Bride and Groom's Coastal Destination Wedding
Photo: Viera Photographics

Be aware of the cost to attend your wedding.

Some destination weddings simply cost more to attend than others. If you choose a popular destination like Miami or Las Vegas, most of your friends and family can probably find well-priced airfare and a hotel room in their price point.  A destination wedding on a private island in the middle of the Caribbean really doesn't offer many opportunities for bargain hunting.  You don't need to alter your wedding plans. Have your wedding on that private island if that is what you want. But you might want to plan for a much smaller guest list (and remember to be okay with that).

Destination Wedding Resort in Mexico
Photo: Melissa Mercado

Reserve affordable accommodations.

If your destination wedding has multiple hotels within driving distance of your venue, do your guests a favor with some research. Find the best deals and best rooms in town. When you have many guests attending, it's probably a good idea to reserve small blocks at different hotels, with a variety of price points and amenities. Some hotels require room block reservations that exceed your number of guests.  In that case, just pass along the info about each hotel to your guests via your wedding website.

Iceland Destination Wedding Invitation
Photo: Photos by Miss Ann

Plan or research things to do.

Don't leave your guests in a lurch. Make an itinerary with fun things to do, like a game of volleyball on the beach or taking the hotel shuttle into the nearby town for some local shopping, or even a hike through the woods.  These things don't have to be expensive (or even cost you anything), but it is always nice to give some options for guests to get to know each other and explore the area.  If you are on a tight schedule and don't have time to attend these things with your guests, see if a bridesmaid or family member would be willing to take on the coordinating role.

Key West Destination Wedding Ceremony
Photo: Jessica Bordner

You want a destination wedding and honeymoon, but not a family vacation.

How to you keep your Aunt Edna and her five kids from joining you on your honeymoon?  The best way to handle the delineation between your destination wedding and your honeymoon is to post a schedule.  Either on your wedding website or in an invitation enclosure, give a schedule of events surrounding the wedding that people should be aware of.  Whenever you have chosen to leave the company of your friends and family, mark that on the schedule. For example, it could read, "10pm--newlyweds leave the reception.  Thank you for joining us, and we'll see you back home!"  It might also help to plan to spend your honeymoon at a different resort than where your guests are staying.  After all, they might want to tack on a little vacay time too.

Post-Destination Wedding Reception
Photo: Rising Lotus Photography

Of course you can have a traditional reception later!

A post-wedding reception back in your hometown is always a good way to celebrate with the rest of your friends and family.  The majority of people you know aren't going to be able to join us on your wedding extravaganza, but that doesn't mean they aren't excited for the two of you.  This will also allow you to invite more casual friends and acquaintances that you would've invited to a traditional wedding, but not to a destination affair.  As with any reception, this event can be simple and casual or completely over-the-top.

For more destination wedding ideas, browse our locations.