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How to Plan a Destination Wedding 

Planning your destination wedding is as easy as solving a Rubik's cube. From selecting your destination to finalizing your guest list and to booking enough hotel rooms to accommodate your guests, logistics can become complicated on the part of the bride and groom. That’s why we are trying our best to provide you with our honest and accurate details on how to plan your destination wedding without you abandoning the idea from overload along the way. 

Here are some tips for planning a destination wedding.

Plan Early

Destination weddings are considerably harder to plan, considering the couple and guests have to travel to the destination. Both you and your guests need to plan accordingly for the big day. Your guests might need some time to wind things up before the wedding. They might need to save enough money to be at ease or they probably need to negotiate time off from their workplace. So you might have to send those wedding day cards ASAP and destination invitation at least three to six months earlier, to give them enough time to start their preparations with ease.

Determine your Budget

The easiest way to narrow down your search for the destination is to know how much you can spend. Budget planning for any kind of wedding requires extensive brainstorming, and if you are planning a destination wedding, you need to be extra careful. Being realistic is the key; don’t simply add destinations to your consideration list that are obviously out of your budget. The cost breakdown of the destination wedding might be the same as the traditional wedding but you will have additional expenses to account for, such as the traveling and hotel expenses. Instead, choose the destination that you both enjoy as it is your special day and you don’t want to spend it by worrying about the budget!

Narrow Down the Search List as a Team

Your wedding destination should represent you and your fiancé as a couple, and for that, you need to think about your fiancé’s preferences as well. You might have an adventurous nature and like the wedding to take place in some faraway village in Italy, but your fiancé might want someplace more comfortable or easier to reach. So the best idea is to sit together and do the selection as a team.

Finalize your Guest List

Before you choose your destination, it is a good idea to have a rough estimation of your guests. It is important to have your estimation as close as possible.  Some of your guests might not be into traveling for a long period of time. Also, some might not have passports and will not be able to get them on time. You do not want to invite too many guests and have them complain the entire time. On the other hand, if your list includes no more than 20 guests who are really close to you and their presence makes your wedding much happier and brighter, then it’s far more realistic. You will have much more independence in the selection of your dream location with a shorter guest list.

Also look out for the type of guests you are inviting. Know your audience for the wedding well. The type of guests you are inviting will dictate your selection for the destination. Should the venue need to be family-friendly or adults oriented? If the guests need to travel, make sure the air logistics are somewhat tolerable. A trip to Florida is far simpler and cheaper than a trip out to Hawaii.

Have the Right Wedding Planner

You will save a couple of bucks by doing everything on your own, from brainstorming the destinations to finalizing the guest list and sending the invitation cards. But it will put stress and burden on you, so if your budget allows, we suggest you hire a wedding planner. As a bonus, many resorts provide destination wedding packages along with a destination wedding planner, or they may refer you to an experienced local planner.

A destination wedding planner will be well versed in handling destination weddings and their opinion provides you with deep insights into making your dream a reality, by helping you select the destination that is best suitable for your requirements. This is definitely one of the biggest stress-relieving tips we can offer, as a destination planner will know exactly what you will need in order to travel abroad. In addition, we are all familiar with the saying ‘Time is money,’. While a planner will definitely cost you a pretty penny, they will undoubtedly save you days, if not even weeks of planning time spent. Use this extra time to enjoy your significant other’s presence, stress-free!

Understand what your Selected Destination has to Offer

If you expect your guests to travel far from their homes for your vows, your guests may expect your selected wedding destination to offer something special and unique after the “I do’s”. They will thank you if your destination has some special vacation activities to offer. Whether it is a tropical wedding with exotic beach access or culture lover’s retreat in Europe, choosing a destination with fun activities for the guests makes it more memorable for them.

Have a Variety of Accommodation Options

A wedding day is something that should represent the couple and should be according to their wishes, but, at the end of the day if you invite a guest, you are a host and you should be considerate of their own circumstances in joining you. You can consider your dream wedding destination but if you want your wedding to be less expensive for your guests, considering your guest's accommodation options might be a good idea. If you have selected a destination with a $300+ per night stay hotel, some of your guests might be pleased if you can suggest more affordable options. You can try negotiating with the hotels and have a block reservation where they get accommodation at cheaper rates.

Dig Deep Into your Destination

After selecting your dream destination, you need to do your research and find out more about the place. Research on the internet and look at websites and social media pages. Look for the latest information on the destination. While looking at reviews, remember to read both positive and negative reviews about the destination.

Reach out to them through Facebook for brochures and pricing, and see about booking a virtual tour through Facetime. Just as you are planning accommodations for your guests, the locations you are contacting will do the same for you, so if you need something, always ask! More often than not a hotel or venue will have no problem bending a policy here and there if it means you decide to book with them.

The Selection of Date

Your guests will join you on your special day, so you need to select a date that is easier on your guests. Try to consider their schedule so your invitees may easily join you. Selecting a date on weekends might help your guests. They can easily travel to be with you without using up their vacation days and can enjoy the vacation location as well. Holidays are also a good time, however, they have a downfall as holiday travel tends to be more expensive, and if your destination is also a popular spot on the holiday, such as the beach on the Fourth of July, you might want to consider another destination.

Select the Right Dress

A destination wedding is quite different from the traditional wedding. Your heart might be set on the tulle-layered ball gowns or a heavy, long tradition gown; it may not fit your selected destination. Consider that you may be wearing your dress for an entire day.  You might have to wear the dress after your vows as well. If your destination is an exotic beach, it will be a whole different game. If your chosen dress is too heavy and hot, just inappropriate for the climate, then ask your designer for solutions. It may involve having to use an entirely different dress, which is why it is important to choose a dress and style after you’ve selected your destination else you may end up in Fiji in a heavy dress pouring sweat and running makeup everywhere.

Take Everything into Consideration

Planning a destination wedding requires a lot of planning and you don’t want to leave even a tiny detail unplanned. Try to make a list of each and everything and be ready for any kind of surprise! Try to think ahead and be realistic in your planning. Your budget will determine where you can travel to; choosing a place where the air travel will consume a large portion of your whole budget won’t be a good idea unless you are willing to compromise on other elements. Also if your chosen destination has a national event coming up such as Olympics or super bowl, you might need to reconsider as well because the cost of hotels and airfare will be outrageous. Similarly, as a result of how currency exchange rates work, the overall cost of living in many countries is considerably higher when you are visiting the peak tourism days. So be clever; take everything into consideration and leave no stone left unturned.

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