9 Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding
Planning a wedding is one of the most fun, and often stressful, times of your life. With so many moving parts it can be hard to keep up - especially if you are planning your wedding a destination away from home! To keep you on track and organized check out our Top 9 Destination Wedding Planning Tips:
1. Choose a Destination that is as authentic as YOU
When choosing the location of your destination wedding it's important to select a destination that feels like "you." Your wedding is such a personal celebration of both you and your soon to be spouse, and when you are planning something as detailed as a destination wedding the biggest detail of them all, the location, should be your first and most important priority.
When trying to choose your destination, start by making a list of destinations that you love as well as things and activities that you want to enjoy at the destination. Do you love trying new cuisine & cultures? Maybe look into an exotic destination like Mauritius. Are you both big adventure junkies? How about a mountain top or private island wedding. Do you love to travel and try new things? Or are you both beach babies who can't get enough surf & sand? Then head to the beach. Mauritius has more than you need in terms of adventure, beaches, mountains, undersea activities. You name it.
No matter what destination you end up deciding on, you will want it to feel authentic while at the same time be a destination that both you, your spouse to be and your guests will enjoy.
2. Visit the Destination Before Your Wedding
If you can visit the destination before your wedding it will help you to know what to expect upon arrival and will also give you time to visit venues, meet with vendors, try out local restaurants and experience activities so that you can get an overall feel for the destination.
If you cannot make a trip to your destination before the big day then you should plan to rely heavily on online research, reviews from other brides, bridal forums and suggestions from others who may have been to the destination. You can also lean on your wedding planner or resort wedding concierge to help you ensure that all the details get worked out as smooth as possible.
3. Use a Wedding Planner
Speaking of leaning on a wedding planner...when you are planning a destination wedding it is common to feel completely overwhelmed; with a to do lists with items like venue inspections, vendor contracts, hotel room blocks, transportation, rentals and activities (just to name a few) - it is perfectly normal to need a little help.
Help can come in the form of your travel agency, a locally based wedding planner or the wedding planner at the resort or location which you have chosen for your wedding (or all of the above!).
4. Learn the Local Marriage Requirements Ahead
Depending on the destination there might be a legal aspect of your wedding ceremony that is different than what you would expect. For example some destinations require that you arrive to the country a certain number of days before your ceremony (in Mauritius it's around 3 days), some require birth certificates and/or proof of dissolution of prior marriages and even blood tests.
Here in Mauritius we require:
- 2 Copies of passports
- 2 Copies of birth certificates
- 2 passport photos each
- Decree absolute (if divorced)
- Deed Poll (if name has changed)
- Death Certificate and previous marriage certificate if widowed
- Non English documentation must be translated into English and duly stamped
- French passport holders and citizens of other countries need to submit their documentation to us 3 months prior to your arrival in Mauritius
If you have questions about the wedding requirements in Mauritius click here
5. Keep the Season in Mind
Something else to keep in mind when choosing your destination, and your wedding date, is the weather and the seasons - which may be different than your seasons at home.
Mauritians tend to joke around saying that our winter is better than everybody's summer.
In peak season the prices are likely higher and there are more tourists, while the low season might have less tourists it may also have undesirable weather. Rule of thumb is to aim for what is called a shoulder season, which is the season between peak and off peak seasons - but in Mauritius there really isn't a bad time to visit, so keep that in mind when choosing your destination.
To learn more see our blog post on Weather and Travel Guide in Mauritius
6. Make it Easy for Your Guests
Traveling isn't as easy for everyone, so make sure that you make it as enjoyable as possible for the guests who are making the trip to celebrate with you.
Here are some of our top tips:
- Make sure to give them enough notice so that they can start to save and plan their travel
- If you are having a bridal party ask them as far in advance as possible so that they can begin to save (keeping in mind that they will have even more costs than just travel alone)
- Consider hiring a travel agent (it's typically free) to book your guests travel and coordination the room blocks
- Make your guests feel prepared by creating a wedding website with information on the destination, things to do, places to see, what to pack and an agenda for your wedding festivities
- Work with the on property concierge to welcome your guests with a welcome bag filled with local goodies and travel itinerary
7. Get Travel Insurance
The last thing that you want to worry about is travel delays, injury or illness, major weather snafus or lost luggage. The small investment in travel insurance, if nothing else, will provide you with peace of mind just in case anything happens before or during your travel. Many insurance companies also offer wedding insurance which is designed to help you recoup some of wedding related costs should you need to change or cancel anything.
8. Consider Throwing an Afterparty at Home
Lets face it, not everyone is going to be able to travel for your destination wedding. In fact some of your closest family and friends may not be able to make it - and instead of letting that get you down why not extend the celebrations to when you come home as well. Best way to do this is throw a post destination wedding at home reception, or what we like to call an 'Afterparty Reception.' This is when you invite all of the guests, including those who could not make it to your wedding, to celebrate with you at home.
Now this doesn't have to be extravagant - it can be as simple as a backyard BBQ - it's just a way for those who could not make it to your big day to still share in the celebration.
9. Get Moving!
Not to stress you out...but you need to get moving! Planning as far in advance as possible is the biggest tip of them all! Many times the earlier you book the more you save...so what are you waiting for?!
Original Source: https://www.wananavu.com/blog/9-tips-planning-destination-wedding