Holding your wedding in a distant area can be exciting and idyllic. What’s not to love about whisking your closest family members and friends away to a special place and marrying your sweetheart there? But it also can take more trust and preparation when you aren’t familiar with the area.
As you start planning your destination wedding, you should remember some essential distinctions of exchanging vows abroad. The destination and travel change the usual steps to getting married, and you can cover these bases with the following helpful tips. Here are five things you need to know before planning your far-off wedding.
1. Alerting Guests Early Helps to Ensure Their Attendance
Guests are one of the biggest parts of the planning process for destination weddings. Who you’re expecting to attend the event can influence where, when and how the wedding takes place. Getting RSVPs as soon as possible is vital if you’re assisting your guests with accommodations and flights.
Letting guests know about your intentions for the wedding with enough time can allow them to clear their schedule, take time off from work and make travel arrangements. You can notify your loved ones about the date with eight months advance for save-the-dates and eight weeks advance for invites.
2. You Can Book Local Group Activities and Excursions
While you’re setting up the wedding trip itinerary, leave room in the schedule for adventures with your bridal party and guests. Exotic destinations give you a chance to explore new cultures and try activities with your favorite people.
Local attractions may include taking creative classes, snorkeling, kayaking or sightseeing. You can also participate in tours of historic areas, vineyards and breweries. Organize unique experiences for your group to take advantage of the rich place you’ve chosen for the wedding.
3. Using the Destination for Two Purposes Will Extend Your Dream Trip
According to Wakefield Research, 17 percent of engaged soon-to-be brides have financial concerns about their honeymoon trips. But destination weddings can double as the ceremony location and the honeymooning spot, reducing the trouble of honeymoon travels and costs.
Just as the destination can serve as a honeymoon place for the newlyweds, guests can think of the trip as a vacation. If you choose a destination where guests would normally go for a relaxing break, they might be more apt to join in the celebrations. Choose a sunny and tropical region for an ideal experience that you and your guests can appreciate. With a dual-purpose wedding, you can maximize what the location has to offer.
4. Planning for the Right Season Can Make or Break the Gathering
What you envision for your wedding day can be thrown off by the wrong climate. Rain, harsh wind or grueling heat can alter your special event if you’re not careful. Be on top of the situation by watching the seasons and weather going on in your destination of choice.
If you’re leaning toward a tropical setting, weigh the pros and cons of the wet season. Drier times can bring in flocks of tourists, which can disrupt the intimate nature of your ceremony. Booking during the wet season can be better for your budget, and you may luck out by avoiding the rain. Pick the time of year that most appeals to you.
5. Wedding Gear Should Be Packed on Your Flight
Transporting your valuable wedding dress and accessories across miles of land means a few more logistics during travel. Most airlines permit brides to take a bridal gown on the plane as a carry-on as opposed to stowing it in checked baggage. Store other wedding accessories, like the veil and bridal jewelry, in carry-on baggage too.
While some planes have areas to securely hang clothes, many will ask you to place your dress in the overhead area. Call ahead to check on your airline’s policy.
Prepare for Your Far-Off Wedding
Although your destination wedding is different from a local celebration, you’re creating an unforgettable event for you and your guests. Try out the best ways to plan, travel, ready your guests and make your stay count.