If the idea of jetting off to a destination wedding has got you wrapped around its finger, you’ll need some tips to make planning it a breeze. And we’re with you! The idea of an intimate excursion to a destination (no matter how close or far away) sounds like the perfect wedding idea. So, to help you get through it with minimal stress, we’ve put together the 10 best tips for planning a destination wedding.
What’s A Destination Wedding?
There is a lot of wedding lingo or jargon floating around right now, from micro-wedding to mini-moons and everything in between. So, let’s first talk about what a destination wedding is.
Difference Between “Destination Wedding” & “Traditional Wedding”
Destination weddings are gaining popularity over traditional weddings. Generally speaking, destination weddings are typically more laid back and fun and are usually more intimate. Often, a destination will require travel to a favorite destination of the couple like a tropical island, mountain top, desert, etc.
They include only a few close friends and relatives to celebrate your union. It’s a great way to tie the knot without all the fuss of a huge guest list.
When To Notify Guests Of The Destination Wedding
While standard wedding etiquette dictates that you mail your wedding invitations 6 – 8 weeks before the event, you need to send them sooner for a destination wedding. Destination wedding invitations should be mailed 12 weeks before the big day. This allows your guests ample time to save and make travel arrangements.
Use Your Wedding Hashtag
One fantastic way to keep your guests informed about the details of your destination wedding is with your wedding website and wedding hashtag. Both make it easy for you to update and notify guests of changes to the itinerary, fun things to do, and all the details they’ll need to make their experience stress-free and enjoyable.
10 Best Tips For Planning A Destination Wedding
1. Plan Your Budget For The Entire Event.
Estimate The Total Costs For The Wedding.
One of the most critical aspects of planning a destination wedding is to create a budget. Things to consider are the venue, the dress, the suit or tux, the number of events you plan to host, how many days you plan to stay, the number of guests, and the time of year. AND! Don’t forget to factor in some money to cover tips and gratuities.
Currency Exchange Rates And Local Taxes.
If you’re hosting your destination wedding abroad, you definitely need to factor in the exchange rate and local taxes. And it’s essential to check the exchange rate frequently because it can change daily. If the exchange rate declines, you may have to add extra funds to the budget throughout your wedding planning time.
Cover Guest Expenses Or Not?
Another thing to consider when planning a destination wedding is whether you’ll cover the costs for your guests or have them foot the bill on their own. But, understand this, covering the expenses yourself can add up pretty quickly. So, if you prefer to have them pay their way, be considerate of the venue that you choose.
How Much Does A Wedding Cost?
This is an awesome source of information for you to get some facts and figures on wedding costs if you’re struggling to figure out how much money you’ll need.
2. Choose A Destination.
The second step in planning a destination wedding is to choose your location. Once your budget is set, you should start looking for venues that fit your budget and aren’t too difficult for your family and friends to travel to. But remember, when considering your destination wedding venue, it isn’t just about the cost of the venue; you have to factor in your travel costs as well.
If you get stuck or have trouble narrowing down the choices, ask for help from travel agents, locals, and tourist guides. They can help you understand if there are special considerations in each destination, such as local marriage requirements and local customs that need to be observed.
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to select the best destination for your “I Do’s,” then start to plan the more minor details.
3. Work With A Wedding Planner.
One of the best ways to plan a wedding in a destination is to work with a wedding planner. This will take a tremendous amount of stress off your shoulders as they’ll be more knowledgeable about each destination and the marriage requirements by law. Not to mention their creativity and passion for planning unforgettable weddings. It’s priceless.
A Few Tips To Find The Perfect Destination Wedding Planner
- Research Online
- Ask The Venue For References
- Read Google Reviews
- Meet & Interview Several Before Making A Decision
4. Hire A Professional Writer To Create Wedding Hashtags.
Getting married is one of the most exciting and emotional times. And creating a wedding that everyone can enjoy is top of your priority list. One way to do this is to include your guests throughout the wedding planning stages and after the wedding.
You can do this by creating a unique and creative wedding hashtag. Having a wedding hashtag lets you tag your social messages so that those who follow the hashtag are updated in real-time. It’s a great way to get your news out to your closest family and friends.
But, the wedding hashtag that you choose should be one no one else is using. You’ll want your hashtag to be unique to your love story so that other couples’ images aren’t getting grouped with yours. The best way to achieve that is by hiring a professional hashtag writer. Using a professional writer will make the event more memorable.
Here are a few destination wedding hashtag examples to get your juices flowing. But, if you need more help check out Wedding Hashers. They have an incredible amount of hashtags!
5. Share The Destination Wedding Event To Friends & Family Ahead Of Time.
Once you’ve decided on venue and date, etc., it’s time to get the word out. And since you’re having a destination wedding, you should notify your guests about your wedding day months ahead by using the hashtag.
There are many ways to use your wedding hashtags, starting with your engagement party. You can add the hashtag on the wedding website, invitation cards, signage at the bridal shower, bachelorette parties, wedding decor, signage, backdrop, etc.
6. Recommend The Services Of A Travel Agent To Guests.
When you’re planning to host a destination wedding, it’s essential to make it as easy as possible for your guests. A great way to do this is to offer them a few travel agent choices that can help arrange their travel plans. We all have so much going on; adding “planning a getaway” (especially if it’s an international trip) to the list can be overwhelming.
Recommending a travel agent can make it convenient for guests to book and plan ahead. This is great for you because you can get a jump start on the R.S.V.P.s.
Here are a few options:
7. Share A Destination Checklist With Guests.
Destination weddings are different from a traditional events. It’s more of an experience and generally will last several days. Because your guests will be away from home and their regular routine, it’s a great idea to help them plan for it.
Here are some ways to help your guests plan for a destination wedding:
- Recommend what to bring and what to wear
- Share a list of planned activities before and after the wedding.
- Include your plans if you want to spend private time together as a couple after the wedding and what your guests can do after the ceremony.
8. Block Your Entourage Schedule For Beauty Treatments.
As a gesture of appreciation for them joining you at your destination wedding, get your entourage pampered and set for the big day. Schedule them for some beauty or spa treatments. It’s a great way to show your love and help them relax from the business of life.
And at the same time, you can have your hair and makeup trial done. So it’s really an excellent way to enjoy your guests.
9. Present Welcome Gifts & Goodie Bags.
One of our favorite things you can do for your guests at your destination wedding is to present them with a goodie or welcome bag. Fill goodie bags with local items and anything that’ll remind them of the destination when they head back home.
Add don’t forget to add your wedding hashtag on the bag tag.
10. Plan A Local Reception For Those Who Can’t Make It.
Of course, there will be some of your favorite people that won’t be able to make the trip. Maybe it’s because of work, kids, illness, age, or other reasons. But, whatever the reason, you can still experience your wedding with them. A terrific way to do this is to plan a small local reception to accommodate guests who cannot be at your destination wedding when you return from your trip.
An Adventure Of A Lifetime
Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. They elevate your special day from a celebration that lasts a few hours to a multi-day wedding experience with your closest friends and family. It’s an incredible way to make memories while experiencing adventure and the wonders of our great earth. Family, friends, and love together on an adventure sound like a fantastic affair.