When planning my wedding, the thought of a destination wedding was very appealing. Escaping from the cold midwest to a tropical beach to profess my love for my partner.
When it comes to planning a wedding, you will have to make a lot of decisions. Perhaps the most important decision you will have to make first is where to have the wedding. As you begin brainstorming, you may be considering a destination wedding.
Here are six things to consider to help you decide if a destination wedding is right for you.
The price of a wedding is something people usually talk about last when it should be discussed first. Depending on where you have your wedding and the number of guests, the price of a destination wedding can vary greatly. For example, let’s say you are planning a smaller wedding on a Caribbean island at an all-inclusive resort. It may be more cost-effective than a big wedding in your local city. It all depends on what and who you want on your special day!
When discussing costs for a destination wedding, include the number of rooms and flights you plan to cover for your guests. Does this list include just you and your partner? Or will you cover the expenses for your parents, wedding party, or other family members?
No matter where you have your wedding, the location will play a significant role in your wedding. It will set the tone for the rest of the planning process and help you determine everything from what you wear to what you eat. Whether it’s a tropical wedding in the Caribbean, a fairytale wedding in a castle, or a romantic wedding in your hometown, location is everything!
If you have a big family or circle of friends that will attend a local wedding, will they be willing to travel to a destination wedding? One of the reasons that destination weddings are competitive options is that fewer people will attend. Your loose acquaintances are unlikely to want to spend the money to get to your wedding, so you have fewer people to feed at your reception.
Your wedding date is going to be a day that you remember for the rest of your life (though I recommend a videographer because things will be a blur). You should start planning your destination wedding at least one year in advance, with peak seasons being booked up as soon as they're opened by the venues; starting the conversations about your wedding 16 to 24 months before your big day will help keep options open.
Your chosen date will impact the type of destinations that are open to you. If you want to tie the knot in a tropical destination, you'll want to choose a date that falls in the dry season to minimize having your wedding rained out.
Part of the appeal of having a destination wedding is incorporating the local culture into your wedding festivities. Using local flowers for your bouquet, serving traditional dishes for dinner, and even using the natural beauty of your destination for photos are great ways to save money and commemorate your special day.
Most destinations include the services of a professional wedding planner that takes care of all the leg work before your big day. Speaking from experience, this service is worth its weight in wedding cake. They know all the local vendors and have experience planning weddings without the couple within easy driving distance.
When choosing a destination, you need to consider how easy it will be for you and your guests to travel. Is there a direct flight from most major cities? Do major airlines fly there? Once you’re there, how will everyone get around? A travel advisor can help sort all of this out, but it is important to remember when selecting a destination.
For international destination weddings, passport requirements should also be considered. How many of your family and friends already have a valid passport? Are they willing to get one? Is there enough time for them to apply and receive the passport before your big day?
Number of Attendees
Considering the number of people you want to have at your wedding is essential for multiple reasons. Besides the costs you'll cover for your guests, you'll need a venue that can accommodate your wedding. Is the resort large enough to host everyone? Do they have enough for your guests to do in their downtime?
While considering how many people will attend, many resorts include a free room for the newlyweds if the party books a set number of rooms. This is a great way to lower your cost of the overall wedding, but keep in mind any cancellations by your guests will impact the offer and if enough guests can't make it you'll be left with the bill of your honeymoon suite for your length of stay.
Bonus Tip - The Honeymoon
One of the best perks of having a destination wedding is being able to go on your honeymoon immediately. If your ideal wedding and honeymoon both involve a tropical island, then it is probably worth planning a destination wedding. This can also allow you more time to spend with your guest before the wedding.
If some of your guests extend their stay, choosing a room with a private pool or an over-the-water bungalow is a great way to make your honeymoon more intimate.
Are you dreaming of a destination wedding but not sure where to start? Schedule a consultation with Rainbow Getaways to talk about your dream wedding. We have contacts around the globe to make sure you have a memorable and fabulous wedding.
Rainbow Getaways proudly help travelers of the LGBTQ community (and our allies) research, plan, and book incredible vacations where you feel confident and comfortable enjoying and exploring your destination. We plan each vacation to meet your specific needs, so you'll have an experience just as unique as you.