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Ancient castles, sunny beaches, and exotic resorts, these are just a few destinations that lure couples into getting married far away from home. A destination wedding is the most beautiful ceremony, but the process of planning it in a distant locale can be challenging. There is a lot more to take into account apart from the venue itself. Some of the things to consider include the weather at the location, guest available to travel, and timing of the ceremony. Also, you need to know how to plan a destination wedding.

Give Everyone Heads Up Early

To ensure that all your closest family and friends attend your wedding, let them know very early that you’re planning a destination wedding. Give them enough time to raise airfare and also get to book flights and accommodation sooner before prices hike. Send out save the date cards in advance and don’t be upset if someone close doesn’t attend. A destination wedding may be a sort of mini-vacation for you, but not everyone will be available to spend it with you.

Start Planning As Soon As Possible

Immediately you decide to do a destination wedding, let the wedding preparations begin. Apart from wedding planning, plan yourself as well, by getting your travel documents ready. Check if your passport is almost expired and have it renewed. You should also remind your guests to do that as well. Destination weddings can take up a lot of time and effort, especially if you wouldn’t be there daily to oversee things. Remember to negotiate time off work and try to be involved in the preparation process.

Hire A Local Planner

It’s recommended you hire a local planner who knows the area well or specializes in destination weddings. They know the best vendors, venues, and activities around the area. Additionally, they have knowledge of how to make your wedding even more personalized. Wedding planning can be a full-time job and even more demanding if it’s a destination one.

It’s recommended you hire a local planner who knows the area well or specializes in destination weddings. They know the best vendors, venues, and activities around the area. Additionally, they have knowledge of how to make your wedding even more personalized. Wedding planning can be a full-time job and even more demanding if it’s a destination one.

The local planner should take over the entire wedding planning because you can’t afford to be there in person every day. Let the planner know your timeline, budget, and what you want the wedding to look like.

Visit the Venue in Person

Venue selection is a very sensitive area when it comes to a wedding. You have to confirm that the place you’re booking meets all your expectations. Sometimes pictures can be misleading. Also, you need to discuss details of the price in person rather than over emails. You should be able to meet with your caterer too, and if possible, schedule to sample their food. However, if visiting regularly isn’t possible, plan to arrive five days early to check on final details and arrange for hair and makeup trial.

Set A Budget

Keep track of your finances by setting a detailed budget for the actual wedding and the entire planning process. Set the amount you want to spend including flight fare, vendors, and accommodation among others. For a destination wedding, consider the form of currency used at the destination, more so, when paying the vendors and any other local expense.

Book A Hotel That Offers A Group Discount

Since most of your guests will be responsible for their flight fares and accommodation, you can arrange for a group discount on accommodation with a hotel near the ceremony. This helps the guests save some money and they get to stay at the same hotel. It’s also a good way of ensuring they’re all comfortable considering that everyone is around friends, and family in a reserved hotel block. Note that, if you’ll be financially responsible for booking a resort, let the number of people attending your wedding be confirmed before paying for it. The reason being, if you book 45 rooms, but the number of guests turns out to be 35, you’ll not be refunded any amount. Make sure you confirm with your guest before paying for a resort or hotel to avoid incurring a loss.

Be Aware of The Local Marriage Requirements

Some countries have legal requirements that must be adhered to if you want to tie a knot there. These conditions include a “residency requirement” (for example, 24 hours in Turks and Caicos and seven days in England), meaning you have to reside in that country for a certain amount of time before the ceremony. Remember, it can be a matter of day for some countries, while others can take longer. For instance, if you want to get married in France, you’ll be required to arrive at least 40 days before. Google all these requirements long before the wedding date and make it official (by government standards) before traveling. You can’t afford to have your wedding canceled after all the preparation and money spent putting everything together.

All images by Shutterstock

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