Choosing a location

Your wedding destination isn’t just a scenic photo backdrop. It’s a place with its own inhabitants, weather patterns, and local quirks. Research the area, starting with the climate. Is there a stormy season? A super-busy tourist season? This will help you establish a wedding date at the outset.

 

Root out any potential travel warnings, from public health concerns to political turmoil. Consider the accessibility of the infrastructure. Tiny villages are romantic, but will the quaint local hotel fit all of your guests? 

 

Ideally, you should visit your destination before booking, and then again a few months before the wedding. Use your initial visit to meet with vendors in the area. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for their best suggestions. 

 

Accommodating guests

When you throw a destination wedding, you demand a lot from your guests. Wedding guests are expected to absorb travel and hotel costs at the very least. So it’s important to make everyone as comfortable as possible throughout the trip. 

 

Work with a travel agent to arrange group reservations and find good deals on flights. Draw up a clear itinerary. Try to reserve room blocks in local hotels and/or offer convenient lodging recommendations. Consider starting a private wedding Facebook group to share up-to-date information with your guests. 

 

Many destination nuptials eliminate the wedding registry to avoid further straining guests’ wallets. Alternatively, you can limit your registry to virtual offerings, like gift cards. 

 

Help your guests make the most of your chosen destination. If feasible, plan additional group activities to immerse everyone in local flavor. Anticipate people’s needs with welcome bags full of helpful goodies—for example, if you’re going tropical, you could include mini bottles of sunscreen and aloe. 

 

Expecting the unexpected

Destination weddings can be logistically complex, and little details may get lost in the shuffle. Make everything go smoother by hiring a planner who specializes in such weddings. Leave room in your budget for unforeseen costs, like airport transfers. Purchase wedding insurance to protect yourself. It’s a huge undertaking, but for globetrotting lovebirds, it’s so worth it.