Guide To Planning A Stress Free Destination Wedding


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Lindsay Kammerzelt Photography

Guide To Planning a Destination Wedding

You have your heart set on marrying the love of your life at a romantic and rustic vineyard in the south of France. Or maybe on the sand of a private island in Caribbean. Or maybe at a fun and hassle-free all-inclusive resort in Mexico.  All these destination weddings sound absolutely amazing! Now, all you need to do is figure out how to make this all happen. Well, we’ve got you covered! Keep reading for the top tips to planning the perfect destination wedding!

Go For an On-Site Visit

Before planning your destination wedding be sure to visit your chosen place in person! You can look at all these photos online and know this is the spot you want to get married at, in the comfort of your own home. Being able to visit the site in person will solidify your decision. Sometimes the pictures and real life do not match up and you want the perfect spot to marry the love of your life. Visiting the spot will also give you a chance to interview local vendors for your wedding day.

Pick Your Vendors in Person/Budget for Vendors

While you are in town to visit the site, set up meetings with better-known vendors. You can also ask your venue for referrals. They may know of some very talented but not as well-known vendors. This way, you have some options and can compare prices. Using local vendors will definitely keep your budget lower. If you are set on bringing vendors from home, choose your photographer. Depending on the terms you have with your photographer, you may have to cover their expenses if they will be traveling with you to your destination. You may have to cover their plane tickets and/or hotel costs. Just make sure that they are comfortable and that the hotel you have booked for them is safe and within 30 minutes from the venue.

Embrace the Settings To Save Money

Incorporate local flowers, cuisines and decorations to save money. To keep your destination wedding true to its island feel or rustic vibe, use local florists with fresh flowers for that season, have a menu set up that reflects your taste as well as the local culture’s cuisines. This will save you on shipping costs, which can add up, especially if you are shipping internationally.

Carry On Your Bridal Gown

ALWAYS carry your dress with you as a carry-on. Even if this means you have to fold it. You can steam it once you get to your destination. Whether your gown is a beach wedding gown, a lace wedding dress, or a ball gown wedding dress you do not want to take the chances of your most precious item to get lost somewhere. If you call your airline ahead of time or let the gate agent know when you are checking in they will sometimes let you pack your dress in one of the luggage spaces in the front of the plane. Also, be sure to pack your wedding accessories with you! You want to keep everything you plan on wearing the day of with you so you don’t have to scramble thinking you are missing your dress, shoes, or accessories.

Consider Your Guests

When deciding on a destination wedding, take your guests into consideration. Find hotels near the venue for all your guests before you set the date. The hotels should only be 10-15 minutes away from the venue, maximum. You do not want your guests to have to travel to the destination then have to drive to the venue very far away. With destination weddings, give your guests at least 4 months with the Save-the-Date invitation. This will give them plenty of time to request vacation time from work and make travel plans. Since your guests will be traveling to the destination, you want to book activities that’s appropriate for all ages to do the day before or after the wedding. Book a couple of different activities and allow your guests to pick and choose which one(s) they want to take part in.

Know the Law (Marriage Requirements)

While planning a destination wedding, look into the marriage requirements for that specific country and/or city. Check to see if residency is required to be legally married there. If you are planning the wedding around a local holiday, double check to see when the city offices will be open to get all your paperwork in on time. Check to see if you need a special permit to have a ceremony on the beach. You do not want to have spent so much time planning this magical ceremony then have local authorities say it cannot happen. When in doubt, double check.

Speak the Language (or know Someone Who Does)

As romantic and special as destination weddings can be, if you cannot communicate what you want to the venue personnel, things can get rocky. Hire a planner who can speak both languages if needed. You can even ask if the venue has any staff that can speak both languages. This will make things go a lot smoother. Don’t let communication issues get in the way of planning the wedding. There are always people willing to help you. You just have to ask.

With the knowledge of these top tips, nothing will stop you from planning the most magical destination wedding of your dreams. Still need to find the perfect dress for this destination wedding? Visit an authorized Moonlight retailer to speak to an associate today! 

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