Thursday, March 20, 2014

Four Factors to Consider When Planning a Destination Wedding

Every woman, at some point in their life, considers a beach wedding. It’s romantic and exotic but not always for every couple. Below are 4 factors to consider when thinking about a destination wedding! 

  1. Planning
    • When considering an away wedding, you have to keep in mind how much or how little planning you are willing to put into it. If you want to mostly plan yourself there are a lot of things to keep in mind. 
      • For example, all planning will be long distance and finding local florists, photographers and venues can take a lot of time and research. 
      • If your wedding is in a different state (or sometimes even a different country!) you will have to go through the process of getting a marriage license in an unfamiliar territory and could possibly run into some complications.
    • If you’re okay with less involvement, an all inclusive resort would be the easiest way to go for a destination wedding. They usually provided comprehensive packages which can include a consultant who can help you plan and do a lot of the leg work for you.
  2. Guest list 
    • With a destination wedding usually comes a smaller guest list. This way you don’t have to feel bad about not inviting those long distant second cousins you only see on holidays. You can keep it simple with just your closest family and friends.
    • A smaller guest list means you can spend more personal time with the people in attendance. Whether it is just the two of you or family & friends, you can always have a nice celebration with everyone when you return home.
    • One disadvantage of hosting a destination wedding is depending on how far away your ceremony is, some people you care about may not be able to make it. The expenses could be too much for them or they may have trouble getting time off of work. Another consideration is that elderly guests may not be able to travel long distances. 
    • We suggest that before making final plans and booking tickets make sure to talk to those people who are most important to you.
  3. Money 
    • Spending a weekend or longer in a dream location can actually cost less than a fancy dinner at a more local location. Since you don’t have that large guest list you will not be spending as much per person at the reception. Etiquette for destination weddings says that the bride and groom (or whoever is hosting/paying for the wedding itself) should pay for hotel rooms, food, and most of the expenses for their guests. However, the guests would pay for their own airfare. 
    • Simply Events intern, Erin said, 
      • "I went to my cousins wedding in October of 2009 located in Cancun, Mexico. My mom, my two younger sisters and I went and I know we paid for everything ourselves. We have a large family and almost everyone came so it would have been very expensive for the bride and groom to pay for everything for everyone. I think it is unrealistic for guests to expect the bride and groom to pay for everything. If a guest really wants to be with them on their special day the expenses are worth it. Plus it is like a vacation for you!"
    • A negative to a destination wedding is that some of your guests may not be able to afford all of the expenses that come along with attending the ceremony. Talk to the people you want most to be there and consider helping them pay for some of their flight or hotel room. You can also consider talking to a travel agent; they usually have group discounts for traveling!
  4. Honeymoon 
    • By having a destination wedding you can have your honeymoon in the same location as well which can save you a lot of money and make it affordable to go to that dream place you have always wanted to visit. Plus it gives you a reason to visit the location again on an anniversary!
    • Though you can save money by having the wedding and honeymoon in the same location you have to think about the fact that your friends and family will be there as well and if that is going to make it feel like you don’t really have a honeymoon! There are a few easy fixes to make sure you get your alone time. 
      • We think the best option is to either plan to get there before everyone or stay longer after the day of the wedding. Arriving early, regardless of the reasoning, is a good idea so you can make sure everything is ready for the big day. 
        • Erin says, "When my cousin got married in Cancun he and his fiancĂ© were there for two weeks total. They arrived a week early with their parents to make sure everything was ready and stayed for a week after the ceremony for their honeymoon after everyone had left." You can have a week-long vacation with family then have your week of alone time. 
      • If you can’t afford to stay for an extended period of time, another option is scheduling alone time by planning a couples massage or other private activities. While you two are having alone time you can plan fun things for your friends and family to do as well.

A lot of planning and thought goes into a wedding no matter where the location. Just remember that your wedding day should be in the place YOU want it be, with the people YOU care about, and it should be a day to remember forever! 

Thanks for reading my blog post!

~ Erin W. 

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