Top Planning Tips for a Destination Wedding

Photo Credit:  Jessica Claire Photography

 

More couples today are turning to destination weddings from beach locations stateside to international locations such as Riviera Maya, Punta Cana, Montego Bay.  The majority of couples who choose destination weddings are doing so to find extra unique opportunities for themselves and their guests.  While many people assume the average duration is equivalent to a long weekend, most destination weddings average six days.

When choosing a venue it is important to keep your guests in mind.  Will the destination be affordable for guests to fly to and are there multiple hotel options at different price points.   Because of the extra expense of a destination wedding, you will find that your guest list will filter down to your core group of friends and family.

Most importantly it is important that you invest time and money to visit in person early in the planning process.   You will want to schedule venue site visits, do taste testings, and plan layouts and floor plans.  Depending on the size of your wedding, it may be easier to hire an event planner to help coordinate other vendors such as florists, photographers, DJs, etc.  And most importantly, if you are doing an international wedding in another county find out what the marriage license requirement are.  It might mean that you’ll have to tie the knot locally for it to be legal.

Know your destination and communicate information to your guests.  Share any special opportunities and travel ideas with them.   Communicate dress code and perhaps even send a basic vocabulary list in the local language.  Most important – have fun planning your special day.

The Destination Wedding Trend

hawaii-wedding

There has been an increase in what is known as destination weddings – those weddings held where neither the bride nor the groom lives, or necessarily has family there.  It has been estimated that one in ten weddings are destination weddings – a massive increase over the last decade.

Today’s couples marry later in life as compared to 15 or 20 years ago and they are often more well-traveled, plus they may want something more exotic. Top destinations for U.S. couples include:

  • Mexico – It’s close and couples love the warm, sunny weather, culture, coastlines and wide choice of accommodations.
  • Hawaii – No passport required and great almost any time of year.
  • The Caribbean – Fine boutique hotels and price competitive all-inclusives attract many couples.

longdresstrainNo matter which destination you choose, using a reputable Destination Wedding Specialist who knows all of the ins and outs of the particular resorts you have chosen will be invaluable.  Plus most will be able to get you a better deal and more extras than you can by yourself – and it’s a lot less stress.

Check the “travel” category of our vendor listings for companies that you may wish to consider.  Something I learned just recently, Ambassador Travel, in Belleville has a Honeymoon Registry.   With so many couples now having most of the basics they need for daily life, contributing to a Honeymoon Registry is a nice gift that all couples can enjoy together.