Planning a destination wedding can actually be fun and (mostly) headache free if you follow our advice.
Have Your Due Diligence Completed in Advance
Book your destination venue well in advance to avoid missing out on your dream location.
It is also important to reserve a large enough block of rooms for your guests. So, it is key to have an early tentative head count of who will be attending.
Send out save-the-date cards as soon as possible to ensure that guests can make the necessary preparations (take work off, plan flights, etc.) for your destination wedding.
Research the location’s legal guidelines to marriage and information on travelling to and from the area. This can include updating your passport or other sources of identification and checking the legal procedures concerning immunizations and marriage license applications.
Choose an Appropriate Location
Depending on you and your guests’ travel budget, try and choose a location that is practical for all. If it is too difficult to get to or just too expensive of a trip then you will miss out on having all of your family and friends in attendance.
Choosing an appropriate location is as easy as checking flight costs, the number of typical connections and making sure that your destination offers a range of accommodations to satisfy a number of different budgets.
Some questions to ask yourself are: Where will family and friends be flying from? Can their number of connecting flights be limited to three or less? Are the flights reasonably priced? Do the itineraries make sense with your planned events for the wedding?
Combine the Wedding and the Honeymoon
Having the honeymoon in the same location as the wedding will not only save you money on additional airfare and other travel expenses, but will also serve as a seamless, stress-free transition from one to the other. You are already at your dream destination, so why go anywhere else?
Check the Weather and Local Calendar
Be sure to check seasonal weather patterns such as hurricane or rainy seasons. In case of unexpected storms, it may be crucial to purchase travel and wedding insurance.
Try your best to avoid planning a wedding during a local festival or other attraction that may bring in other tourists and in turn, raise your rates.
Try to Keep Your Guests in Mind
Make sure that the efforts your guests are making to attend your destination wedding do not go unnoticed.
Have them feel appreciated by giving them all the necessary information needed to make travel arrangements, transportation from the airport to the venue, a list of local activities or places to visit and even a welcome dinner party once everyone arrives.
Seek Out Professional Help
Planning a wedding abroad can be much more difficult due to language barriers and your lack of knowledge in the local area.
Hiring a wedding planner or using the wedding coordinator at your selected venue can make your life dramatically easier! Whether it is selecting the best vendors (florists, caterers, musicians and photographers) or assisting in the event logistics, leave it up to these professionals to make your wedding day as memorable as possible.
Ideally, visit the location before the event and meet with the wedding planner to review their options in person so that you can make the most educated decisions.
This article originally appeared on Couples.com and is republished with permission.