I'm dreaming of warmth... I'm dreaming of being with friends and family on holidays. Lots of couples right now are planning weddings that are just this! Destination weddings can be total bliss and can cut out a lot of the wedding complications that regular weddings suffer.
The drama that goes along with traditional weddings is not for everyone and the idea of getting on a plane and marrying in some far off land is too good for some to pass up.
Did you decide to take your wedding out of town to avoid dilemmas like tricky and extensive guest lists? Uncomfortable seating plans? Reception costs?
Did you know your wedding can become just as complicated being away from home!!!! That's why I've put together these Nine Wedding Destination Essentials to make sure your dream wedding doesn't turn into a nightmare.
Do your Research
Visit your chosen destination before you begin planning. Learn about the area and direct guests where to go, what to do and where to stay.
If you can't get to the location, talk to people who've been there and do extensive online research.
Get some help from the locals
Does your destination offer any wedding planning services? Does the venue have a wedding coordinator? If yes, chat often and ensure their vision of the wedding is the same as yours.
If there are no planners on hand to help, then make a contact at the venue and talk to this person through the entire planning process.
Learn the Wedding Ceremony etiquette
Be sure to talk to the person who will be marrying you on the day to discuss any requirements you may have and learn of any cultural etiquette that may exist.
Don't leave your guests stranded
Do your guests need transport from the ceremony to reception? Or reception to their hotel? It's a good idea to book a bus for everyone so no one feels pressured to hire a car or nobody is made to be the designated driver.
Be aware of local costs
Depending on your location, you may get away with a much less expensive wedding than if you were organising a wedding at home with over 100 guests. You must be warned, however that it is easy to blow your budget and get carried away if you are not aware of local costs. For example food you may consider to be simple and normal food may be very expensive to ship in - always pick local cuisine.
Call in the professionals
You can find travel agencies that specialise in organising weddings away or companies such as Wedding Destinations. For companies such as theirs, this is their full-time job so organising your wedding from A to Z should be a synch. It is also much easier to stay on budget if you have chosen one of their package deals.
Send out early invitations
Give your guests plenty of warning about your wedding so that they can plan and save a bit of cash. It's a big ask to invite people half way around the world, so don't be upset if they simply can't make it.
Send out a 'Save the Date' email to everyone invited as soon as you know which destination you are going to. You can send formal invites out closer to the date. "¨Usually people will need at least 10 months notice before a destination wedding.
Provide wedding info packs
Be sure to include an information pack with your invitations detailing:
How to get there
Where to stay
What to see and do
The itinerary of what will be happening (so they can pack appropriate clothing)
Any cultural rules or information they may need to know.
Organise some wedding fun
Arrange a fun group activity to get your friends out of the hotel and experiencing what the location has to offer. Try to think of something a little special that they will remember forever. Some ideas? A bush walk; snorkelling; wine tasting; ice skating; a sightseeing bus tour....
Whatever you choose, think about who you are planning for. Your great aunt may not wish to lace up some skates or don some hiking boots.
A wedding away is the perfect start to a 'happily ever after' life and the special memories created will stay with you and your guests for many years.
Check out our destination wedding countdown clock to make sure you are on trach with your wedding planning!