Written by Salina Jivani
The sun’s blazing, birds are chirping, flowers are blooming. Yep, it’s officially wedding season. And if you’re tying the knot during this breathtaking time of year, it’s understandable that you might be tempted to flee off to a distant (or not so distant) location to soak up the sun and enjoy the bounty of nature around you. And since your wedding is a milestone you’ll forever remember, it only makes sense to do it in a place that will make the moment all the more memorable, beautiful and perfect in your mind and in pictures. But while you’re busy contemplating putting together the best destination wedding ever, be sure to heed some simple tips to make sure your big day’s everything you’re hoping for and more.
Pick a realistic venue
It sounds dreamy and oh so romantic to get married in a centuries-old castle in Scotland or a remote island. But those venues probably aren’t realistic choices when it comes to coordinating vendors—like your caterer. Make sure the place you pick is a practical choice for you, your guests as well as the people you’re counting on and hiring to make your wedding the spectacular affair you’re hoping for. When selecting a venue, think about your decorator, entertainers, photographer/videographer, florist and any other vendors that’ll be contributing to the day’s celebrations.
Add a touch of the local
What’s the point of traveling hundreds or thousands of miles away from home if your venue’s going to look like any other one at…home? Pick up cues from the locale around you. If you’re on a beach, maybe add beach elements, like shells, to your décor. If you’re in the country, consider weaving in some local music into the evening’s song list. If you’re in a foreign land, consider adding a flavor of the local cuisine or incorporating a cultural wedding tradition. Adding a touch of the locale will help enhance your wedding and allow people to enjoy the feeling of being away from home.
Steer clear of busy times
Keep in mind that many places have busy periods or seasons during which special events, activities or celebrations take place—be sure to not book your wedding during these times. Doing so could result in pricier travel for both you and your guests as well as limit the availability of vendors and accommodations.
Figure out your vendors
Perhaps one of the most challenging parts about planning a destination wedding is picking out reputable, affordable vendors. Plan on spending a good amount of time doing research to select vendors who are reliable and whom you can count on. Read reviews and do your homework. Even better, if you have any family or friends who are familiar to the area, ask them for suggestions or recommendations.
Think about your guests
Your wedding is supposed to be all about you…or is it? Often in the midst of excitement, it’s easy to lose sight of the people without whom your special day would be incomplete—the guests! Remember, people who attend your wedding have spent time and money—likely hundreds of miles away from their own homes—just to be there for you during this priceless milestone in your life. Show them you appreciate their presence by considering them as you map out details that will affect them—like accommodations, cuisine, travel dates and, yes, even venue. Do they have religious or personal beliefs that would limit what they’re able to eat? Are there certain allergies you should consider? Is anyone physically handicapped? It’s understood you won’t be able to accommodate everyone in every single aspect of your planning, but rely on common sense to help you focus on significant nuances that could cause severe inconvenience to your guests. After all, a wedding without loved ones is really no wedding at all.
It’s easy to get frazzled in the midst of mindless details and planning as you strive to implement an unforgettable, mesmerizing destination wedding, but remember to steal moments to enjoy all the hard work and effort you’ve put forth into your special day. In other words, while you’re busy making amazing wedding-day memories in your paradise location, make sure you take time to take a break from stress and stop to smell the roses.