Are you dreaming of a fun, and unique destination wedding? Destination weddings are a choice for couples who like a change in scenery, a thirst for adventure, or a desire to extend bonding time and activities with friends and family. It is also a nice prelude to a couple’s honeymoon. In this post, we write in detail about destination wedding planner tips, costs, as well as the pros and cons of having an out-of-hometown affair of a wedding.
What is a destination wedding?
Destination weddings are weddings held at a different location from the couple’s hometown. The wedding party and guests are expected to travel for the pre-wedding activities, wedding ceremony, wedding reception, and after-party events.
Destination weddings require detailed and advanced planning to make them happen. It can be in a foreign country or a local tourist destination. There are more things to consider when planning a destination wedding. Some key factors to consider are the costs, travel requirements, activities for everyone, and finding a reliable destination wedding planner.
What to look for in a destination wedding planner?
One major reason to hire a destination wedding planner is to alleviate yourselves from unnecessary stress and emergencies due to one’s lack of knowledge, time, and local connections. In other words, it is essential for your own peace of mind.
Because destination weddings require more tedious work, it is important to hire a destination wedding planner who is reliable, detail-oriented, knowledgeable in this niche and has a portfolio to show in relation to destination weddings. It is good to ask for his or her destination wedding packages and costs.
Some of the responsibilities of a destination wedding planner include:
- Give you information on local laws, permits needed, marriage license requirements, etc.
- Connect you with the right vendors
- Offer venue options that fit your budget, guest list, and style
- Produce guidance in coming up with a feasible budget based on your preferences, while giving advice on where you can splurge or make cuts.
- Provide you and your guests with useful information and guidance on flights, travel requirements, local activities, accommodation, etc.
- Plan for emergencies such as weather changes, and other uncertainties that come with destination weddings
- Venue and vendor coordination, time management, and guest assistance
- Handle RSVPs and seat planning.
- Catering, program, and other reception coordination duties
What are the pros and cons of a destination wedding?
While destination weddings are a breath of fresh air, they come with both plusses and drawbacks. Here are some of them:
Intimate and more personal wedding celebration
Destination weddings give you the permission to not invite a whole bunch of people – only the ones you feel closest to.
Instant vacation getaway for friends and family
It’s a great way to extend bonding time together as you can also plan for some local or resort activities unique to that destination. This is why destination weddings are also called “vacation weddings”.
Wedding and honeymoon all in one!
You can go ahead and start the honeymoon right in that special place where you got married. That makes it lighter for the budget compared to planning for a separate honeymoon destination.
Amazing Wedding Photography
A backdrop of a beautiful beach, a mountain range, etc. can make your wedding extra memorable and impressive once the photo prints are out. The beauty of nature and outdoor lighting is a dream come true for your most cherished photos.
Now, let’s talk about the disadvantages of destination weddings. While out-of-town weddings are super great, there are some drawbacks, too.
Expect that not everyone can make it to your wedding.
Because it will usually require travel, not everyone can comply with flight requirements, schedules, etc. It can also be challenging for those with health issues.
Depending on the location, you will most likely spend for accommodation, food, and activities at tourist prices. If you will be transporting vendors and crew, additional costs apply.
Since it can be a new location for your family and friends, they may have to adjust to some climate or weather changes. Your wedding planner must be also ready to come up with contingencies in case of rain, etc. As for the couple, their bridal attire must match the overall climate and vibe of the place.
More specialized wedding planning is needed
Since destination weddings are a special type of event, the wedding planner is expected to be well-versed in the local requirements for holding a wedding, flight and travel information, knowledge and connection with wedding vendors, venues, etc. It is like having a wedding planner, a tourist guide, and a local official rolled into one!
What to consider when planning a destination wedding?
- How big is your guest list? Can they all travel?
- Flight information
- What are the local laws, permits, and marriage requirements?
- What’s the weather/climate like on the date of your wedding?
- Costs for housing guests, doing activities, catering, etc?
- Can you find a local or a specialized destination wedding planner?
- Wedding insurance
- Local venues
- Customs and traditions that must be respected
- Wedding dress to fit the destination
- And more!
How much does a destination wedding cost?
The straightforward answer is it depends on the destination. There are some places where lodging is cheap, so that’s a plus. It is also advisable to go local in terms of selecting vendors. Visit in advance so you have some idea of costs like activities, venues, etc. It should be expected that travel expenses, wedding insurance, welcome bags, and some money allowance would have to be factored into your budget.
Top 20 Places for the Best Destination Weddings
- The Caribbean
- Costa Rica
- Los Cabos
- The Big Island, Hawaii
- Bar Harbor, Maine
- Tucson, Arizona
- Sea Island, Georgia
- Park City, Utah
- Maui, Hawaii
- Lake Placid, New York
- Kauai, Hawaii
- Samui Island, Thailand
- Tuscany, Italy
- Marrakech, Morocco
- Capri, Italy
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Franschhoek, South Africa
- Seville, Spain
- Provence, France
Why Choose Mimi Ebichi Events?
Mimi Ebichi is a professional wedding planner for multicultural events and destination weddings. Our team has a wealth of experience and success stories in both local and international weddings. Our work can speak for itself.
As event designers, we deeply value relationships, culture, and trust. Hence, we strive to provide the most stress-free, and beyond-your-imagination wedding experience whether that is a hometown or a destination wedding.