So you’ve decided on a wedding vacation for your big day…now what? We asked one of our Destination Wedding Specialists, Kristy Ohara, for her top 6 do’s and don’ts to consider when preparing for a destination wedding.
1. Don’t wait — send your ‘save the dates’
Once you’ve narrowed it down to your location and dates, don’t wait to let your guests know. You want to send out your ‘Save the Dates’ well in advance so your guests can plan accordingly. They will need time to budget, arrange their schedules etc. and this way you can ensure as many people as possible can be in attendance. Destination weddings are exciting and a great way to spend a week away with your nearest and dearest – but do keep in mind this is a big commitment for your guests and providing ample notice is key.
2. Do set realistic budget expectations
A lot of wedding couples begin to plan a destination wedding and anticipate that it is always a cheaper alternative to a big venue back home. While in many cases it can definitely be more cost effective, this is not always the case. As with any wedding, the costs will depend on the number of guests in attendance, personal preferences, and your overall vision of how the big day should look! Not to worry, there are always budget-friendly options for everyone – you simply have to be open-minded and realistic with your budget expectations.
Hotel: Sensatori Azul Beach Resort Mexico
3. Don’t limit yourself to floral centerpieces
Flowers can take up a large chunk of your wedding budget – additionally, some flowers cannot withstand the heat, and may wilt throughout the day. Don’t limit yourself — get creative and use less expensive centerpiece options such as lanterns, candles, shells, or even fruit! These options can be just as stunning and even more unique than pricey florals.
Photographer: HDC Photo
4. Do your research
It’s easy to get swept up in bridal magazines and Pinterest when you begin the planning process for your destination wedding (we’re all guilty of late night pinning). It’s important to also make sure you do your research on the technical details for the ceremony such as what documentation is required, and how far in advance. It is definitely better to get this sorted out well in advance to ensure all documents and legal requirements are in order, rather than waiting until last minute, to make sure your ceremony goes off without a hitch.
Real Clients: Kristen and Darcy.
5. Do bring your own traditions to the beach
There are so many different cultural, religious, family, and personal traditions associated with weddings – take some time to decide which of those are important to your fiancé and you. It’s also a fun idea to incorporate a wedding tradition significant to the destination you are getting married in to add an authentic and unique element to your big day! Think signature foods, drinks, song and dances, décor, ceremony moments – the options are endless!
Real Clients: Jennifer and Patrick.
6. Don’t forget to have fun
This is your big day, one you have probably thought about many times over the years, and it’s finally here, so be sure to enjoy it! Also, the planning process is just as important as the big day, so why not turn each key stage into an occasion and take photos when you’re dress shopping, ring shopping, and on your site inspection (if you’re able to go down ahead of time). Without even noticing you will be making memories that will be looked back on with as much joy as the wedding day itself!
Real Clients: Sylvain and Jennifer.
To start planning your destination wedding contact a Wedding Vacations by Sunwing Destination Wedding Specialist at 1.800.739.8876 or email for more info.