Ask The Experts: 8 Things to Know as Your Plan Your Destination Wedding

Destination weddings have always been super popular, however I am seeing more and more people choosing to tie the knot abroad these days! Traveling for your wedding can give you so many amazing options, you could go anywhere in the world. How will a destination wedding affect your planning experience? Use these tips to enjoy every moment and plan the day of your dreams without too much stress.

Photo by Katja and Simon – full wedding here

1. Give Yourself More Time

Couples book destination weddings because the locations are either gorgeous getaways or famous spots for romantic moments. Either way, you’re not alone in your love for your potential wedding venue. Other couples are also likely eyeing it, so give yourself at least six months to a year to plan everything.

You’ll have more luck securing your preferred date by booking it well in advance. Your guests will also appreciate more time to schedule their big trip to your wedding between calendar events like holidays, school events and vacations they already committed to.

2. Set a Realistic Budget

Weddings always have custom price tags depending on factors like your guest list, venue and what type of wedding you want. A low-key backyard gathering with your closest friends will be more budget-friendly than a destination wedding at a famous venue with 500 attendees.

Consider these details to set a realistic budget. The average 2022 destination wedding cost $35,600 for domestic and international ceremonies, so prepare for a bigger budget. If you dedicate the most significant chunk of your budget to your venue, you can get creative to reduce other expenses like decor or thank-you gifts. Remember that you can always take on part-time jobs to help with your wedding’s budget. You can work from your own cargo van or car to deliver packages, write articles on the side, or even take on a part-time virtual assistant job.
As you plan your dream destination wedding, understanding your budget and exploring financing options is essential. For those concerned about their credit history, wedding loans for people with bad credit can provide a solution to ensure your big day is as magical as you’ve envisioned.”

Photo by Lighthouse Photography  – full wedding here

3. Remember Entertainment for Your Guests

You’ll get caught up in a busy, romantic haze during your wedding trip, but your guests will have to wait for the main event. They’ll get bored if they don’t have something to do.

Check what your potential destination venue includes in your wedding package. The venue or hotel you choose could have relaxation spaces with games like pool tables or arcade machines for kids. You can also create pamphlets indicating the popular things to do around your venue so everyone can decide what interests them when they want to explore the area.

4. Check the Regional Weather

Your wedding date might have perfect weather in your hometown, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world will have sunshine on your big day. Once you pick a location for your wedding, check the regional weather for your preferred date. If it’s in hurricane or snowstorm season, you should have a backup plan ready. An indoor location or a postponement deadline gives you a planned response if an unexpected weather event interrupts your trip.

photo by Amor Amor Weddings – full wedding here

5. Update Your Passport

International wedding travel will require an updated passport. Check that you and your fiancé are legally allowed to travel by validating that your passport has your accurate contact information and address. It should also be within the expiration date on the front of your card or the data page in your book.

Your guests may need reminders as well. Include a note on your save-the-date that they should update it if needed. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has an average processing time of 10–13 weeks, but agency representatives can rush an update request and send the new passport between 7–9 weeks for an extra fee.

6. Consider Local Helpers

Couples sometimes feel worried that they won’t choose the right photographer or caterer because they haven’t been to their preferred destination before. A local wedding planner can assist with that. They’ll have experience with nearby venues and recommend the most reliable businesses for your big day.

Local professionals may also be more budget-friendly. A videographer averages $2,100 in the U.S., but a videographer who lives near your venue may be more cost-effective. You won’t have to book a ticket or hotel room to get your videographer, photographer or any other contractor to your wedding.

photo by  Lighthouse Photography  – full wedding here 

7. File Necessary Paperwork Early

Couples always need to get a marriage license before their wedding. Contact the Register of Deeds for your home county to make it legal where you’ll live after your wedding. You may need to attend an in-person appointment and wait a few weeks to receive your license in the mail.

You should also research the specific country for your destination wedding. If you want to get married on the actual day of your ceremony, you may need to pay for paperwork, a translator and blood tests months before your big day. It depends on the country’s requirements and if there are international state requirements for that country as well.

Some destination wedding venues offer symbolic packages. Those packages look exactly like how you’d plan your real wedding, but there’s no legal paperwork involved. Instead, you’d sign everything you need for your residential county back home and have the legal ceremony there before leaving for your destination.

8. Ship Everything Early

It may be tempting to wait until the last minute to ship your decor and other wedding supplies. You may want to ensure you have everything you need, but you never know what might happen. Shipments get delayed and lost every day. Work with your venue to ship decor, clothing, and anything else you need in the weeks before your wedding. They can keep it in storage and work with you to send everything back home.

photo by Maria Rão Photography – full wedding here

You don’t have to worry about destination wedding planning. Tips like these will make every step easier. As long as you communicate with your guests, work with your venue and remember the less romantic details like legal paperwork, you’ll create the wedding of your dreams in the global getaway that captured your heart.



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