Why Have a Destination Wedding?
Planning a wedding away from home is attractive to different couples for different reasons. Here are just a few:
1. Relatives all around the world. By having a family or friends scattered all over the world, finding the specific spot that suits everybody and each one of them can be a tricky thing to do. Here’s where the idea of having a wedding destination sounds like heaven to any mess.
2. Traditional weddings are not your thing. How many weddings have you been to this year? 24? 15? Aren’t you tired of seeing the same over and over again. Ballroom and hal weddings are a common thing these days. If getting out of the normal is what you’re looking for, selecting a spot far away from home is the best decision ever.
3. You want to make the preparation simpler. It is true that every wedding can morph into a logistical nightmare, whether at home or abroad. However, since many resorts and hotels have on-site wedding coordinators who do all the legwork for you, it can be less stressful to schedule a destination wedding.
4. You want to try to streamline costs (or even save money in some cases). No one can say definitively that a wedding destination costs less than an at-home reception. But nobody can claim that it costs any more, either. However, holding costs in check in a faraway locale also turns out to be simpler. Two reasons: one, you’re likely to have a smaller guest list (keeping the list slim is the biggest way to save $$ on your wedding); and two, your options are less detailed than they would be at home. It all seems exotic and wonderful when you’re preparing from afar, so you’re more likely to be content with the hotel’s simple clutch of local flowers, while at home you’d be visiting a half-dozen florists and being tempted by a more extravagant (and costly) bouquet.
Let’s Get Practical
Ah, it all sounds soooo delightfully dreamy. But a destination wedding still needs to be planned, in the everyday practical sense, same as any wedding. Here, three points you simply must consider:
1. Start early. You may think you have plenty of time, but when you start investigating your first choice locale, you may learn it’s a lot pricier than you thought, or getting there is too complicated for you and your guests. And speaking of guests, they need lots of time, too. While six to eight weeks ahead is fine for sending invites to a traditional wedding, you’ll need to give four months’ notice—minimum—to guests invited to a wedding away.
2. Stick to your budget. While it’s true that it’s easier to keep costs in check with destination weddings (it’s that all inclusive thing), it’s still wise to keep an upper limit firmly in mind. That way, if you happen to start tooling around online and see the ever so slightly ritzier resort just a few steps down the beach from the first place you loved, you’ll be far less inclined to spend more.
3. Be communicative. Send out save-the-date cards as soon as you know when and where you’ll be wed. It’s always a good idea to set up a wedding website to keep guests apprised of details. Let them know if you’ve set aside blocks of hotel rooms and how to book them, what to pack, what the itinerary of the event will be and so on. (Caveat: Keeping guests up to date is not the same thing as boring everyone to tears with details about the search for the perfect strappy sandal. Only give them the info they need.)
Caring for Your Guests
You are set to have the time of your life. But your guests? Let’s face it: If you hadn’t invited them to your wedding, they may not have chosen to visit this particular spot. So be sure to include warm and welcoming touches (and plenty of fun aside from the wedding) to keep guests happy.
This is simple to do and well received by travel-weary guests. Offer things like a map and a list of local attractions, an itinerary for wedding-related activities, bottles of water and snacks for the room. And toss in fun stuff—flip-flops for your beach wedding, a waterproof one-time-use camera, a spa gift certificate if you can swing the cost.
2. Investigate activity options to please a wide range of ages and proclivities. If your locale is great for hiking, kayaking or windsurfing, schedule a group activity for the day before or after the wedding. For those who may not want to take part, arrange a sightseeing tour.
3. Figure out if anyone will need special help, and take care of it. Does your grandmother need a wheelchair or your sister a crib for her baby? Arrange these things with the hotel in advance. If there will be children, check with the resort about babysitting services.
4. Make reserving a no-brainer, and pay for whatever your budget allows (such as breakfasts or a group activity). Generally accepted etiquette says that guests, including the bridal party, pay for lodgings, but do find out if your hotel offers a discount for groups (many do). Arrange a welcome cocktail party or light supper, as well as breakfast or brunch the day after the wedding.
Créditos de imagen: Image by adamkontor from Pixabay.