Written by Sophie Garrod with Dalston Mill FabricsEveryone needs advice, and today's insights come from Dalston Mill Fabrics who know all about destination weddings. At Wedgewood Weddings, we strive to have local and far venues for every type couple. Read on to find out more about making your destination wedding a success.
Destination weddings are a big deal and it’s easy to see why. Saying “I do” on the beach in Carmel, while standing on powdery white sand and with perfect Pacific waters behind: what could be more beautiful on your wedding day?
However, if you do decide to have a destination wedding, this means you’ll need to plan your wedding from a distance. Planning a wedding can feel like a lot of work, and arranging one from far away - or even abroad - comes with its own unique challenges.
In this article, we’ll look at how you can plan your destination wedding with a minimum amount of stress and the maximum amount of success!
1. Visit Your Destination in Advance
One of the key parts in planning a destination wedding successfully is knowing the location well. This may be a place you’ve been many times before. If not, you’ll want to visit the destination at least once ahead of the wedding date in order to discover all its secrets. This is important in all scenarios, as this is your opportunity to visit venues, meet with vendors, and start to make arrangements. Having met with key people first will make it easier to continue to make arrangements with them over the phone or via email. The Wedgewood Weddings team suggests starting with a phone call to your potential venue or vendors, then following up with lots of pictures over email, Instagram or Pinterest, and then locking in a date when you can visit everyone during a single super-productive day!
2. Make Your Destination The Priority
It’s also critical that you choose an appropriate location for your big day. Some destinations are better left for travel than destination weddings. A great wedding location is made up of much more than a beautiful paradise! You also need to consider practical and logistic factors that are important to making your special day a success. For example, are suitable wedding and reception venues available at the destination? Will there be appropriate accommodations to house all your guests? How difficult and/or expensive will it be for your guests to travel there? These are all questions your venue tour guide should be able to answer readily.
3. Set Your Date Well in Advance
With destination weddings, you’ll want to confirm plans and inform everybody well in advance – with more notice than you would with a regular wedding. This is because your guests (and wedding party) will need plenty of time to save money, request time off work, book flights, arrange childcare, and so on. Be sure to send out full details of the wedding at least four months ahead of the wedding date.
4. Choose Your Date Well
When setting your wedding date, you’ll have a few extra considerations to keep in mind. Know that the timing of seasons vary and consider your needs. A gorgeous snow scene wedding in New England is possible from November through March, whereas wildflowers bloom in SoCal in May, and Las Vegas is picture perfect year round. Research the weather for your destination, and also consider the high season and low season. During high season, venues and accommodations can be more expensive or booked out completely. Low season is low for a reason, so “shoulder season” (the period just before and/or just after high season) is often the best choice.
5. Give Your Guests as Much Info as Possible
When sending out wedding invitations, be sure to include as much information about the destination as possible. Include a handy info sheet that contains everything your guests need to know: how to get to the destination, where to stay, the predicted weather, what to pack, and things to do. Travel can be intimidating for some people, so this kind of information will allow your guests to relax and focus on enjoying your special day with you.
6. Set Up Legal Considerations
If you're marrying overseas, then remember that laws relating to marriage vary from country to country. Therefore, in order to make sure that your nuptials will be legal, be sure to consult with a lawyer. Seek advice from a wedding planner or legal expert familiar with the destination country, to find out if there are any specific wedding requirements. It’s also a good idea to consult with a lawyer in your own country in case there is anything you need to do when you return home to make sure your wedding is legally recognized.
7. Outsource or DIY Your Decorations
Transporting large amounts of decorations is a headache, so work with your local venue team/wedding planner to have them complete the heavy lifting for you. If you're craft inspired, there are plenty of things you can do quickly or that will travel well like these simple DIY ideas for wedding decorations made with felt fabric and other basic supplies.