Planning the Perfect Destination Wedding

Destination wedding Hawaii couple on bikes at the beach.

Destination wedding planning requires releasing control of the small details. Some challenges you encounter when planning destination weddings include coordinating travel among groups and dealing with the vendors. A written time table of tasks combined with destination wedding planning allows you to create the wedding you desire.

Initial Wedding Planning Stages

Set a budget. Examine your finances and determine the total amount you want to spend and methods to increase your budget that cost you nothing. By choosing less traveled dates, such as September when few families travel because children are in school, locations that offer more services, an all-inclusive package, or a country with a good exchange rate on your currency, you can increase your budget at no additional cost to you.

Send out invitations as far in advance as possible, preferably a year. This allows guests to schedule their vacations to coincide with your wedding. If you can, set up a payment plan for the guests with a travel agent or the destination to allow small monthly payments rather than one large payment.

Destination Wedding Planning

Decide on the type of wedding you want and visit the resort destination before the wedding to plan the details. Take pictures of the venue with room measurements and meet all vendors during this visit. Depending on the type of wedding, look to the small details that may affect the site. For example, a beach wedding requires you to determine whether the sound level of the surf will prevent guests from hearing you say your vows. Other concerns may include the tide schedule for the wedding date, bathroom facilities for guests, electrical plugs for equipment, and seating for the ceremony.

An outdoor garden wedding may have you walking the wedding path to the ceremony to examine the ground for uneven surfaces or potential problems with tree limbs or bushes. If planning an indoor wedding, you may need to confirm that the size of the venue will seat your guests comfortably or that the room’s acoustics allow the vows and wedding music to be heard.

Destination Wedding Vendors

After you decide the maximum cost for each service, choose the vendors. On your visit to the resort destination, ask for recommendations on vendors and the “going rate” for the services. Ask about “bundling” services from some vendors, as the caterer may also supply a wedding cake or the vendor setting up the event may have a DJ on staff. You may also consider hiring a wedding planner in the area to handle the wedding details.

Incorporate the destination country into the wedding by relying on local goods and services for your wedding. Pick flowers for the bouquet that bloom at the destination during the month of your wedding along with the local food selections, such as seafood at a beach resort or beef at a mountain site.

Looking for places to stay during your travels? Check out our destination wedding packages and venues.

about the author
Sarah Sarah has been editing the blog at mywedding for four years. She enjoys watching classic movies, spending money on eyeliner that she never wears, and convincing brides to write thank you notes.

See more posts by Sarah