There are more than a couple of must-know factors for planning a destination wedding. Of course, you’ll want to know EVERYTHING about the venue: the cost, the weather prediction, the guest capacity, the travel arrangements, the living arrangements, local florists, local caterers, etc.
One thing to note: It does add another level of complication to wedding planning. It is more difficult to meet with your vendors in person, but that is not to say that you shouldn’t have a destination wedding, as they are frequently more than worth the extra effort and cost. The pictures alone can attest to that.
One of the main considerations that you’ll want to make is what time of year you’ll be wanting to have your wedding day. Of course, if you are from a cold-weather climate, you may be interested in going somewhere warmer for your wedding. Let’s raise some questions. Can you have a similar wedding during the summer in your current location? Will your guests be able to get time off from work during this season? Will travel be hindered by weather?
Another consideration is the cost to your guests. It may be relatively inexpensive for you to take some time off (especially if you have planned for your honeymoon as well), but your guests may have other factors that make travel even more expensive for them. Some questions to ask:
Where are your guests located?
Do they have children that they will have to bring with them or hire a sitter?
Where will your guests stay?
Do they have other (possibly older) relatives that they are responsible for?
Can they take time off from work?
Generally, can your guests afford to go to your location?
If the answer is “no” and you value having your great-aunt Ruth attend more than being on the beach, you may want to reconsider.
Lastly, there is always a possibility of your guests not coming. You don’t want to be disappointed if someone doesn’t make it. If the people you want to have attend are on board, then by all means, take them somewhere cool and enjoy the vacation together. Bride Tip: Just also be aware that attendance is not a metric of how much they care about you.
We hope that you won’t be discouraged from having a destination wedding. Just a few of our recommendations are:
If you’re on the fence, try to find venues close to home that offer the same feel. Many cities have old cathedrals that give a European feel. Or a lake-front property that compares to a beach.
Keep your guest list small so you can help out with expenses if need-be.
Give your guests plenty of warning with your Save-the-Date so they can ask for time off ahead of time.
Host an engagement party, bachelor(ette) party, or reception in your hometown for the guests who couldn’t make the ceremony.
Either schedule around the holidays so that your guests are more likely to have time off, or avoid the holidays to avoid astronomical travel costs.
Hopefully we’ve been able to answer a few questions. Bon voyage!