Destination weddings are so much fun, and they are more popular than ever. There are some things about planning a wedding in an exotic land that might be different than planning a wedding near your home. To get the most out of your destination wedding, try these simple tips:
- Book a site that also will make a dream honeymoon spot for you and your spouse. Having your wedding and honeymoon all in one place is called a “weddingmoon”, and many resorts will offer special packages if you choose to do this.
- Arrive at your destination a few days before the ceremony. This will give you time to check up on the details of your wedding, as well as allowing time for any travel delays or late luggage. Having a few extra days will help keep the stress to a minimum, so that you are relaxed and ready for your big day.
- Send out save the date cards well in advance of a destination wedding (6 months or more). Since everyone will be traveling, it will allow them plenty of time to schedule the days off from work, book the flights, and make hotel arrangements. If you have relatives or friends who you would like to invite, but that you believe will not be able to make the trip, go ahead and invite them anyway. It is always nice to be asked, and who knows, they might surprise you by coming.
- Dress appropriately for your wedding destination. If your wedding will be held on the beach at sunset, this could mean a romantic and flowing gown with handcrafted bridal jewelry. A simple dress always looks better on the beach than a big formal one, and the handcrafted bridal jewelry will give your ensemble a beautiful, yet relaxed flavor.
- Let go of elements that are not suitable for the site that you have chosen. This might mean having a cake with fondant frosting, even though you had your heart set on buttercream (which is notorious for melting in hot weather). It could mean that you take the planner’s advice and schedule your ceremony for the late afternoon instead of sunset because the area gets too buggy at dusk. Whatever it may be, accept that some of your pre-conceived ideas may not be feasible. That is okay, though, because a special destination will have many other wonderful things about it.
- Buy travel and event insurance if you are planning a tropical wedding during hurricane season.
- Don’t let the ladies in the straw market convince you (or worse, your groom!) to braid your hair the day before your wedding. Remember that you have to live with those pictures forever. If you feel like getting swept away in the island spirit, get a few braids the day after the wedding. (And grooms, just say no on any day, please!)
- Serve seasonal and local food, as recommended by your venue’s wedding coordinator. Part of the fun of going on a trip is exploring their culture. Don’t get hung up on what you think every reception must have, whether it is steak or pigs-in-a-blanket. Be open to trying the local delicacies.
- Be prepared to let go of some of the control of the wedding planning. Any time that you are planning a wedding by long distance, it is necessary to trust someone at your site to handle many of the details for you. If you surrender to the process, you may actually find preparing for your wedding to be fairly relaxing. The good news is that most resorts will have on-site coordinators, so you will know that you are in good hands.
There is a great spirit of celebration present at most destination weddings. Not only is it a joyous occasion, but everyone is also on vacation. The most important thing to remember is to relax and have fun on your special day.