Dos and Don’ts of Destination Weddings

A newlywed couple kiss on a boat dock after a destination wedding in Europe

While everyone loves destination weddings, most people don’t realize just how difficult it is to plan them. One person can’t do all the planning work by himself. In order to make a destination wedding successful, there has to be a team of people working together to create the perfect wedding experience. There are many different types of destination weddings that you can choose from, and each one of them requires different amounts of preparation.

Planning Your Destination Wedding

One of the key factors in planning a destination wedding is the amount of time it takes to plan it. Whether you’re having a wedding on the beach in Hawaii or in the snowy mountains of Switzerland, it takes time to create a special wedding event and planning shouldn’t be put off until the last minute. Catering, decorations, and invitations must be done on an exact timeline so everything will come out perfectly. Invitations should be sent out months in advance, so the guests can plan accordingly for travel and lodging.

A bride and groom stand in front of guests at a beach wedding

A destination wedding is a great idea if you love to travel, but guests sometimes have difficulty budgeting the airfare and lodging. In many cases, destination weddings just include immediate family members. If other guests can afford it and can take time off for the trip, then it’s always easy to make an addition to the invitation list. Planning the wedding should begin up to a year before the wedding. Procrastination is not a good idea, as many places are reserved up to one year in advance.

Budgeting for a International Destination Wedding

One of the biggest issues when jetting guests off to an exotic destination is that your guests don’t know much about currency exchange rates. Keep in mind your guests’ budgets, and be prepared to contribute financially to help them if needed. Currency exchange rates can vary greatly in different parts of the world. Make sure you know how much the American dollar is worth in local currency before deciding on a place to have your wedding. In many cases, you will need to consider transportation expenses since you may need to help some of your guests with their travel costs. Remember, you won’t be the only one dropping an large amount of money on this event.

A globe with two wedding rings sitting on top

If the budget is done correctly and there is a favorable currency exchange rate, some couples will be able to pay for a lot of their guests’ transportation and lodging. Look into renting a block of rooms and transportation by rental bus or van. Visiting different venues and comparing prices with your wedding coordinator and future spouse is always a great idea too. Have several different plan options, don’t just rely on one specific venue and budget scenario. You have to be open to other possible wedding ideas that will be beneficial for you and your guests.

Destination Weddings: Expectations vs. Reality

After months of preparation, the destination wedding of your dreams will be a dream come true. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Find ways to address any problems and move on to the next area of your wedding planning that needs attention. This destination wedding will be a reflection of the people you have behind you helping plan and organize everything for the big event. Don’t expect too much from your guests, even though it’s a big day in both of your lives, not everyone will be on board with all the decisions being made. Visualize the real outcomes of the possible plans you want to execute and put your plans into motion.

Small wedding ceremony set up near the ocean

As a bride and groom, you must learn how to separate expectation from reality. If one of your budgets require the guests to pay a lot of their own expenses, you may not see many guests at your wedding. If there is a difference in culture in the area that you plan to host your wedding, provide your guests with a handbook with rules and suggestions regarding the local customs and culture of the area.

A destination wedding can be challenging, but with the right team and family behind you, it can be a huge success. A lot of planning and organizing goes into a destination wedding and having a wedding coordinator would be beneficial. As a couple, you should work together to make sure that every single guest is comfortable and can afford to attend the wedding. You will have an unforgettable wedding if the budgeting and planning are done correctly. Take your wedding planning in stride because after all, you are planning for the happiest day of your life.

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