A destination wedding sounds like a dream for many and depending on what your preferences are when it comes to the big day, you might want to say ‘I do’ overseas too. However, just like a wedding in your home country, there’s a lot of planning, if not more to do so that everything runs smoothly.
Being organized and planning ahead in advance is going to help you enjoy all of the wedding from the moment you book the venue to the day itself. So with that said, here are seven things not to miss when planning your destination wedding.
- Book all your suppliers as early as possible
Did you know that an average of $28,000 is spent on a wedding in a different location? Depending on where you get married, this budget could fluctuate quite substantially. The more unique and remote the location is, the more you’ll spend in costs for suppliers.
Something that you’ll also need to do in this scenario is to book all your suppliers. When the wedding location is more remote, you might be restricted on how many suppliers are available at your disposal and how quickly they get booked up.
It’s important to be aware that photographers and videographers can be booked up to a year or two in advance depending on their popularity. The same goes for things like catering and venue dressing. When planning a wedding, always book everything well in advance and create a check list to make sure you’ve not forgotten anything.
It’s worth having someone oversee this so that they can check for you that you’ve not missed out anything on the list.
- Have a Plan B for bad weather
GroupTravel found that 9 out of 10 couples gave climate as the critical factor for choosing a wedding destination. You may have already got a wedding destination in mind so if that’s the case, it’s essential to check the weather for the time of year you’re getting married and to have a Plan B for bad weather.
Even in the most tropical climates, there can be the occasional downpour and so there must be a contingency plan in place for a sudden turn of bad weather. This can be organized with the venue, providing they have the amenities to do so.
If the venue doesn’t have an option for indoors or sheltered weddings, then it’s worth considering whether somewhere else might be a more suitable option. The last thing you want is to hope for the best, only for you and your wedding party to get soaked or windswept. Think of the photographs and of course, the mood levels of everyone attending!
- Ensure someone is managing the big day itself
Planning a wedding is one thing but then overseeing the day is a separate effort in itself. Ideally, you’ll benefit from getting a wedding planner or on-the-day organizer for the wedding so that you don’t need to worry about anything minor.
Having a person in charge of running the day and making sure it all goes to plan, is going to ensure everything goes seamlessly. Relying on an organized individual or knowing exactly the plan of the day is going to make your role easier. All you’ll need to worry about is walking down the aisle without tripping up or falling over.
There are plenty of wedding planners out there that will be happy to travel for the wedding. If you’d rather this duty be handed over to one of your guests, make sure you pick wisely. Ideally you want someone for the most part who won’t drink and can stay calm in sometimes stressful situations.
It’s good to have the plan thought out beforehand so that at least you and your partner know what’s happening over the course of the day. Having somewhat of an idea can be helpful just in case you need to step in.
- Organize transport of bridal and groom’s parties
The transport of the bridal and groom’s parties are a must. It’s also critical that if things were to go wrong, there is available transport for just the bride and groom to get to the venue on time.
Transport can be a very important part of the planning because it’s necessary to get the logistics of the day in order. Your transport, whatever that may be, will need to know the time that they arrive to pick you up and the time they should be arriving at the venue. It’s then up to the transport company to ensure there’s enough time for travelling and for any delays that would prevent the travel company from leaving.
Often enough, the delays will be from the bridal party not getting ready in time and therefore needing that extra fifteen or twenty minutes. Always try to factor in some space in the day for delays. That way, if it does happen, it hopefully won’t impact too much of the day itself. The most important part of the day though is getting to the venue on time to get married.
Sort out transport with a reputable company and one that is good with communications from the beginning. A lack of communication can lead to mistakes and that’s not what you want on your wedding day.
- Prepare a shot list for photographs
If you’re getting a full-package photographer for the entire day of your wedding then you certainly want to make it last. The average starting price for a full-day package is around $2,050. That’s a lot of money for some photographs, so it’s definitely a good idea to prepare a shot list for your photographer.
There may be an option for two or more photographers so if that’s the case, then you’ll want to navigate where your photographers will be throughout the day. The more you can give them when it comes to shots you want to take to the people you want to ensure get photographed, the better.
With some photographers, they’ll do better by doing their own thing or they may want to take directions from the wedding couple. It’s all about finding the right fit for you as it’s important you get value for money and the photographs you’re after too.
Some bride and grooms to be will have an engagement or pre-wedding shoot so that they photographer can get used to you both as a couple. That way, on the day, they’ll know exactly how to capture your best angles and moments.
Also a tip with photographers is to ensure like any supplier, you have a photographer contract in place to protect you against any wrongful actions. There have been experiences where photographers have simply not shown up or failed to find a replacement for a couple.
- Arrive a few days before to check everything
When it comes to a destination wedding, it’s always a good idea to fly over to the destination a few days before the wedding. For some, it could be a few days whilst others will want to arrive a full week or so beforehand. This is useful to help iron out any potential issues or last-minute changes within the venue and to your suppliers.
Being in the country itself is going to be a lot better than trying to sort things out from your home country. Depending on where you get married, you’re having to deal with time zones and different work cultures that might be frustrating when something has gone wrong or there’s an emergency.
- Show gratuity for the locals and workers
And finally, when you’re in another country, it’s only right and respectful that you show gratitude to the locals around the wedding venue and any workers who are part of the wedding day itself.
It may be custom in some parts to tip for a lot of different services and to add tips onto certain suppliers that you’ve paid for. Although for the most part, it’s not always necessary to do so, it could be the difference between having an average service to something that goes above and beyond your expectations.
You may want to consider what to do with anything that gets leftover and could perhaps be donated to the local area. This is typical of things like flowers, that you could reach out to the local community to see if any small businesses or care homes perhaps are in need of them. It’s better to pass them on for others to enjoy, rather than to see them go to waste.
Planning a destination wedding is quite the challenge and whilst many more couples are choosing to marry abroad, it’s important to know the extra effort and time it can take to get it right. Make sure that the venue offers everything that you need, suppliers are booked in advance and you’ve got everything set up the way it should be.
Seeing as you’re only doing this once (you hope), you want to make sure it’s done correctly!
Author Bio: Natalie Redman
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Freelance writer for many clients including Skale, Natalie has two years of copywriting experience. Natalie has a wide range of experience copywriting for web pages for businesses across many industries. She’s also an owner of two blog websites and a Youtube content creator.