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Wedding Planning: The Dos and Don’ts for a Destination Wedding

Planning a destination wedding can be an incredibly exciting and sentimental time. To help prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime day, here is a compiled list of essential dos and don’ts for a successful destination wedding.

By Megan Grubbs | Apr 11, 2024, 14:51 PM

Planning a destination wedding can be an incredibly exciting and sentimental time. Imagine saying “I do” against your dream backdrop, surrounded by all those you love, and creating memories that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. Even though it sounds like an enjoyable planning process, there are some things that require careful thought and consideration. To help prepare for this once-in-a-lifetime day, here is a compiled list of essential dos and don’ts for a successful destination wedding.

Dos for Your Dream Destination Wedding

  1. Check the requirements of legally getting married outside of your home country. There may be a great deal of paperwork, fees, or even a required blood test. Another option is getting legally married in your home country, and then have a symbolic ceremony at the destination.
  2. Do your research. Choosing the perfect location is the foundation of a successful wedding. There are many things to research prior to choosing a location, such as climate, legal requirements, and, of course, venue availability.
  3. Be sure to give guests plenty of advanced notice. It is always a smart decision to send out “save-the-date” cards, but for a destination wedding, you may want to send them six months before the wedding and include location details. This will allow guests to schedule time off work, make necessary travel arrangements, and order or renew their passports. Provide your guests with a list of accommodation options, as well as a detailed itinerary.
  4. If possible, hire a local wedding planner. Local wedding planners will be familiar with the destination, have connections with reliable vendors, and provide details from venue setup to transportation logistics. This will help give the wedding party a stress-free experience and more time to focus on the excitement of the big day.
  5. Embrace the local culture of your wedding destination. Create a memorable wedding by including elements of the culture into your big day. From local cuisine to traditional music, these elements will bring an authentic feel to your special event.
  6. Encourage your guests to invest in travel insurance. Travel insurance can help your guests recover prepaid, non-refundable trip costs should something unexpected happen, like travel delay or trip cancellation. By emphasizing the importance of travel insurance to your guests, you're helping them safeguard their investment in attending your wedding and ensuring that any unforeseen circumstances won't dampen their experience.

Don’ts to Avoid Wedding Mishaps

  1. Don't neglect weather considerations. Be aware of the weather patterns of your chosen destination. You should avoid any regions during rainy seasons and especially hurricane season. Check historical weather data to help make your decision on the location and have a backup plan in case of unexpected weather changes.
  2. If you are getting legally married outside your home country, don't overlook legal considerations. Be sure to educate yourself about the legal requirements of marriage in your chosen location. Other countries may have different rules and regulations, such as residency requirements or documentation translation. Talking with local authorities or your wedding planner will help you maneuver these obstacles.
  3. Don't ignore guest comfort and accessibility. When choosing a location, be considerate of your guests and ensure that the destination is easily accessible for your loved ones. There are many things to consider, such as the distance, expenses, and required passports. Choosing a venue that provides options for different budgets will help ensure guests feel comfortable attending the wedding.
  4. Don't fail to properly communicate with guests. Ensure that you are easy to get into contact with during the wedding planning for any guest questions. Share important information as soon as possible, such as flight details and hotel or resort recommendations. Create a wedding website to keep guests updated with real-time access to all information.

With these tips in mind, you are now equipped to start planning your dream destination wedding. Congratulations, and enjoy your big day! 


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