Destination Weddings

When planning a destination wedding, a couple has several factors to consider. It is exciting to have a “vacation” mindset when thinking about a wedding in a remote or tropical venue, but there is considerable more work involved for all parties. To start with, almost all of the couple’s personal attire must be purchased or rented offsite, unless you are holding the nuptials in a typical wedding destination such as Las Vegas or the Great Smoky Mountains. Places like those have stores that rent apparel, and some boast that they can outfit you in less than an hour!

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Second, if something is forgotten, it may be difficult to find a replacement. There may be some great vendors that service the area you choose, but if a couple feels limited on the items that those folks have in stock, it is not uncommon to “import” specialty items from surrounding cities. A few planning trips to the venue may be necessary before the couple feels that the wedding plans are ready to roll.

Another very important thing to consider is the law of the land. Do your research ahead of time to see if permits and special marriage licenses and passports or visas are necessary to obtain before you book with that locale. If so, make sure that you communicate the travel documentation needed to your guests when you send them a wedding invitation.

Regarding weather, most of the time a tropical or outdoor venue can be beautiful even in the traditionally colder months of January – March. However, once summer gets underway it is important to monitor the weather in case of approaching storms. So, when choosing your locale, be sure to ask the venue if they have an indoor area that can be reserved as a backup in case of inclement weather.

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From a guest standpoint, everything is exciting, because most guests will probably combine the wedding weekend with a few vacation days in order to sight see while in the area. Several coastal or tropical wedding venues offer horseback riding, golfing, beachcombing, boating, museums, boutique shopping and tours of the historical area. Famous cities that may be nearby offer exciting nightlife and culturally diverse foods.

A fun and popular way for a couple to kick off the welcome party after their rehearsal is for them to host a dinner or cocktail hour. This is a great way for the bride and groom and their families to take time to acknowledge all of their guests who have traveled to the wedding, as everyone knows that the wedding day is often very busy and bustling with necessary “to do’s.” Also, depending on the honeymoon choice that the couple has made, it may be possible for them to host a “morning brunch” on the day immediately following the wedding. This is a low key and relaxed way to thank the guests for their attendance and to spend a few quality moments with family before rushing to the airport or cruise port.

So, don’t let the “to do” list of holding a destination stop you. Just start early, get everything in writing, make a check list of papers and things to carry with you, then grab your significant other and head out for the wedding of your dreams!

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