Many couples dream of having a destination wedding. Whether it is a mountain top in New Zealand, a beach in Bermuda or a simple park at upstate New York, destination weddings do require a little more planning than “regular” weddings. In order to effectively plan and execute your dream destination wedding while staying within your budget and refusing to sacrifice quality, consider the following advice:
Destination Wedding Benefits
o The average wedding cost for most couples is approximately $50,000. Destination weddings held at a reasonable place (no private islands) typically cost between $15,000 and $20,000, depending on how many guests you invite! Having a destination wedding can help you have a luxury wedding on a budget.
o You get more “bang for your buck” since a destination wedding can serve as a fantasy getaway vacation for you and your guests! It makes the entire wedding experience that much more enjoyable.
Planning Your Destination Wedding
Is a Destination wedding right for you? Before launching your grand plan, consider if a destination wedding is right for you.
Choose the Perfect Destination
Imagine your wedding day; do you see you see it on a beach or a park? Is it warm or cold? Choosing the perfect destination can be a challenge, consider your budget as part of your decision making as well. Destination weddings are definitely within reach for those on a budget. The USD currency is strong against emerging market types in countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Chile, meaning the U.S. dollar is worth more in these countries. Consider having a destination wedding in one of these countries to take advantage of the exchange rate benefits. For example, $1 USD equals 13 pesos. Therefore, if flower arrangements cost 1000 pesos, you would only be spending about $77 USD.
Set the Date
Although most weddings take place in the summer months, destination weddings in tropical locations can be great during just about any month. Plus, booking a wedding “off season” may tremendously save on costs. Consider choosing a non-summer date that is also accessible for your friends and family. Once you set the date, make sure to give guests at least four to six months notice for the big day, so they can give proper notice to take off work or make other arrangements.
Make All Guest Arrangements
If you choose to have a destination wedding, it is up to you and your spouse-to-be to book flights and hotel accommodations for your guests. You must also decide whether it is in your budget to pay all expenses for your guests, or if they will pay the flight and hotel fees themselves. Have the funding to pay for your guests? Consider booking everything at once to get a group rate or discount. If you have a limited budget, consider giving guests a small token to show how much you appreciate their attendance, for example, your destination’s famous chocolates or delicious coffee. Also, have an itinerary of wedding events for each guest and suggest different sights to see or places to visit on their down time.
Seek Help, If Needed
A lot of brides who wish to have a destination wedding simply do not have the time to plan all of its details. Hiring a wedding consultant/coordinator may be the perfect remedy for a stress overload. He or she can research all aspects of the wedding and assist in the planning.
Use Local Vendors
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to get things from Point A to Point B, especially if Point B is halfway across the world. Use local florists, caterers, hairdressers, etc. to allow your big day to run much more smoothly.
Have a Back-Up Plan
As much as you want the sun shining and the birds chirping on your big day, you never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve. Therefore, always have a Plan B. Planning on getting married on a beach? Make sure there is an indoor venue nearby and book the space in case the weather does not cooperate.