Destination weddings

The destination wedding is a popular choice for many of today’s brides and grooms. For many brides, long gone are the days where you went home and married in the Church you grew up in and had your reception at the fire hall where your mother and father had their reception. Technology has made the boundaries of your wedding fantasy endless, and many couples are taking advantage of easy planning and quick transportation to start their new lives out in far off places.

When beginning to plan your destination wedding, the first thing you have to do is decide which destination is right for you. For thousands of wedding couples each year, the call of the Caribbean, Hawaii, or other tropical location is heard loud and clear. A bride looking for a true fairytale wedding where the princess is swept away in a pumpkin carriage by her Prince Charming might consider a trip to Disney World to start her married life. Other brides look into dude ranches, ski resorts, country bed and breakfast inns, drive through chapels in Las Vegas, or they head for the excitement of a big city like New York. Your personality and the interests shared by you and your fiancé can guide you in determining where you want to go.

As soon as you decide where the wedding will take place, look into finding local help. A wedding planner from the area that you want to travel to is a great idea, and having someone on the ground at your destination to worry about all of the planning will be a huge relief for most couples. Some brides might even consider hiring a wedding planner locally who will act as a liaison between the bride and the destination planner. If a wedding planner is not in your budget, recruit a friend in the area you want to travel to if you can so you have someone familiar with the territory and might be able to recommend reputable wedding vendors. Another option is to contact a hotel or resort that you are interested in traveling to and letting the concierge handle all of the arrangements. This is better for a smaller affair, and would warrant a generous tip to the concierge handling the details.

If you decide to venture out on your own in unfamiliar territory, begin with checking in to local laws regarding marriage ceremonies. In some tropical hot spot destinations, you can get married in a ceremony reflecting the local customs, but the marriage is not valid in the United States. This will require you to be married on your home turf in a civil ceremony either before you leave or when you get back. Check into holidays, local festivals, or other events that might cause things to be closed or over crowded on certain days. Research online reviews for florists, caterers, and other wedding vendors so you are not disappointed when you arrive at your location. And do try to plan at least one trip prior to your wedding to go over everything in person.

You should go into a destination wedding with the realization that not everyone you might like to have with you will be able to afford to attend your festivities. To maximize the chances of having your closest family and friends beside you, as soon as you have the basics in place, send Save the Date cards to everyone you would like to invite to your wedding. Outline for them the date, time and location of your wedding so they can start planning to take time off from work, arrange child care, and book their travel. Many hotels and resorts will offer you a group rate on accommodations for your out of town guests, and if they provide you with a code or a key word, make sure your guests have that information so they can take advantage of any discounts. It would also be helpful to choose at least two hotels for your guests to choose from in different price ranges, so that you can accommodate people with various budgets.

You will find venues to work with you no matter what your budget, but your guests’ means should be taken into consideration as well A nice touch for your out of town guests is a welcome package that helps them enjoy their trip regardless of their budget as well. Prepare a goodie bag that includes coupons and brochures for local restaurants, night clubs, and activities. Include information for a wide range of places, so that your wedding guests will have a good time regardless of their financial resources.

A destination wedding is the start of a dream come true for many marrying couples. Plan well in advance for things like passports, marriage licenses, and accommodations to avoid last minute stresses and wedding day headaches. With adequate consideration to hosting your event as a far away fantasy, your wedding will be beautiful and memorable for all who attend