Is there anything more romantic than being whisked away by the love of your life to a far away land and vowing to love each other forever? No, not really. But I'll tell you what can put a damper on that dreaminess real quick...logistics! Not to freak you out or anything, but planning a destination wedding is pretty much like climbing the Mount Everest of the event planning world. So take a deep breath, grab a glass of wine, and get ready to take some notes! Here are my top tips for planning a destination wedding:
1. Locations with Heart❤️
When you're looking at fantastic, dream-like spots for you wedding, pick a spot that means something to you.
Did you first meet during a year abroad trip in Ireland? Did you celebrate your first year as a couple down to Cabo? Did he propose under a waterfall in Kahuai?
Pick a spot that feel like "you" as a couple. It doesn't have to be a spot you've been to together, but it should match your personalities. Never miss half priced wine night at your local restaurant? How about a Napa wedding? Do you both get giddy every time you see a roulette wheel? How about Vegas!?
2. Send out a heads-up!
Let your girls know that you're planning a destination wedding BEFORE you ask them to be in your bridal party. That way it won't get awkward if they have to decline because traveling to Tahiti just isn't doable for them financially.
Send out your save the dates well ahead of time so that you can give your guests plenty of time to research what their costs will be. This also gives them time to book plane tickets and hotel rooms in advance, before prices go through the roof!
3. Check Vendor Creds!
Picking vendors from a sea of online images and reviews can be tough, especially if you can't meet with them face to face. If you have a coordinator at your venue/resort, they can be super helpful with recommending the true pros and weeding out the posers, BUT keep in mind that they are coordinators for the VENUE, not destination wedding planners.
You guys know I am a HUGE fan of hiring a professional wedding planner, regardless of where your wedding will be, but for destination weddings, they are a must!
Also, consider booking vendors from your local area to help you create magic! Flying in professionals you know and trust for the big ticket items (photography for example 😉) can relieve so much stress. Did you know a certain internationally award winning photographer actually has special collections and rates for destination weddings!? True story! Message me for deets!
4. Dress for Success
Ladies, if you're planning on having your wedding out in the gorgeous Sonoran Desert, a ball gown with a cathedral length train might not be the way to go (oh, those cholla cacti LOVE tulle!) And if you're getting married on a beach in Hawaii, a full three piece tux will probably make your man faint in the tropical heat before he even makes it to the altar! Remember that you chose this special spot because of the "feel" of it. You want your wedding duds to feel just as magical :)