A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE: HOW TO PLAN YOUR DESTINATION WEDDING
Congratulations on deciding to celebrate your love with a destination wedding! It's time to set out a plan and dive deeper into how to make your dream event come true from far away. Don't worry; We are here for you!
First and foremost, you need to gain an understanding of the factors you will have to consider. I'll provide more information soon, but having an outline is a great place to start if you want to move forward. This should give you plenty of questions to think about as you begin conceptualizing what kind of destination beach resort wedding you want.
When it comes to budgeting, remember there's more than just the cost of the wedding - your guests' travel expenses must be taken into account too. If, say, a St Lucia wedding was always your dream, be mindful of the amount flights might cost people coming from different US cities (upwards of $1000-1800 per ticket!).
The Legality of Your Nuptials
Legal vs. symbolic ceremonies are also something you'll want to discuss, depending on your situation. Different destinations come with different prerequisites and levels of legality that need to be considered - such as required witnesses or translations, wait times, and even residency requirements that can range from a few months prior up to 24 hours before the ceremony itself. It's worth noting that it could take up to 6 months for the country in question to issue your legal marriage certificate after the big day. Furthermore, remember no records will be kept at your local courthouse, so if ever needed, any certified copies must come from abroad.
Selecting Your Venue:
Now for selecting the perfect destination! Are luxuries at an all-inclusive resort what tickles your fancy? Is a beautiful sunset essential in addition to crystal clear waters? Do you wish for options like shopping nearby or adventure activities like zip lining through jungles or exploring waterfalls? These questions will help determine where's best to seal the deal while saying 'I do' - whether in a gazebo on high ground or right there on the sand next to an ocean wave.
But before setting anything in stone, check out entry requirements depending on yourself and/or your guest's citizenship; some countries won't allow visitors with certain criminal convictions (including DUI) or any legal issues due to past tax matters.
Don't forget about weather patterns and ecological events specific places can have throughout certain times of the year: if planning for July, Costa Rica, for example - this is their rainy season, so bear that in mind; turtles nesting & hatching on beaches can mean restricted access due environmental laws, and thus those boho beach receptions with twinkling fairy lights may become unviable options despite already paying deposits elsewhere.
If you're dreaming of a tropical getaway, it's best to avoid certain areas of the Caribbean during months when Sargassum Seaweed is particularly strong. Mother Nature is beautiful, but it can be quite unpleasant when that beauty washes up on shores in the form of smelly brown piles. While there's no guarantee this won't happen at any time, in general, it's much less likely during certain months - thus reducing your risk of a ruined beachside experience.
Will Children Be Invited?
It is totally okay to say no to inviting children to your destination wedding. Many guests may choose not to bring their kids anyhow, so they can enjoy the occasion without worrying about watching them or having to go to bed early. If you really want your nieces and nephews to be part of the big day, then make sure you choose a family-friendly resort that will keep them entertained.
You may also consider looking for resorts that offer an adults-only area within the family-friendly property. This way, guests can still enjoy having kids around whilst also taking advantage of some adult-only zones only steps away from the main family areas.
Consider Your Guests' Ages and Health
When choosing accommodation for your destination wedding, it's vital to consider if anyone in your party has special needs, major dietary restrictions, or accessibility issues. For example, does the terrace where you'd like to host your cocktail hour have an elevator so elderly relatives don't have to be carried up? Make sure all amenities available meet the needs of everyone in attendance so everyone can fully enjoy the event.
Travel Time and Connections If there are a lot of young children or elderly relatives traveling with you, opt for a short flight or limited connections so they're not left feeling exhausted by travel time alone. Also, think about whether anyone requires special assistance when flying or is unable to take long distances trips - in such cases, it might be best to pick somewhere easy and convenient so guests don't need extra days off work just for travel and aren't deterred from coming at all due to these limitations.
Distance from Airport for Transportation
When planning a destination wedding, take into consideration the distance between the airport and the resort. If you are bringing children or an elderly family member with you, it is best to choose a resort located close to the airport. This will help ensure that your guests stay comfortable and do not get too tired during their journey.
Once you have chosen the ideal location for your destination wedding, consider how many people will be in attendance. Make sure there is enough room to accommodate all of your guests at your chosen resort before making a reservation. Additionally, check if any other large groups may be visiting during the same week, as this could create a space shortage.
What type of Resort
Think about what type of resort would fit best with your group size and needs. Larger resorts may provide more activities but can often feel overwhelming and impersonal; meanwhile, smaller hotels can be more relaxed but offer fewer amenities. Party-focused resorts may not be suitable for everyone, so decide if nightlife is necessary for your event or if something more low-key would work. Also, determine whether an all-inclusive package would suit you better than a regular hotel booking.
Give plenty of notice when inviting guests to your destination wedding - friends and family need time to arrange childcare, ask permission from employers, and save money for the trip. In general, 11-13 months should be enough time to plan out a successful event. Plus, don't forget that bookings need to be confirmed well in advance, as communication overseas can sometimes take longer than expected!
Ready to begin the process?
Are you looking for the perfect destination or resort to tie the knot? Look no further! We have spent countless hours touring different resorts, meeting with wedding coordinators, and training on numerous destination weddings - all so we can make your journey easy. You don't have to worry about filtering out bad advice or too many options. Let us do the hard work for you, and together we will find the ideal wedding resort that fits your style, vision, and budget. Then, all you have to do is get back to having fun with wedding planning and creating an unforgettable event. Schedule a free consultation today and see how we can assist you in making this special day one that your friends and family will cherish forever!