If you have never been to a particular destination wedding location , or even if you have visited once or twice before, be sure to do a lot of research on it before you decide to have your wedding there. Think about the weather that is likely during the month that you are getting married. For example, a beach wedding in Florida may be absolutely perfect if you are getting married in the late fall or early spring. During the summer months, however, this state experiences rain, thunder and lightning nearly every afternoon, and it sometimes lasts for hours. This is the type of detail that you will not want to overlook. Aside from the weather, also consider whether the area you are going to has a high tourist season, when hotel rooms may be scarce and very expensive.
The earlier you can plan your destination wedding, the better deal you’ll probably get on the hotel. Many resorts will allow you to block out a number of rooms that will be available at a discount to your guests. You do have to consider that many of your friends and family might be unable to attend your faraway wedding, however. The best thing to do is to talk to people before making any definite plans. Find out how many of your guests think that they will realistically be able to attend. Be sure to let them know that it’s perfectly okay for them to say no, and that you won’t be upset, but that you are just looking for a tentative headcount. From there, you can book your resort and block out hotel rooms. Once you have a date firmly set, send out “save the date” cards as soon as possible so that people can make their own travel plans.
It can be stressful enough to plan a wedding in the town where you reside, and this is magnified when you’re planning a wedding from hundreds or thousands of miles away. Your resort should offer a wedding planner who will walk you through the finer points of planning, as well as any laws that you will need to follow regarding obtaining a marriage license. In some areas, for example, you’ll need blood tests, vaccination histories and other documentation before being allowed to get married. Your planner can also set you up with reputable photographers, florists and all of the other vendors that you will need. Looking for these on your own could results in you paying too much or even getting scammed, so trust the pros on this one.
If your guests are trekking to a foreign country to see you get hitched, it’s important to provide a few extra-special things for them to do in addition to attending your reception. A brunch the next morning or an invitation to dinner the night before the big day is a nice extra. If you have many invitees who had to decline your wedding invitation, consider having a party when you return to celebrate your wedding. One thing to keep in mind: Most bridal couples who plan destination weddings do not create gift registries nor expect gifts. If your guests are spending $1,000 or more to travel to a wedding, that is a gift in itself!