Destination Wedding Etiquette: 4 Steps to Help Plan Your Destination Wedding & Make Once-in-a-Lifetime Memories by 30Seconds Mom
It's no secret that your wedding day should be one of the happiest days of your life. And if you happen to be hosting a destination wedding in an exotic location, these types of intimate affairs can be even more special and hold greater significance.
Then again, planning a ceremony and reception that will take place hundreds or thousands of miles away from home can be challenging and requires some additional planning for everything to go off without a hitch. Here are some tips and tricks to help make every part of your dream destination wedding a success:
1. Scout Your Destination
Although it isn’t always possible, if money and time allow, try to visit your destination point at least once prior to your wedding day to make sure everything is perfect. Doing this will help prevent any surprises from rearing their ugly heads and ruining your big day. Plus, who knows? Heavy construction may be happening in the area, the ceremony location could be next to a noisy pool or the setting may look nothing like it did online. Visiting your venue ahead of time can help stymie these issues and allow you to devise a backup plan in case of an emergency. Can't visit the site beforehand? Then make sure to read as many reviews of the venue as possible.
2. Mail Your Save-the-Dates Early
When it comes to wedding planning, one of the most important to-dos is to send out your save-the-dates well in advance. While there are no hard or fast rules, experts suggest mailing these cards six months before the wedding. For a destination wedding, it's customary to mail save-the-dates eight to 12 months in advance in order for guests to arrange airfare and hotel accommodations. If your destination wedding is taking place in another country, accounting for some extra time beyond the six-month window would be helpful. After all, some guests may need to apply for a passport and will need the extra time.
3. Hire a Local Wedding Planner
Unless you're hosting your wedding at an all-inclusive style resort, hiring a local wedding planner can remove a lot of stress and work from your plate. Since you won't be able to sit down with all your vendors and service workers ahead of time, a local wedding planner can often recommend the best options. Plus, if your destination wedding is taking place in a foreign country, the wedding planner can even help you overcome the language barrier. Bottom line: Leave a majority or all of the planning in the hands of an expert so you have one less thing to worry about.
4. Make Your Guests Feel Welcomed
Your guests may have sacrificed a lot of time and money to attend your impending nuptials, so providing them with a festive welcome bag when they first arrive will go a long way in making them happy. As with a lot of things in life, it's the thought that counts. As such, make sure your welcome bag contains snacks, drinks, sunscreen, some novelty items and a guidebook of things to do locally. An arrival lunch or dinner at the venue or at a renowned local eatery, as well as planned activities during the daytime are some other nice gestures.
If you check out your destination point prior to your big day, mail your save-the-dates cards early, hire a local wedding coordinator and make sure your guests feel happy and welcome, you may feel more confident about your special day being perfect and remembered by you and your guests for a lifetime.