A destination wedding can be a thrilling way to kick off your marriage, but it can also become stressful if you aren’t able to visit the location you’re planning on holding your wedding in. There are plenty of factors that may contribute to your inability to travel in person to the city you’re planning your wedding in, from budgetary constraints as you save for your wedding to a demanding work schedule and lack of vacation time. That being said, it is possible to plan an unforgettable destination wedding without ever setting foot in your venue until the rehearsal dinner. Here are a few tips to follow as you plan the ultimate destination wedding.
Nail down guests well in advance
While some brides and grooms forego “Save the Date” cards, in a destination wedding it is crucial that you alert your guests ahead of time. Whether your wedding requires an overseas flight or just a long road trip, giving your guests a heads up about your wedding date and location helps them make their travel plans better. Not only is this a courtesy to your guests, it will also ensure that you don’t end up budgeting for guests that don’t end up attending your wedding.
Hire a wedding planner
Just because you hire a wedding planner doesn’t mean that you and your fiancee are forfeiting the right to make decisions in your wedding. A high-quality wedding planner will help keep you and your betrothed on track as you make decisions, and ultimately ensures that nothing falls through the cracks. From handling the coordination of vendors to researching any applicable laws governing your locale, you can count on a wedding planner to do some of the busy work so that you can plan the fun stuff.
Source local vendors when possible
From DJs and caterers to photographers and bakeries, there are a lot of vendors to talk with when planning a wedding. Having a local vendor who may be able familiar with your venue is a great way to start to create a collective understanding of the ins and outs of your wedding location. Even better, a local can save you a lot of money on airfare, as some vendors will add travel and lodging costs into their fees otherwise. While cake sampling can pose a challenge if you’re unable to make it to your destination beforehand, there are plenty of other vendors with online portfolios. Plus, with the utilization of technology, you’ll be able to photo share to find and assess a vendor ahead of time, whether you’re searching for Iceland wedding photography or need to find a good DJ in Madrid. Make sure that you at least speak with vendors on the phone or via Skype ahead of time to get a better feel for their personality and attitude. You don’t want to be surprised on the day of your wedding.
Bring the dress on the plane
While some brides are very protective of their dress, others may be less likely to consider how they transport their dress from their home city to the wedding destination. Horror story after horror story reveals that the best way to get your dress from point A to point B is by bringing it as a carry on item. Even if it means that your dress is folded on your lap for the duration of your flight, you will be much more grateful when you know for a fact that your dress is going to make it to your destination, all in one piece.
PRO TIP: Don’t include in checked baggage any crucial elements of the wedding-day attire. If luggage gets lost, you could end up scrambling for replacements that fit the wardrobe. If you ordered custom groomsmen socks, consider fitting them into your carry-on luggage.
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A destination wedding can be a beautiful and memorable way to begin your life as husband and wife, but it can also be stressful to plan. If you follow the tips mentioned above, you’ll be one step closer to the wedding of your dreams and many steps away from wedding planning stress.