Planning a wedding abroad opens up some great creative possibilities the average bride can’t pull off , and some unique issues and challenges they never face. Your destination wedding planning consists of a ceremony, reception, vacations for you and your guests, as well as your honeymoon – all in one!
You’re doing it long distance, without local contacts and in some cases a language barrier. Just check out all the great tips, ideas and advice found in this section and you too can plan an amazing celebration that looks like a million bucks, without all the stress.
Do a site visit!
I start with this tip because it can not only eliminate 99% of your destination wedding planning concerns but also aid with the other tips on this list!
Excite your guests
You’re asking friends/family to make a significant commitment of their time and money. This is their vacation too, so you should excite them about the trip.
Choose a fun, affordable location that is a relatively short flight from home. But most importantly, set the tone from the moment save-the-dates go out. By the time they get formal invitations in the mail, they know the celebration will be unlike anything they’d ever witnessed and they get excited to be a part of it.
Do it all from home
After all the destination wedding planning, this should be a vacation for you too. Complete as many tasks as possible while you’re still home so that when you arrive at your location, you can relax instead of running errands.
Almost everything can be done from home via e-mail or phone. Make sure you have all the details finalized and in writing before you leave.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Destination wedding planning requires giving up a lot of control to someone in another country who might not even be fluent in your language.
You will not be able to micro-manage every single aspect the way you would if you were tying the knot in your hometown. Don’t get so caught up in tiny details that you don’t enjoy the experience.
Plan Another Event
You shouldn’t over-plan for your guests.
You’ve probably chosen a really nice location and you should let your guests enjoy their vacation too! Planning too many events won’t leave them any free time to explore and do their own thing.
That being said, you should arrange at least one event (welcome cocktails or rehearsal dinner) prior to the big day as a way to thank your guests for making the trip.
It’s also a great opportunity for them to get to know each other. (You might even be able to negotiate this for free as part of your group reservation)
Send Invitations Early
Invitations need to be mailed much earlier than a traditional hometown marriage. You have to give your guests plenty of time to request time off from work, save money, snag the best airfares, arrange for babysitting, etc… Send them out at least 2-3 months ahead of time. More on when to mail your invitations. (Ask us about invites! We have a specialist!)
Thank Your Guests
As your friends and family arrive, it’s important to show them how much you appreciate them traveling the distance to be a part of your big day. Plan a welcome party or dinner, greet them with a welcome bag full of goodies like flip flops, snacks, an area map and water bottles. Another easy and inexpensive idea is to include a heartfelt thank you note in your program.
It’s your big day so by all means, if you’ve always dreamed of a velvet, Cinderella ball gown dress , go for it.
But if you want to be comfortable, keep in mind your location’s climate when choosing a dress. You can go as elegant or casual as you want, but choose lighter fabrics like chiffon, organza, crepe, silk georgette or tulle.
Remember The Honeymoon
After spending days with a group of people, I can almost guarantee that you and your new spouse will be craving some alone time.
The beauty of destination wedding planning is that you can combine it with your honeymoon. Instead of spending time and money jetting off to a whole other country, consider having your WeddingMoon in the same place.
After you tie the knot, ditch your guests and go to another resort or town where it’s just the two of you.
Destination wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming if you do it properly and keep these tips in mind. Good luck and have fun! Oh and for some inspiration of beautiful places to visit, go here!