A destination wedding can be all that you ever dreamed of. After all, flying away to a beautiful location is a beautiful way to get married. However, couples need to consider real-life situations when having their wedding in another location, especially beyond the ocean borders. It is important to discuss the expectations vs. the reality of your special day. I am in the process of planning my destination wedding and have the perfect list of topics that you need to begin with when planning your dream destination wedding.
Here are five things you need to consider when planning a destination wedding.
You can’t control everything.
Type A brides must have control —I see you and join you. You and I have planned all the details to a “T” and need to keep track of each tiny detail. However, having your wedding somewhere besides your hometown means that you are putting your trust in your location’s wedding planners, and this can be stressful. They are the experts in the area and can advise you on what works and what doesn’t. It is best to provide them with your wish list and expectations, then hand it off and enjoy having someone else do the brunt of the work and feel like a guest at your wedding.
Location and expectations might need to be turned down.
A point to consider is that the location of your wedding will dedicate the feeling and overall vibe. Getting married in more tropical areas, such as the Caribbean, requires a bit more of a “go with the flow” mindset. There’s a lot of truth in being on island time, even when it comes to the schedule on your wedding day. It’s all part of the experience, and you and your guests can feel excited, relaxed, and stress-free by simply enjoying your time.
You will have fewer guests attend.
The expectation that all guests will attend when you’re adding a few days that they will need off work and an airplane ticket that might not be in the budget might have you receiving a few no’s. It is a good idea to prepare yourself to have a smaller amount of “yes” RSVPs. Beyond purchasing a wedding gift, your big day may come with the added costs of flights, hotel rooms, and other travel-related expenses. The good news is that so many locations are now offering a life-streaming option so that your destination wedding is a way to include loved ones from afar.
You may need to adjust your budget.
Resorts will lure you in with free pre-view of your wedding weekend, complimentary packages, or ones that include special perks and upgrades. However, don’t let this fool you into thinking that a destination wedding is inexpensive. If you are working with high-end or all-inclusive resorts—your cost may be more than you originally planned. Even luxury properties without all-inclusive plans can cost more. Also, you may have to allocate more in some areas and less in others within your budget to account for what you envision for your wedding.
You must think about the overall experience.
A typical wedding starts with the invitations, then the seating chart for your guests, and ends with the final sendoff. However, a destination wedding is anything but ordinary. Your guests may arrive the night before and leave the day after, stay the whole weekend, or they could plan their annual vacation around your big day. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to simultaneously have your loved ones all in one location. You may opt to plan a packed weekend full of activities, including a rehearsal dinner and post-wedding day brunch. You can bring in entertainment, hire a catamaran, or gather on the beach together. Think about the overall vibe and take good care of your guests, depending on your budget.