Planning a Destination Wedding

    1. Select a Destination. Unless you have a specific destination already planned out, selecting one will take some serious thought and research. A way to decide on a destination is to first select a broad region and then narrow it down based on further research. For example, once you have narrowed it down you can compare the remaining destinations based on costs and timing. Many places have wedding packages which include everything from transportation from the airport to flowers at the ceremony. It is also important to research weather climates of the region so there are no weather surprises on the big day.

    2. Create a Budget. As always the budget is an extremely important component in the planning. The budget depends on many factors such as amount of guests, transportation, travel accomadiotions, and of course the actual wedding ceremony. In most cases the bride and groom pay for themselves as well as the rest of the bridal party, while the rest of the guests pay for themselves. For this reason destination weddings are often smaller and more intimate, being attended by only close family and friends. It is important to be courteous and make sure the travel expenses will not keep guests from coming.

    3. Make Reservations Early. As far as reservations are concerned it is often beneficial to hire a wedding consultant, especially if there is a language barrier between yourself and the vendors. Wedding consultants have the experience and resources needed to make the journey flow as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. Hiring a trustworthy wedding consultant eliminates the risk of you getting ripped off by vendors and relives a lot of stress from the bridal party. If you decide to make reservations on your own it is important to get copies of all of the reservations and call to confirm everything a few days before your departure.

    4. Be Courteous to Your Guests. Since guests will be paying for their own airfare and travel expenses it is typical to not have a gift registry, as they are already spending so much money on just attending the wedding. As a host it is nice to plan some sort of group outing, such as sightseeing, while everyone is there. Another thoughtful idea is to put a gift basket in each of the guests' rooms filled with inexpensive yet thoughtful gifts such as a disposable camera, water bottles, sunscreen, etc.

    Do you have any tips or stories on planning a destination wedding? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or leave us a comment below!