Destination weddings are extremely popular with couples seeking to create unique non-traditional ceremony. Couples have their choice of beautiful cities, resorts, beaches, canyons, mountains, waterways, and deserts. Aside from location, there are still many other details to attend to. Below are a few suggestions to consider when planning a destination wedding.
Choosing A Location: Couples should choose a location that means something to them. This could be the beach where they met, the ski resort where he proposed, a resort featured in a favorite movie, or a covered bridge where their parents grew up. An emotional attachment adds to the significance of the event and can be incorporated into the ceremony and reception thereby creating lasting memories that touch you and your guests.
Visit The Location In Advance: This is perhaps the most important step, yet the most overlooked. By visiting the site, couples get a visual of the space during the planning process. It could be disastrous to arrive the week of the event only to discover the pictures received were not very accurate. Inquire with sales staff about a familiarity trip. Most resorts encourage site visits prior to booking and many offer discounted or complimentary accommodations.
Décor: Remember that location can be part of the décor. This is another great argument for a pre-event visit. Incorporating local themes can be very beautiful as well as timesaving and cost-effective, particularly if the couple is on a budget. For example, if the resort is on lush, tropical grounds perhaps the indigenous flowers and plants can line a natural aisle or frame the perfect spot to exchange vows.
Travel Consideration: Couples who invite guests to their destination wedding must be considerate of their guests. Springing a destination wedding on guests at the last minute may lead to a lower attendance than hoped or guests who feel financially strapped being there. Give friends and family plenty of time to plan their trip and, if possible, offer tips and resources that will assist them with planning. In many cases resorts, hotels, and even airlines will offer special group rates for guests. Be sure to pass that information along to loved ones in your ‘Save The Date’ notice.
Use Local Flowers: It doesn’t get better than this. Chances are the destination location a couple has chosen is rich with local color. Take advantage of the local flowers and vendors to save on shipping. This will cut costs and add local flare to the event. For example, in Hawaii stick to the large assortment of tropical varieties and in Puerto Vallarta – definitely go for roses.
Hire A Wedding Coordinator: When at all possible, hire a wedding coordinator to manage the destination wedding. An expert coordinator is an asset for any wedding and particularly helpful for an out of town event. There are so many little details that go into planning a destination wedding that a couple may not realize and will likely not want to deal with on their wedding day. These details include gift bags at guest arrival, whether the property provides tables and linens in the sizes needed, presence of other hotel guests in or around the ceremony, bar and catering budgets, etc. By all means, let a professional help!
Weddings are very personal events and they should reflect the love and spirit shared by the bride and groom. Take the time to work together, plan wisely, be considerate of guest travel, and consult experts. Follow these simple steps and a destination wedding can be gorgeous, affordable, and manageable.