Tips to consider when planning a destination wedding…
You’re engaged – congratulations! The next few months are going to be one hell of a ride, with lots of logistics to consider and decisions to make. Once you have picked your ideal wedding location overseas, you both then need to work out how to plan your celebration miles away from home.
It sounds full on and yes, I suppose it is. Hosting a destination wedding means you have to work with suppliers who may speak a different language to you and there may be customs that differ to the norms at home. Learned from my experience in planning weddings in some of the best spots in Europe, here are some key things to consider when planning your dream destination wedding.
Whether you are planning an Ibizan island wedding, a romantic chateau getaway or relaxed beach affair in Barbados, I have covered the key areas here, so you can be fully ‘in the know’.
These people are going to make your day so special, so make sure they are given as much notice as possible – this will give them enough time to work out their finances. As well as this, offer as much information about the area as possible; local hotels (ranging from budget to high end), airport transfers, childcare, places to visit, etc.
Travel over the wedding weekend
So, you may have planned a welcome reception the day before the wedding and a farewell celebration the day after. If so, consider how your guests are going to get to and from these events (as well as the wedding day of course). You don’t want to have your guests stranded with unreliable taxi services not showing up. From experience, I would suggest you allocate transport in your budget and arrange shuttle services to and from the celebration spot to the local town so your guests can get home without having to wait around – no one likes waiting around – especially late at night.
To save here, shop around. You may find it cheaper to have a reliable taxi company run shuttle-trips for a set price for a set number of hours.
You may have chosen a fabulous spot which has lots of natural beauty – one thing that means is that you can cut right back on big décor, but if you do want to have a big floral display for example, make sure you visit the florist in person to see their work and understand how they work – you want to make sure you are getting exactly what you want with no plans being ‘lost in translation’.
To save here, you should look to use local blooms which are in season at the time of your wedding.
Hire a professional
You may think, ‘Oh well you would say that’! But you do need to make sure you have someone there who knows the ropes, is on your side, is there to negotiate and work through the nitty gritty logistics and as well as this, deal with language barriers if your suppliers don’t speak your language. Whether you feel you need one right now or not, I can assure you especially with a destination wedding, you will need someone to make decisive decisions on the day. You will not want to be thinking about anything else apart from soaking in all of the love in the room. Having a pro who is there on your behalf is essential.
Do a last planning trip
Around 4-5 months before the wedding, visit your wedding location to make sure all is in hand; have your food tasting, have your hair and makeup trial, meet with all of your vendors and make sure you leave feeling that everything is under control.
As mentioned before, asking around for great suppliers is a good way of unlocking the expertise of local talent. As well as this, you need to consider where your chosen suppliers are located as you don’t want to be stung with large transport and overnight accommodation bills. I would suggest that you make sure you know all of these details as you will need to account for this within your budget.
There is a likely chance you will have to pay suppliers on the day. Again this is a task you should give to your wedding planner or, if you don’t have one, one of your bridal party – it is likely the venue will not hold cash for you on the day.
Last but not least … The Dress
This is a non-negotiable as it is too risky to not check on your wedding dress. Make sure you have a steamer at the venue as it is likely you and your bridesmaids will need one.
You also need to choose a fabric that works well in your location; if you are getting married in the Caribbean, there is a strong chance there will be a lot of heat, and possibly wind, to contend with so choose accordingly.
Most of all – enjoy it! Destination weddings do take more planning than domestic ones but they are worth it!
If you are looking to know more about how to about the positive environmental impact of sustainable weddings, check out The Guide to Sustainable, Zero-Waste, Ethical Weddings
It covers important topics such as:
- An in-depth look at sustainable and ethical weddings – why they are important and how choosing a green wedding helps reduce the strain on the environment.
- Eye-opening facts and figures about the carbon footprint and waste generated by weddings and the wedding industry as a whole (did you know that around 4,910 tonnes of unrecyclable plastic are used up by weddings annually?).
- How to plan a sustainable wedding – including plenty of tips on finding green wedding planners and suppliers, eco-friendly wedding venues, organic and zero-waste food and catering, and other helpful resources.
- Other useful green wedding resources, organisations, and zero-waste tips and advice to help make weddings more ethically conscious and environmentally friendly.
Venue Château de la Bourlie Photography Richard Skins Flowers Jenny Fairbanks Planner Rosie Green Events Stationary Lou Paper Dress Suzanne Neville from The Wedding Gallery