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7 tips for planning your perfect destination wedding

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Imagine exchanging vows and wedding rings with the sun setting over the horizon as your backdrop, the sand warm on your bare feet, and the smell of the sea right tickling your nose. Imagine one of the grandest days in your life celebrated in romantic Tuscany, majestic Portugal, or breathtaking Marrakech. Imagine a fairy tale in a faraway place—that’s the dream right there.

But while destination weddings sound so good on paper, the reality is that they can be a complete nightmare. From the logistics of it all to the language barriers, there’s an endless list of things you have to consider.

It sounds overwhelming, we know. But it’s not impossible! If you’ve always wanted the perfect destination wedding, we’ve listed down a few tips to help you. Read on below!

Select A Location

Once you've both confirmed your desire to have a destination wedding, it's time to choose the location. Remember that the place you'll pick will impact every tiny element, from your wedding aesthetic to your travel time.

Maybe you and your partner already have a specific place in mind—one that’s special for both of you. Perhaps it’s the location where you got engaged. Or the first time the two of you went on a trip together.

Whatever the importance of this place in your life, you should be aware of the travel requirements and limits ahead of time. Will your visitors, for example, require a passport or visa? Are there any travel advisories, health concerns, or political issues to be aware of? If there are any concerns or problems they’ll face, you have to inform your friends and family as soon as possible.

When picking your wedding destination, consider the oldest guest you’ll be inviting. Will it be difficult for them to go to your preferred location? Is it possible for your great-grandmother to fly for 10 hours? If not, make arrangements for a virtual ceremony for those who can’t attend in person.

Think About Your Guests

Tying the knot in a place that holds many memories is great and all, but will your guests be able to afford it? Finalizing your guest list is an integral part of planning your destination wedding. So choose your guests wisely!

Don’t forget to plan events around the wedding. Your guests will be traveling from miles away, and you want to make sure that you’ll have time for them. Try hosting a brunch, dinner, or even planning an activity that your guests can participate in.

Be ready for a lower turnout than planned. Destination weddings are not easy—for you and your guests. They can find it difficult to attend your wedding for various reasons, including cost, fear of flying, and difficulties acquiring a visa.

Set Dates and Time

Traditional weddings set in your hometown already require months and even years of planning. So just imagine the time you’ll need to prepare everything for your destination wedding.

When determining the time required to arrange your ceremony, consider the season you want to get married. Pay attention to monsoons, rainy months, and excessive snowfall. You'll have a lot of things on your plate during the planning stage, so you really don’t want to be panicking about weather patterns in your selected location.

Another thing to think about is booking lead times. This applies to the venue and the hotels in the area for you and your guests. Make sure that you enforce this and set booking deadlines. To take away the worry, you can arrange accommodations for guests yourself.

Don't be afraid to chase people. If you have a planner, you can entrust them with keeping everyone and everything under control.

Do Your Research on Local Marriage Requirements

While we wish that getting married was as easy as finding an officiant, the reality is that it can be very complicated. For example, before legally marrying in some countries, you may need to meet residency requirements or get additional documents.

Familiarize yourself with all the requirements that you need so that you won’t be taken by surprise when you arrive. If your wedding cannot be legally recognized in the country of your destination wedding, consider marrying in a civil ceremony before you leave.

Hire A Local Expert

Who would know a place better than the locals themselves? One thing you should seriously consider if you’re planning a destination wedding is to hire a wedding coordinator based on the destination of your choice.

Never underestimate the value of having someone on the ground, especially when you’re exchanging vows in a different time zone or in a country where you don't understand the language. Some venues even come with a wedding planner or coordinator who will simplify the entire process so that you can have a more seamless experience.

Keep The Weather In Mind

No matter what kind of wedding you’re planning, the weather will always have a say on how everything will flow. And there’s nothing more frustrating than dreaming about and planning a destination wedding only to discover that the date you've chosen is during monsoon or hurricane season! Or that the excessive heat at the destination at that time of year can be uncomfortable.

Never ever rely on luck, especially when it comes to wedding weather matters. Instead, accommodate for various climates and make adjustments as needed.

Throw Perfection Out of The Window

You can never achieve perfection, even at weddings. This applies to all kinds, but it is especially true for destination weddings. There are just some things that are beyond your control, and you won’t be able to plan your way into avoiding them.

So take a deep breath and relax. Try to enjoy the whole process of building your dream wedding. Trust us, the passion you have for planning and organizing will show during the big day.

Making Your Destination Wedding Dreams Come True

Destination weddings are tricky and time-consuming, but all the effort you’ve put into this will all be worth it in the end because you’re making your dreams come to life.

Don’t do it on your own, though! Especially if you have full-time work and are unfamiliar with the area. Having a local wedding coordinator comes in helpful in this situation. They will take care of everything, from budgeting to wedding styling to logistics. That way, you'll have fewer things to be concerned about. For your destination wedding needs, work with White Sand Travel today!

For reference and more cool ideas, click here.

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