Updated: May 7, 2019
One common complaint about weddings is that there’s so much planning, hype and build up – all for one day! And it’s a fair complaint! That’s why many couples opt for a destination wedding. Destination weddings are just wonderful! They provide an opportunity for the couple’s families to come together and can really turn your wedding into so much more than just a day.
In this post we’ll provide a general overview of destination weddings and a few things to have a think about.
Planning + Preparation are the key to success
There’s no doubt that there is a lot of planning required for any wedding but destination weddings add an additional layer of complexity – visas, passports, flights, accommodation, keeping guests entertained, language barriers, remoteness, shotty vendors, legalizing the marriage in your home country - just to name a few.
Planning and really brainstorming all of the potential issues that may arise and having a plan and contingencies in place is far more important than if staying close to home because you may not be able to readily find what you need.
Because of this potential landmine of issues, it really is a good idea to reach out to a planner to assist. Local planners will have local knowledge to ensure your wedding goes off without a hitch.
Is it more expensive than a wedding close to home?
Depends. If you don’t include costs like flights, accommodation etc in the costs of the wedding and have only a small wedding, perhaps. It really just depends on the extravagance of your destination wedding. But most couples do consider those costs part of the overall wedding costs. Destination weddings also quite often mean you can’t DIY many things you otherwise could if hosting your wedding closer to home. So, don’t forget to consider those potential additional costs.
Making it legal
Generally, your marriage will be legal in your home country if you follow the requirements in the country in which you get married. For example, some States in the US have waiting periods or strict time frames within which you must get married. So, do your research and be prepared. Alternatively, if you want to avoid all that admin, you could always get married legally on the papers prior to your departure or upon your return home.
Here is a little checklist of helpful hints!
Really early on...
- Decide where you'd like to get married
- Talk about how you'd like to legalize your marriage
- Get your passports and sort out visas
- Hire a wedding planner!
- Think about whether you need specific wedding insurance (yes, it's a thing. And yes, it's a good idea!)
- Get your guest list together and think about securing a room block
- Plan out wedding events and things to do either side of the wedding to ensure your guests are comfortable, safe and entertained
- Check if you need any vaccines
- A wedding website is a great idea - you'll avoid answering the same question about a great spot to eat or the nearest pharmacy/rental car spot/supermarket etc
Closer to your wedding date
- Send any DIY items, favors and gifts to your wedding planner - you will have a lot to pack so offload these items if you can
- Get your packing list together. Depending on where you're heading think about what you might not be able to get or what you don't want to be wasting time on finding when you arrive
- For brides, think about your beauty preparations and who you'll see - your regular service provider or at the destination
Real close to your wedding date
- Confirm everything! Flights, accommodation, details with your wedding planner. Be prepared!
- Check the weather reports in the event you need a contingency plan
- Make sure you have all your electrical items in order - which includes the correct electrical converters
- Check in with your guests to make sure they are under control. It could be the first (international) trip ever or for some time for some guests.
- Carry your wedding day attire with you on the flight!
Once you arrive
- Meet with your planner and confirm all details - fix what you can but otherwise just roll with it!
- Apply for your local marriage license if that's the way you have decided to go
- Get your wedding attire out of the bags so they can de-wrinkle. It may be tempting to send items out for dry cleaning, which you could do. Just be extremely picky. You'll want to be careful with who you give these irreplaceable items to so close to your wedding day!
- Your wedding day is here! Try not to stress too much because this is the time to just enjoy everything you've worked so hard for. And remember, your wedding planner's gotchyou!
At Wild Luxe, we luuuurve destination weddings – especially in Hawaii! If you’d like some help, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org we would be oh so happy to help tell your love story!