Gorgeous destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular, and it's easy to see why. The Knot reports that 24 percent of all weddings are now categorized as “destination.” Destination weddings eliminate the obligation to invite those coworkers are associates that you have to pretend to like, while combining the wedding and honeymoon.
Unlike standard weddings, destination weddings come with different consideration. For couples who aren't sure where to start, don't be intimidated; all you need is good communication and an organized plan. Before you know it you'll be running off into the sunset . . .
1. Communicate Extensively
Before you begin the planning process, you'll want to break the news to everyone as gently as possible. Your parents might have had a different idea in mind when they pictured your wedding day, let them down gently. Remember, it's all about you.Walk them through your reasoning and be willing to compromise with their concerns. Also, be sure to address the financial aspect of your wedding before anything else. Know the budget and inform all invited friends about the wedding costs before making solid plans.
2. Hire a Travel Agent or Wedding Planner
With a traditional wedding, a wedding planner is a luxury. For a destination wedding, a wedding planner is essential. Look for a planner with experience in destination weddings so you can count on securing group airline tickets, work with overseas events, hire overseas caterers, and get everything organized from hundreds of miles away. Also consider using a travel agent for extra help with the travel planning and arrangements.
3. Take Safety Precautions
Like any overseas traveler, you'll need to take extra safety precautions to protect yourself from theft (of both money and identity, lost luggage, and any other emergency situations that might arise while you're there. Services such as LifeLock ultimate protection keep your information strictly monitored around the clock, so you can be notified if it's being used to apply for retail credit, mortgage loans, wireless internet and other services. Moreover, this service will help with the recovery process in case your information is stolen. Travel insurance is another reliable backup to have for missed flights, lost baggage, and health issues that might arise along the way.
4. Take Care of your Guests
Your guests will naturally be paying for a little more than they planned for your wedding, so make sure to take good care of them while they're there. With your wedding planner, arrange group rates for flights and rooms to take advantage of discounts and take some of the planning burden off of your guests. Plan and invite everyone to a rehearsal dinner or brunch the following day, and deliver welcome baskets filled with suntan lotion, bug spray, water, and other goodies to make your guests more comfortable. Traditionally, the bride pays for the lodging and activities of her side of the party and the groom pays for his, according to Brides.com.
5. Complete Marriage Paperwork Before the Wedding
You might have the luxury of traveling before the wedding, but you don't have the luxury of waiting till the last minute to fill out paperwork. Some countries have specific requirements for destination weddings, reports USA Today. For example, in the Caribbean, you will need photo identification and a birth certificate when traveling to all locations. You must also apply for a marriage license, with residency requirements varying from place to place. In St. Maarten and Bonaire, couples will need special permission from the lieutenant governor for the wedding, which must be obtained two months before the wedding. Be sure to research waiting periods and requirements before even choosing your destination. Once you've done all this, you're ready to be a Mrs.
Image used from Flikr by Paul from www.castaways.com.au