Whether it’s on the beach of a Caribbean island or a majestic vineyard south of France, a destination wedding is the perfect alternative to having your wedding in your locality. The 2012 Destination Wedding study reveals that destination weddings represent 24% of all weddings annually and taking all of your friends and relatives to a destination wedding will be a wonderful and memorable experience. Here is an absolute beginne’s guide to Destination Wedding if you are planning for a destination wedding.
Deciding on the destination
Deciding where to go will depend on your budget, invited guests or the vision that you share as a couple. Decide first on your vision – “We want to get married on the beach, hill station , boat or castle”. Once you decide try to match your budget with your dream vision. Do you intend on having guests and i yes how many of the guests will travel to the destination? Will your guests be able to travel and who will make the arrangements? These are all questions to ask before deciding on your destination and you need to finalise a destination that will be comfortable for you and your friends as well as relatives.
Know the legal requirements
This requires a little research but must be paramount in your mind. Here are some of the questions you want to ask about the wedding destination;
• Do I need a marriage license?
• Am I required to be in the country for a minimum time before the wedding?
• What documents will I have to submit prior?
• How and when will I receive my proof of marriage?
• Will my proof of marriage be in English?
Who will attend?
One of the advantages of a destination wedding is that it is a good reason to limit your guest list to a close set of people. You can choose from as little as zero to as much as your budget will allow. Talk to your wedding planner about the availability of witnesses in the destination as in some cases you may have to present the locals from the destination as the witness or legally it may occur that you choose to just elope with your significant other.
Deciding on a wedding Package
At a minimum the wedding packages will include a wedding coordinator/planner, the ceremony and pictures. Other elements include reception, make-up, hair and honeymoon. Choose a package that meets your budget perfectly. Be clear about what you want and what is included in your payment and decide beforehand on the budget of stay for your friends and relatives as well.
Packing and travelling for your wedding
You will need to make a packing list. There will be no option to send a bridesmaid home to retrieve the “something blue” that you left on the bed as the wedding will be in a faraway destination. Pack essentials such the rings and documents in your carry-on luggage and the wedding dress need to be carefully packed or locally made in the destination itself to have it easy of packing.
Like any other wedding, you should always plan for possible eventualities. Plan travelling dates to incorporate the possibility of delayed or missed flights and any requirements to be at the destination at a particular time prior to the wedding and also ensure that the travel plans are not hurried and you have enough time to make wedding arrangements and pack the items . Because your destination wedding may include travelling out of the country, make sure your travel documents and passports are up to date. Research whether a visa will be required for travel and apply well in advance as some countries may not issue visa is your passport is expiring in few months.
Have walk through with planner
Prior to you arriving, your wedding planner was your eyes on the ground. It is important that you do a walk through to make sure that the plans are in keeping with your requests. Meet with the person leading the ceremony and the photographer, if possible, to go over your vision for your day.
Once the wedding is over, enjoy the honeymoon and your new journey together as a couple. Checkout our honeymoon planning tips for a wonderful honeymoon.