Many people automatically think of a tropical island wedding or a romantic Italian wedding when someone opts for a destination wedding. However the truth is; couples are getting way more creative and having Arizona desert weddings and
Colorado mountain weddings. The definition of a destination wedding has definitely broadened over the years. Let’s say someone is living in Orange County (California) and opts for a lake wedding in Lake Havasu City (Arizona) then that would be
considered a destination wedding. Sure, it doesn’t require a trip on a plane, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t qualify as a ‘destination’ wedding by definition. Do you have to plan from a distance and sometimes Skype or Facetime meetings?
Will this be an all-weekend affair? Does over half your guest list have to travel to the location? If you answered yes to all of these questions then you are having a destination wedding! And whether it is in Cabo or California, there are a few extra
things to think about while planning for a destination wedding. You will need to coordinate with vendors via email and video chat or make special planning trips to the location, which can be costly. You will need to provide your guests with lodging
options. This may require negotiating room blocks or paying deposits on rooms for your guests. Plan additional activities for your guests to enjoy such as a welcome dinner and farewell brunch. As if planning an entire wedding and reception wasn’t
enough?! Oh! Don’t forget the rehearsal dinner! The planning timeline in general is slightly different for destination weddings. Hint Hint: Allow yourself plenty of time to plan and hire a pro to help ;).
More Tips and Tricks for Planning a Destination Wedding:
1. Start planning right away!
2. Hire a day-of coordinator at least, but we recommend hiring a full on planner that lives in the city where you will be getting married. This person will be able to meet with vendors for you and ultimately save you money, time and
3. Set aside an appropriate amount of your budget for vendors. What’s appropriate? Well, you will need to do some research on vendor prices in the area. Vendor prices can and typically do differ in each market. If you decide to bring a vendor from your area keep in mind you may have to pay travel fees, meals and/or lodging. Negotiate all of this up front and have it added to your contract.
4. Lock in vendors ASAP! Many destination cities don’t have a lot of local talent to choose from. There might only be a few options and sometimes vendors travel fees can be pricey!
5. Notify guests as soon as possible, especially if the destination requires them to purchase plane tickets. Make sure to send out save the dates well in advance. They will need time to plan too!
6. Make sure there is enough lodging in the area for your guests (within a 15 minute drive). Don’t forget to provide an economical option too.
7. Visit the venue in person. Take a site-tour prior to officially booking. Try to make an additional trip to the venue after booking for planning purposes. It is always best to meet vendors in person, but we know that isn’t always
8. Embracing the natural beauty of the location can save you big. For example, if you are having a lake wedding and the view is breathtaking maybe cut back on ceremony décor and focus on elaborate centerpieces while utilizing local blooms and foliage.
Planning a destination wedding is a ton of work, but in the end your guests have enjoyed a beautifully unique affair that will be talked about for years to come.