10 Smart Ways to Plan a Destination Wedding


Summer is one of the best seasons for a destination wedding, so if you plan to have your own this year, you may need to know these destination wedding hacks. Who doesn’t want to tie the knot on an exotic beach?

A far-off and exotic location can be romantic by itself. Getting married in such a place can be wonderful, indeed. Before you have fun with your destination wedding, though, you need to put in some heavy-duty planning. Here are a few tips to follow.

1. Find the right place

The idea with a destination wedding should be to have your guests see your choice of location as a great reflection of who you are as a couple. If you are an environmentally conscious couple, a rustic, farm location can make sense. If you’re the outdoorsy kind, a beach wedding can be right. If you’re wine lovers, California’s wine country could be a great idea.

2. Catch the place at the right time

Finding the perfect destination isn’t just about landing on something that looks good on paper. It would help if you researched it to make sure that it really is at its best around the time that you plan to get married. If the place at that time is overrun with tourists, is in the middle of the monsoon, or is too cold and deserted to be fun, you’ll need to pick another place.

3. Before you make up your mind, go over there

While it can take an investment of time and money to fly out to the destinations on your shortlist before you settle on one, it’s something you need to do. You can’t pick a destination, sight unseen. If you like a place, you should consider going with a destination wedding planner who is local to the place, rather than taking the DIY route. In most cases, running the whole show via remote control tends to be impossible.

4. Research local marriage rules

If your destination wedding is in a different country, you may need to think about complying with local marriage laws. In France, for instance, you need to have lived in the country for a full 40 days before you apply to marry there. In others, the rules usually require less than a week.

5. You need to prepare for a few extras

A destination wedding can cost less than what a wedding would in a major US city. Nevertheless, it’s important to factor into a few extra expenses into your budget. Travel arrangements for the family are an obvious one to budget for. You also need to think about travel expenses for important vendors you’ll bring with you.

More: 10 Wedding Items Worth Splurging On

6. Find a professional to take care of the arrangements

If you find that a local wedding planner is too much for your budget, you have another choice – choosing a holiday resort as your wedding venue and entrusting the arrangements to the management at the resort. If you choose this method, you can usually save 10% to 15% on what you would pay a wedding planner.

7. Consult your friends and family before you decide anything

Even if you have the money you need for the destination wedding of your dreams, your guests may not be able to afford the trip. You may find that the most important people in your life are simply unable to come even if they want to. It’s usually a good idea to discuss financial ability with your friends and family before you decide on a place.

8. Consider a cruise wedding

Destination weddings don’t have to be on land. It’s a popular trend today to sign up with a cruise line for a cruise wedding. These destination weddings can be much more affordable than traditional ones. Although a cruise wedding has many advantages, there are a few disadvantages – the biggest one is that it takes longer to plan this type of wedding. Look for the most affordable wedding cruise packages to save more money for your honeymoon.

9. Have someone who speaks the language on hand

Even if you do use the services of a wedding planner to get your wedding off the ground, not knowing a word of the local language may be difficult. Being unable to communicate your preferences to any vendor or worker can be tough. If you can, you should consider getting some kind of interpreter to go with you, or at least ask the wedding planner for one.

10. Start planning well in time

Destination wedding locations are usually booked up months, if not a year in advance. If you begin planning 6 months before the day, you’ll find many choices close to you. It’s important to begin planning well in advance. Sure, you can plan your destination wedding in a month to afford many extra expenses and if your guests are ready to change their summer vacation plans.

More: 11 Ways to Plan a Super-Fast Wedding

Planning a wedding away from home isn’t easy. You need to make more serious decisions, make more bookings, discuss your plans with your wedding guests, and spend more money than you planned. While a destination wedding does take extra effort, the results can be well worth it.

Have you already picked a location for your wedding destination? Do you have any other tips to share?