It seems like a relaxing and exciting way to tie the knot: You and your nearest and dearest meet at the beach for a weekend of sun, fun and saying “I do.” But a tropical destination wedding isn’t always a day at the beach. Here are five things you should know before making the decision to host a destination wedding.
1. Location, Location, Location
It goes without saying that choosing your destination is the most important part of planning a destination wedding. But choosing the right location is paramount. You want your wedding locale to say something about you: Was this the beach you played on as a child? Did your parents get engaged right over there? Finding a location that means something to you will make the entire event even more special—and justify the cost to your guests. It’s a lot easier to sell your friends and family on traveling to a place that holds a lifelong memory than it is to get them to invest in airfare and accommodations at a place you’ve never seen, but “the website looked SO cute!”
2. Temper Your Expectations
For your guests, destination weddings are sort of like a much-needed vacation they didn’t plan on taking. They’re excited for an excuse to get out of town (and celebrate your love), but they may not have budgeted for your nuptials. And while everyone wants to make the trip, not everyone is financially able. In other words: Plan your dream wedding at your dream destination, but do not get your feelings hurt if some of your RSVPs come back as a no. Look at it this way: Every “unable to attend” means a little more money for the wedding fund.
3. Speaking of RSVPs
Destination weddings require a lot of planning—for you and for your guests. Make sure you give them plenty of time to plan by sending a Save the Date eight to 12 months in advance. Make sure you include travel information, including location and lodging details or your wedding website (where you will publish those details), so your guests can start to make arrangements long before the invitation arrives.
4. Get a Room
When selecting accommodations for your guests, be mindful of their differing budgets. If your dream destination wedding includes a resort, you won’t have many options for lodging. But if you’re destination allows, choose budget-friendly options for your attendees. You can offer a selection of varying price points, or one universally affordable option. Just be sure to check availability at least a year in advance, and, if possible, book a block of rooms so no one is left to find a hotel in an unknown locale.
5. Hire a Planner
Even if you’re the type of bride who’s had every detail of her wedding day planned since childhood, an onsite (or at least in-town) wedding planner is a must. Having someone with boots on the ground will make all the difference. From vendor familiarity to day-to-day to-do lists, your planner is your eyes and ears in the months leading up to your wedding. You can still be uber-hands-on with the entire event, but you’ll be forever grateful you had someone local to help you with the destination details.
Interested in one of our venues? Contact us here to connect!