ever! The most important consideration in creating this article is giving you the information you’ll need to save a lot of money, time and stress! Read the article and absorb the information, invaluable tips and unique ideas that will make your destination wedding journey to “I do” a lot smoother, exciting and fun!
10 Tips for Successful Destination Wedding Planning
Planning a destination wedding presents lots of great creative possibilities many brides can’t pull off, along with unique considerations and complications they won’t ever face either. A typical destination wedding consists of a ceremony, reception, and essentially vacations for you and your guests, as well as a honeymoon – all in one! Keep in mind, you'll be planning your destination wedding from a distance without any local help. Are you already thinking you'll be stress out? Don’t worry! Take in all the tips, ideas and advice I am giving you and you'll plan the most amazing destination wedding that looks like a million dollar wedding, yet without all the stress!!!!!!!!
1. Schedule a site visit!
This tip is the foundation for all your destination wedding planning. There will be a lot of moving parts to putting together an amazing destination wedding, but you'll eliminate 99% of your destination wedding planning concerns right here along with the other 8 pieces of advice laid out in this article!
2. Get your family and guests excited!
You’ll be asking your friends and family to make a considerable commitment of time and money to attend your destination wedding. Keep in mind this will be their vacation as well, so make sure you excite them about the trip they will be taking to attend your wedding. You know your friends and family best and may have an idea about their general financial situation along with their ability to travel. Make an effort to chose a fun, affordable location that isn't an extremely long flight or complicated to get to from home.
A wedding in Bali would be spectacular, but for average people living in South Florida, as an example, some people aren't going be jumping for joy to get on a 22 hour flight, nor be able to afford $2400 for round trip airfare and thousands more on accommodations.
Be sure to set the tone for your destination wedding from the moment save-the-dates get mailed out.
TIP: You may even want to send out save the dates out even earlier than typical for a local wedding, to allow family and friends to make arrangements with work and save extra money!
By the time your family and friends receive your formal invitations in the mail, they'll already know where your destination wedding will be taking place, have made arrangements with work/obligations, set aside extra savings and time to update passports. They will also be super excited to be a part of your destination wedding, which will be unlike any other wedding they may have ever experienced!
3. Plan your destination wedding from home!
When you have completed your destination wedding planning, remember it’s also your vacation as well. Get as much as you can done from home, so when you arrive at your destination wedding location, you can relax and enjoy your time there instead of running errands.Just about every aspect of planning your destination wedding can be done from home via e-mail, phone and Skype. Be certain you have everything covered and in writing from every vendor.
I happen to use Skype quite a bit when working with brides who are looking to book me for their wedding photography throughout the United States, South America and Europe. It's a great way to put a face to a voice and become familiar with one another. Using Skype makes meeting and working with vendors a lot more personal, especially when so much can be lost in translation, so to say when exchanging emails and texts. Another tool you might be able to use FaceTime and an assortment of video conferencing apps available cell phone and tablets.
4. Don’t let the small details get the best of you!
A destination wedding requires giving up a lot of control and trust to someone in another country or state who may not speak your language. You wont be able to micro-manage every single aspect of your destination wedding the way you would, if you hosted a local wedding close to home.
Do your best to not get stressed about tiny or insignificant details that ultimately won’t effect how much you'll enjoy your overall destination wedding experience.
5. Plan Another Event
This piece of advice I am going to give you might seem very contradictory to what most people will think, but hang in there. Don’t over-plan activities for your family and guests. By now you have chosen a beautiful location and you should keep in mind your destination wedding is still your family and friends vacation. Planning too many events of activities won’t allow your family and guests any free time to explore and do things they might be interested in doing.
TIP: What I do advise, is arranging at least one activity like welcome cocktails or rehearsal dinner prior to the big wedding day to thank your guests for making the trip to attend your destination wedding.
This is also a great time for family and guests to have a little time getting to know each other. Arranging a welcome cocktail or a rehearsal dinner might also be something you can negotiate as a group reservation.
7. Get your save the dates and invitations out early!
I previously mentioned this in #2. Its imperative to make sure you send out save the dates and invitations out early. Your destination wedding isn't going to be held near your home. You have to give your family and guests a little extra time to get time off from work, save money, find reasonable airfares, arrange for babysitting, get or renew passports, etc… Send them out at least 3-5 months ahead of time.
8. Thank Your Destination Wedding Guests
It’s important to show your family and guests how much you appreciate them traveling such a great distance to be a part of your big destination wedding day. Take the time to arrange a welcome party or dinner. Greeting your family and guests with a welcome bag full of special items that represent your destination wedding like flip flops, snacks, an area map and water bottles will make them even happier they attended.A simple sweet and thoughtful thank you note in your program or in a welcome bag will also show them how much you appreciate their attendance.
9. Dress Appropriately on your Destination Wedding
It’s your big destination wedding day so go for it, if you’ve always dreamed of a velvet sequined Cinderella ball gown! Yet consider the time of year and climate where you'll be hosting your destination wedding!
A wedding gown you would wear on a late fall New York City wedding day, might be unbearable during a late spring Puerto Rico destination wedding. You can go as elegant or casual as you want, but choose fabrics and wedding gowns appropriate for the climate and time of year for the location of your destination wedding.
You might even consider two dresses, one for the ceremony and photos and another dress that is more comfortable for the reception.
10. Don’t forget your Honeymoon!
After spending several days with family, friends and guests, I can guarantee that you and your new spouse will crave some alone time. The best part of having a destination wedding is combining it with your honeymoon. Rather than spending time and money going off to a whole other country, having your honeymoon in the same place.
After you have your wedding and tie the knot, head to another resort or town, where it’ll just the two of you. Most times going to a new resort or town will feel like worlds apart even though your in the same place.
Planning a destination wedding doesn’t have to be a stressful event or become overwhelming if you take the time to do it properly and keep my destination wedding planning tips in mind.
About Couture Bridal Photography:
Alfredo Valentine is the owner and principal wedding photographer of Couture Bridal Photography. Alfredo Valentine has over 20 years of professional photography experience, training and specializes in wedding photography.
Rated among the top wedding photographers in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding South Florida, Couture Bridal Photography is the most sought after wedding photography studio in Florida and United States for destination weddings.
Couture Bridal Photography is also one of the top rated destination wedding photography studios for couples throughout the United States planning destination weddings within the United States, the Caribbean, South America and Europe.