PLANNING A DESTINATION WEDDING - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
If you’re like us, you can’t wait to travel again once the world opens up! While we’ve loved exploring every hiking trail available in California, we’re ready to get our passports stamped again and see all the things. With the world starting to open up again, we predict that the trend for 2022 is going to be destination weddings, and we’re already seeing that with our client requests.
Destination weddings are an incredible opportunity to get away somewhere special with the closest people to you. From the welcome party to the reception and the post-wedding brunch you are gifted with extra time to take everything in. Imagine exploring the Amalfi coast on a catamaran with your people - sounds dreamy, right?! So if there’s a destination that holds a special place in your heart or you’ve talked endlessly about wanting to travel there together, why not explore it as a possible wedding option. With the right planning team, pulling of a destination wedding might be easier than you think.
We’ve gathered up our top tips for planning a destination wedding - keep reading for more!
LOCATION: Finding a venue in a meaningful place will add more to the event. Looking for a French chateau or a beach villa in Mexico? Do it! But before you book, consider the following:
- Local travel restrictions: do you and your guests need visas? How do the new covid regulations impact what documents you need on arrival?
- Weather: is it hurricane season? Monsoon season? It’s important to check the local climate to understand your venue options and necessary travel preparations.
ALL THINGS GUESTS: While traveling is exciting for some, it’s daunting for others, so anything to make your wedding trip easy on your guests, do it!
- Wedding Website: we always recommend creating a website, but especially for destination weddings. It’ll help keep guests informed about the trip’s agenda, what to bring, things to do, the weather, and any updates or changes!
- Save-The-Date: make sure to send these out with plenty of notice, so that guests can plan their trip accordingly.
- Transportation: while not required, we urge couples to consider providing transportation for all the events, especially if your guests are not staying on property.
- Accommodations: look for room blocks in various price ranges, to accommodate all guests. Consider location, type of property, and amenities.
- Welcome Bags: your guests are traveling to celebrate you, so celebrate them upon their arrival with a welcome bag full of local goodies to help make their stay more comfortable. Staple items to consider - water, snacks, and sunscreen!
LOCAL MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: The documentation needed to marry will vary depending on each country, state, and city’s requirements. Do your research of what documents are required (passport, birth certificate, blood test (yup! Still required in some places!) and when these documents need to be submitted. An earlier arrival date might be necessary to accommodate local laws. Some couples elect to make things official in their hometown before departure, to alleviate any stress of getting paperwork internationally
SITE TOUR: We always take a trip to visit the location prior to the actual celebration week. These trips give us the opportunity to meet with different vendors, taste proposed menus, and confirm logistics (just like you would with a final site visit for a local wedding!).
HIRE A PROFESSIONAL: Hiring a wedding planner will make planning a destination wedding SO. MUCH. EASIER. They’ll handle language barriers, curate your vendors, and take care of the proper logistics for both the two of you as well as your guests. Our team also always works with a travel agency, ensuring you’re getting the best price, the most convenient accommodations, and amazing local experiences.
PATIENCE: The language barrier, time difference, new customs/local culture, and lack of familiarity with the area will naturally require more patience. Remind yourself that with the right team in place, everything will happen as it should!
EXTRAS: A few things to consider with a destination wedding that you wouldn’t necessarily consider with a local wedding:
- Passport: we can’t stress this enough - make sure your passport is current and valid through at least 3 weeks post your wedding date.
- Vaccines: check your travel destination to ensure you’re up-to-date with all vaccines. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to be sick with something preventable.
- Decor: sometimes it’s necessary to ship items pre-arrival. Ensure these items are scheduled to arrive at least 2 weeks in advance, leaving room for shipping and customs delays.
We’re so excited that many of our clients are choosing to celebrate with passport and plane tickets in hand! If you’re looking to plan a destination wedding or event, please reach out. We have extensive experience all over the world and are currently designing in Italy, France, Portugal, Morocco, and Mexico for 2022 and beyond!