In recent years, destination weddings have become the eye-catching fancy of many couples. This new trend has dominated the market as they are relatively cost-effective compared to regular weddings. A destination wedding incites adventure unlike the conventional weddings; which is held in the hometown of the bride (in most cases) or the groom or both (if they’re lucky to be from the same hometown).
A destination wedding is done outside of these locations. Commonly referred to as a long-distance, travel or vacation wedding; it involves leaving the couple’s hometown to an adventurous, scenic or historic environment to make the wedding happen.
Popular locations for destination weddings include serene environments like the Bahamas, somewhere off the coast of Fiji or islands in the Philippines. Most times, destination weddings serve a dual purpose of a vacation wedding and a honeymoon.
Here, we outline five things for you to consider while planning your destination wedding:
Of course! Can there be a destination wedding without an actual destination? Definitely not. It is important to decide early on the proposed location of your wedding. Are you looking to have a tropical experience or do you want your wedding to have a historic feel to it? Either way, this will help you decide whether the Bahamas is the right choice for your destination wedding or Vegas.
Also, in choosing a location, it is important to consider the safety and comfort of your guests. Does the location have enough hotels to accommodate your guests? Are there any recent civil unrest or travelling bans to the location? Would your guests feel safe regardless of their religious beliefs, gender or sexual preference? You don’t want a location that will make any of your guests feel uncomfortable. Consider a location that is all-encompassing and accommodating.
When it comes to weddings, you cannot be over-prepared. After deciding when and where, you need to find the right vendors to help you pull off your dream destination wedding.
The difference between a stress free wedding and a disorganized one is your choice of wedding planner and vendors. You can either use a local wedding planner who has a working knowledge of your wedding destination or select one based in the wedding location.
It is advisable to visit the location ahead of time – the first time a few months before the wedding, then a few weeks or days to the wedding. This allows you to meet and hire the best vendors and also plan additional events to make the wedding experience worthwhile and fun.
You also get the chance to study and understand the environment, get the best hotel reservations for your guests, ask the locals questions, check out their marriage requirements and customs, and most importantly, get a good venue.
The Time Of The Year
Another important factor to consider when planning a destination wedding is the time of the year. Factors such as the schedule and availability of your guests are also to be considered. Also, ensure that you’re up-to-date with the seasonal changes and weather forecasts of your intended destination, as you won’t want uncooperative weather to ruin your big day.
In considering the time of the year, fluctuations in tourism are also important. Some times of the year, known as the High Season, are known for expensive booking rates and congested sights and venues due to the influx of people during these periods. You might consider planning your wedding during a low season period; when it is possible to have the entire location to yourself.
The Number Of Guests
One of the benefits of a destination wedding is that it helps you cut down your guest list. However, this creates the dilemma of who to invite to your wedding. You don’t want to offend that great aunt of yours, do you? It is important to create a guest list for your wedding. Questions like who you want at your wedding and who you don’t need to be answered.
This enables you to properly plan the event, choice of venue, souvenirs, food and lodging for the guests. This will also enable you to help the guests with their travelling process- consider it a gesture.
While it is true that destination weddings are cost-effective, it is important to work with a budget. How much do you intend to spend? What are the costs you are incurring in the planning process?
A budget will help you prepare better, it will also help you plan for the unforeseen circumstances that might arise during the wedding. It is better to be over-prepared than be caught off-guard.
Make sure that the destination of your choice is budget-friendly, not just to you, to your guests as well. Plan with your guests in mind.
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