Is wanderlust your middle name? Or could it be that you want a smaller wedding? Or perhaps you simply find it dazzlingly romantic to say “I Do” somewhere exotic? Whatever your reason for desiring a destination wedding – it’s a fabulous idea. Destination weddings are becoming increasingly more popular as the cost of travel is decreasing, accessibility of exotic regions is improving, and folks are wanting to get away from the hum drum of normal life.
Planning Your Destination Wedding
Your destination wedding can be everything you’ve dreamt of, or it can turn out less than ideal. The difference lies in the preparation and knowledge you have ahead of time. Above all else, the absolute most important thing you need to do is plan ahead. Give yourselves plenty of time to figure out all of the details without feeling rushed. Though it’s your special day, there’s much to consider on account of the guests as well as yourselves, which is why we’ve outlined what we consider to be some crucial tips when planning a destination wedding.
Honor Your Vibe – Generally speaking, “be true to yourself” is always a healthy way to approach any situation, and a destination wedding is no different. Sit down with your significant other and be really honest with one another about what sort of “destination” fits with your style. A lot of the stress destination weddings can bring, happens only when couples make a rushed choice, or a choice based on where they think their family will feel more comfortable. It’s your day, and though your guests are very important, you also need to be true to yourself!
Mind the Weather, Or Else! – If you’re still in the early planning stages, you might have checked on the seasons for one or two locations, but have you checked the weather for all of them? Even within a given region, weather can fluctuate within a few miles. The Caribbean, for example, has general seasons, but certain islands have a higher percentage of bad weather days and good weather days – even if they’re only miles apart! Dig deep when it comes to weather, your big day is just one day – so you want to make sure it’s a perfect weather kind of day!
Dress For the Occasion – Brides beware: warm climates can mean sweat, which can mean sweat marks in the less-ideal fabrics. Be sure to consult your wedding planner, or do your own research, on the best fabrics and styles for the weather. You’ll also need to pass on this information to everyone in the wedding party, and even your guests. Your wedding day will be blissfully wonderful, as long as everyone is comfortable.
Get Acquainted With the Law – Typically your wedding planner will already be well-versed in what the laws regarding matrimony are, but you should do some preliminary research before even choosing a destination. There are certain countries that will actually require a couple to arrive a certain amount of time before the wedding can take place. France requires the bride and groom to be in the country 40 days before! This may also help you narrow down your search for a destination.
Realize Your Guests Will Want to Hang Out – New place, vacation days, and a reason to celebrate you, are all reasons your guests will be all over you and your fiancé, asking questions, wanting to treat you to dinner, and generally just wanting spend all day everyday with you. Creating group events ahead of time, is a great way to manage the demand for your time. If you’re arriving a few days or longer beforehand, organize specific group events and invite your guests to come along if they wish. This way, you’re carving out time to spend with them, while also being a pseudo guide for everyone. Your group events could be things like – snorkel trips, groups tours, wine tasting, food tasting, boating trips, etc.
Don’t Take it Personally – What should you not take personally? Anything! Don’t take it personally if a family member makes a negative remark regarding your destination – it’s your big day and your choice, plus everyone has different tastes and opinions. Don’t take it personally if certain family members or friends don’t attend – a destination wedding can be a big expense for guests, and as a result there are typically fewer guests at all destination weddings. Prepare yourself for these situations ahead of time, and they won’t bother or surprise you if they happen!
Alright! You’re well on your way to having the destination wedding of your dreams! Remember – the key to success lies in planning in advance, and doing as much research as possible! Once you’ve narrowed down your desired destinations, you can being to select a wedding planner, most couples typically work with the planner at the property they want to use, since the property planner knows both the ins and the outs of the property, as well as the country.
Rely on your wedding planner to guide you through the process of selecting and working with vendors, dealing with the laws, and choosing entertaining outings for your guests. The wedding team at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort on the Caribbean island of Curacao, is well versed in destination weddings, and can help you create a destination wedding even greater than you’ve imagined. Contact us today to get started planning the most exciting day of your life!