Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular among engaged couples and Maine has become a huge destination wedding location. Weddings are inherently romantic on their own – add in a dreamy, exotic locale and you have all of the ingredients for a picture-perfect celebration of your love. No matter where you are planning to throw you big event, here are 10 tips that will help you flawlessly plan a destination wedding.
Think Outside of the Box
When people hear the words “destination wedding,” they usually think of getting married on a beach. But destination weddings don’t have to be tropical. Consider selecting an unconventional location like a European capitol, a sailboat ceremony, a historical Southern mansion, or a breathtaking natural setting like the American southwest.
Give Your Guests Time to Plan
Planning a trip of any length requires plenty of planning and budgeting for both the bride and her guests. Be sure to give your friends and family advanced notice so that they can celebrate with you without having to scramble to make travel plans – it’s not uncommon to send invitations or information about your destination wedding plans up to a year in advance.
Make it Easy On Your Guests
Scope out where hotels are located and what kinds of transportation are available so that you can answer all of your guest’s questions with ease. Be sure to also seek out a variety of lodging options so that you can accommodate guests with differing budgets.
Visit Your Location in Advance
While the internet makes it easy to communicate with vendors in other parts of the world, photos don’t always tell the whole story. Try to visit your venue in advance – and at the same time of year as your wedding, if possible – to gain a better understanding of the weather conditions and other location-specific aspects you may need to accommodate for.
Choose a Wedding Dress that Aligns with Your Destination
A heavily embellished ballgown isn’t ideal for a hot, humid beach wedding. A breezy slip dress might leave you shivering during a snowy ceremony in the mountains. Consider the temperatures and weather conditions of where you are getting married and select a gown that will make you feel as comfortable as possible.
Embrace Local Delicacies
The beauty of getting married in striking settings is the ability to utilize unconventional local resources. Utilizing native flowers or location-specific culinary specialties will not only be a treat for your guests, they’ll also help your bottom line.
Frequently Communicate with Your Vendors
Planning a wedding in the city you live in is stressful enough. Planning one in another county only makes communication more important. After selecting your vendors, be sure to keep in constant communication with them so that you can remain on the same page throughout your entire planning process. This will also minimize the amount of unexpected surprises waiting for you when you arrive for your wedding.
Research Local Marriage Laws
Different states and countries have their own unique laws and requirements when it comes to tying the knot. Some demand you and your fiancé to be present in the country for a specific number of days prior to the wedding ceremony for it to be legally binding. Be sure to research local procedures so that your vows are officially recognized by the government when you decide to say, “I Do.”
Keep Extra Expenses in Mind
Many couples believe that destination weddings are an easy way to save money on a big wedding. While in some ways this is true, destinations wedding still often require a certain amount of extra expenses. Not only does airfare and lodging add up, you’ll also find yourself spending money on making your out-of-town guests feel comfortable and welcome. Flying in vendors or having décor shipped abroad can also quickly add up.
Maintain an Open Mind
Planning a wedding in an unfamiliar location has its own unique challenges. You may frequently encounter cultural differences and language barriers along the way. If you plan on hosting a destination wedding, keep an open mind and have faith in your vendors so that you can keep your stress levels to a minimum and enjoy every second of your big day.