Destination weddings have become more popular in recent years, and for a good reason. These special types of celebration offer a unique and unforgettable experience for both you and your guests. Excellent local food and entertainment, stunning scenery and (hopefully) perfect weather can all contribute to a wedding that you will all be able to cherish forever.
Around 30% of American couples choose to host their ceremony abroad, with the Carribbean being the most popular location. Other prime destinations include Mexico and Europe, but the possibilities are endless.
Before you get carried away dreaming about your seaside ceremony, it’s important you get everything in order. When you’re planning a destination wedding, you’ll need to keep certain extra things in mind that you wouldn’t usually need to worry about for a ‘normal’ wedding. However, with a wealth of information available at our fingertips, it’s easier than ever to plan a destination wedding of your dreams. Here are three important aspects to consider.
The legal stuff
Unfortunately, as romantic as it would be to put your finger on a globe and fly out for your dream ceremony, destination weddings aren’t as straightforward as that. Depending on where you go, there’s likely to be a lot of paperwork and admin involved before you can officially tie the knot. For example, some places have residency requirements, which means you need to stay in the area for a certain amount of time before getting married.
Requirements may also vary depending on if you’re getting legally married or having a symbolic ceremony. It’s important to note that rules will often be determined by your country of origin, so make sure to do your research in advance. It’s essential to check with your wedding planner or the local authorities in the location to ensure you’re meeting all the legal requirements so your day can go off without a hitch.
Consider your guests’ needs
When planning a destination wedding, it’s important to keep your guests in mind. The idea of being able to attend a tropical wedding in a far-flung destination is exciting in prospect, but the reality is there’s a lot that both you and they will need to consider before committing.
Firstly, time and money are two things that are needed for a destination wedding. If you want to have all of your nearest and dearest in attendance, you’ll have to keep this in mind when and the timings. When researching venues and destinations, you’ll need to ensure that there are suitable accommodation options and activities for them to suit a range of budgets. While you aren’t generally expected to pay for accommodation costs, it’s good form to do some of the leg work for your guests and research potential options.
Planning a destination wedding can be a little more challenging than a local one largely due to the logistics involved. That means, where possible, nothing should be left to the last minute. Make sure to think about your priorities first before making time for all the other aspects of planning. For example, you’ll likely want to secure a venue and your preferred vendors to avoid disappointment. These things can be booked up months in advance, so keep this in mind when starting the planning process.
If you think things may get a little overwhelming and you’d like a helping hand to keep everything on track, consider hiring a local wedding planner. Not only will they be well versed in organising the finer details of a wedding day, but their local knowledge of the area will be invaluable for you and your guests in advance of the ceremony.
Dreaming of a destination wedding?
Planning a destination wedding requires a lot of preparation, but believe us, it’s worth it in the end. With the right amount of research and organisation, you can create a memorable and beautiful celebration for you and your guests. Remember to check the legal requirements, consider your guests’ needs, and plan ahead. By keeping these three things in mind, you’re sure to have a perfect destination wedding experience.