Getting married in a white dress in front of your loved ones is the stuff dreams are made of…and even more so if it’s at a far-off romantic location of your choice. From tropical beaches to European castles, destination weddings are popular for good reason. If you’re looking to plan a destination wedding, here are a few things you will need to consider.
Plan in Advance
The first thing you’ll need to do is choose a location and book a venue. If guests will need to travel, especially by air, you will want to give them as much of an advanced notice as possible. Keeping your guests in mind, choose a practical location that isn’t too expensive or difficult to get to. One way to research this is to check flights from the departing city most of your guests will fly from—look for affordability and number of available connections. Once you’ve selected your destination of choice, check local weather patterns and avoid scheduling during a local holiday or event, as this will drive up prices and may limit services. You will also want to research the local legal requirements for marriage. Once your venue is booked and a block of rooms for your guests reserved, send out save the date cards as soon as possible.
Take Care of Your Guests
In addition to giving your guests as much notice as possible, it’s important to make their efforts to attend feel appreciated. After all, they will have to take vacation time off of work, pay for flights, make travel and pet arrangements, etc. Create a packet detailing all of the travel arrangements, contact information, and some well researched recommendations for local activities, places to eat, or must-see sights. If your guests are flying out for your wedding, it’s considerate to arrange and provide transportation from the airport to the venue.
Hire a Professional
A local wedding planner is key to making a destination wedding possible. She can help with vendor selection, language barriers, local knowledge, logistics, and more. Planning a wedding from miles away can be difficult to manage so this assistance will be well worth the money. If you’re a little weary of having your hair styled by a new hair stylist that you haven’t used before, choose a simple style that’s hard to get wrong. Long, loose waves are an easy to style option and can be kicked up a notch with the addition of accessories such as a flower garland hairpiece that your florist can deliver ahead of time. This carefree look would be especially pretty if your destination is a beach wedding. Hair extensions can add length, volume, and thickness—the clip-in technology is so easy to use that you could even do your hair yourself in no time at all. Leverage your wedding planner’s local knowledge to find a suitable make-up artist or enlist the help of one of your more artistic friends ahead of time. Many venues, especially resorts, offer their own wedding planners and list of vendors which can simplify things even more.
My name is Christopher Guest and I write for The Lauren Ashtyn Collection.