Planning a destination wedding can be tricky business. These tips will help make your big day run smoothly.
1. DO pay close attention to dress selection. Consider hot weather, chances of rain and dress codes. For example, some churches or venues may require covered shoulders.
2. DON’T expect your bridesmaids and groomsmen to spend their life savings on their outfits. They already had to pay for a trip, so choose budget-friendly attire!
3. DO research the marriage requirements and laws in the country to which you are travelling. Some countries require a certain number of days in the country before you can legally be married.
4. DON’T count out your dream location due to legalities. You can always get married at home and then host a fabulous “faux” wedding and reception at the destination of your choice.
5. DO check with the important players before booking your date: parents, grandparents, siblings and best friends. Be sure they are all available.
6. DON’T assume you’ll make everyone happy. Let people complain about the destination or the venue. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
7. DO invite as many people as you’d like (and send save-the-dates well in advance).
8. DON’T be offended if someone says they can’t make the trip – it’s a big ask.
9. DO go local when it comes to décor and favours. If you’re in Cuba, hand out cigars. Jamaica? Give small bottles of rum. No need to lug all the favours with you. Also, look for local musicians for cocktail hours and dinner.
10. DON’T leave essential items to local vendors. For example, don’t assume you’ll be able to find your shoes or jewellery abroad. You may not have time to look about and find the exact styles you need.
11. DO look after your guests. Plan activities, provide goodie bags or welcome baskets in their rooms, and organize dinners or perhaps a group excursion.
12. DON’T expect your guests to hang out with you every moment of their day. It’s their vacation, too, so don’t over-schedule.
13. DO make a checklist before you pack. Include all your wedding items, plus your regular travel stuff.
14. DON’T leave packing to the last minute. This will be a one- or two-week process. Double check everything.
15. DO play the “I’m getting married card”. Informing airline employees, restaurants and hotels might result in fun upgrades.
16. DON’T talk to your fellow passengers on your flight about every wedding detail. And don’t let your wedding party get out of control while in the air.
Originally published in Destination Wedding magazine, Spring/Summer 2017.