Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about tying the knot on a sandy beach as the sun retreats into the glistening ocean? Or perhaps you’ve always envisioned starring in your own fairytale romance set in a castle fit for a Disney princess, surrounded by a supporting cast of your nearest and dearest. With a destination wedding, the possibilities are literally endless.
As special and romantic as the end product will inevitably be, unfortunately, this voyage of love doesn’t come without its complications. Planning a wedding on foreign shores adds a whole new chapter to your wedding planning checklist, with so many extra considerations to be made.
However, with a little extra research – and a lot of careful planning – you will be able to enjoy a foreign foray as you dive head-first into the start of a new love story. In this post, we run through three of the things you will need to prioritize when starting your wedding planning journey.
Create a Budget
Before you get too carried away planning all the exciting details of your destination wedding, it’s crucial to make finances a priority and create a budget. Budgeting is an essential aspect of any wedding planning process, but it becomes even more important for this unique style of ceremony.
There are lots of extra costs to factor in, including flights, transport around the area, and group activities. You may also find some extra unexpected expenses along the way, so it’s always best to allow for a little extra wiggle room in your budget.
There are lots of different things that can determine how far your budget goes, including the choice of destination, timings, guest list size and the type of vendors you want. Decide on what’s most important to you, whether that’s the venue or having as many people there as possible, and work your budget around these priorities.
And even if you’re working on a tight budget, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a destination wedding that’s just as special. By being flexible and willing to compromise in parts, you can keep your spending in check without losing sight of why you’re organizing a destination wedding in the first place.
Decide On a Destination
One of the first (and arguably the most exciting) tasks is to decide on a location. Perhaps this is something you and your partner have previously discussed, or maybe all that you’re sure of is you want to get married abroad, with no particular destination in mind. If it’s the latter, keep an open mind and carefully consider all of the elements you will want to make up your dream destination wedding.
For instance, the weather often plays an important role in a wedding – for better or worse. Would you prefer to perform your nuptials under bright blue skies and in tropical temperatures, or do you envisage a snowy wonderland providing the backdrop for the festivities?
You’ll also have to consider the logistics of any destination you choose. Will it be easily accessible for you and your guests? Does it have all the necessary facilities to cater for a wedding? As romantic as it may be getting married in the middle of nowhere, you may have to rein in your imagination and consider some more realistic options.
Think About Your Guests
While you and your partner will be the stars of the show on this magical day, it’s imperative you don’t forget to consider your guests from the very start of the planning process. On top of all of the usual guest-related tasks such as deciding who to invite and organizing invitations, you’ll also have to take the logistical elements of a destination wedding into account.
First of all, think about whether you want a grand celebration with an expansive guest list, or a more intimate affair with just your very closest friends and family. At the same time, it’s important to manage your expectations with this type of wedding. You may have to accept that fewer people will be able to attend due to the travel and cost implications of hosting a wedding overseas.
You will also need to consider accommodation options in the local area. Doing a little research and sharing this information with the guest list may help to reassure some people; it’s also a thoughtful gesture and shows that you care about them being present on your big day.
While you aren’t expected to cover the costs, you will have to bear prices in mind, as overly expensive accommodation options could make it more difficult for people to attend.
Where Will Your Adventure Begin?
Recent research confirms that destination weddings remain a popular choice for American couples. In fact, figures suggest that up to 30% of US weddings are hosted overseas, with the Caribbean and Mexico being two of the most popular destinations.
Whether you opt for one of these traditional settings or decide to venture a little further off the beaten path, a destination wedding can truly elevate what is already one of the most special days of your life.
Here we’ve discussed just the first few steps in what will be a lengthy planning process to construct the destination wedding of your dreams. Make sure you allow enough time to carefully select where you want to go, and you will be left to plan all the magical details of your ceremony overseas.