Tips on How To Plan a Destination Wedding
Once the celebration for your engagement has passed, it’s then time to start planning your wedding. For some of you this may include a destination wedding. Whether the location may be somewhere in the Caribbean, Maldives, Hawaii, Ireland or so on, allot of important decisions need to be made before even choosing a date.
Below is our top 10 tips on how to plan a destination wedding:
- Visit in advance
Ideally, you’d see your venue once before booking and again 3 to 4months before the wedding to finalise details. However, if a second trip is not possible, arrive at least 5 days early to make sure everything is in place. Also, it’s vital to have a hair and makeup trial beforehand.
- Pick your vendors in person
If your wedding is going to take place at a hotel, then it’s more than likely that they’ll have their own vendors and suppliers. However, if the hotel or other venues give you an option to find and book your own – it’s important to set up meetings in advance on your first visit with well-known florists, cake shops, caterers, etc. You could also ask for referrals from your venue/hotel; you might uncover local talent you didn’t know about.
- Planner or no planner
Having a planner can help couples that feel overwhelmed choosing a location or just don’t want or have the time to make choices or contacts on their own. If you fall into this category, make sure you do diligent research on the company and also meet them in person to have a consultation before signing anything.
For those who choose not to hire a planner, just know that many hotels and venues will incorporate this service as you’re holding an event at their property.
- Consider your Guests
Start deciding on who you’d like to come (parents, family, close friends, etc) and draw up a guest list. But know that your costs will be per person and you are the host, each guest affects your final cost.
Generally, the people who will travel for a destination wedding are the ones who most want to be there: your family, your parents, friends who knew you growing up, your circle of friends as a couple, colleagues from work, and your childhood and college friends with whom you are still in contact with.
- Consider the location when choosing the menu
Hiring a caterer can be costly, but if you’re planning a destination wedding the menu will need to fit the location. The last thing you want is to have a beach wedding with the warm weather melting your cake and the food falling apart, or worst of all – giving your guests an upset stomach!
Work with the caterers to come up with a menu that has options for everyone but is also practical.
- Ask about a dress code
Dress codes will vary depending on the destination you choose. Some churches or cultures require women to cover their arms or shoulders and men to wear blazers or a certain colour. Make sure to ask and do diligent research on the rules. Once you’re aware of the rules then be certain that the invitation clearly states them, so your guests can be prepared and not accidentally offend the church or vendor.
- The legalities of your marriage
Don’t assume that because you were married legally in a foreign country, your marriage will be recognised anywhere else in the world and more importantly your home country. It is up to you to make sure that they are recorded in your home country, whether that be in the UK, US, etc.
If you’re getting married in a foreign location, you can research the country’s laws for marriage licenses and certificates and then make sure this then complies with your home country. Do your homework on this important issue.
- Ask the important questions
On your first visit to the venue, you should get all your important questions out of the way, i.e. how many weddings a day do you hold, will your hotel be able to fit all of my guests, etc. Once you’ve chosen your venue, make sure the answers to your questions are in writing and/or within your contract.
- Notify your credit card companies
This may seem obvious, but it would be so embarrassing if you went to use a credit card and it got declined because it was alerted as fraudulent. Worse than being embarrassed, it could actually become a problem when trying to pay a vendor, hotel, supplier, etc.
- Handle customs correctly
Travelling to a different destination for your wedding, may result in checking-in allot of luggage, carrying them to and from your destination and having the added stress of thinking about whether it will get lost during transit. Langlais can help you avoid all of this by collecting your luggage items from your doorstep and shipping them to your hotel via our door to door luggage service. Travel with convenience as well as luggage and stress free.
But if you choose to travel with your luggage, be sure to learn the customs restrictions for your destination and handle your customs documentation correctly. Having missing information or entering incorrect information on your custom forms can result in hefty fees, or worse delays.