How to Have a Destination Wedding
Take your wedding on the road or across the ocean
By Terrichele Bradley
Planning a wedding and honeymoon is one of the most memorable times in a couple's life. Many couples combine both events and opt for a destination wedding. Even though the bride and groom are ecstatic about their upcoming events, many couples soon realize that plenty of time, research, coordination and expenses are required to pull off a destination wedding.
- What You Need to Know
- Get your passport in order well before the wedding and remind guests to do the same.
- A wedding consultant located at your destination is an excellent resource for local laws, holidays and vendors.
Decide on the location, factoring the climate and atmosphere you and your fiancee would enjoy. Determining ahead of time the type of climate you would like to visit will help narrow your location and the type of activities. Consider whether you and your fiancee want to hold the wedding ceremony and your honeymoon at the same location.
Consider hiring a wedding consultant who specializes in conducting destination weddings in your location of choice. A local wedding consultant knows the area and laws, which helps when you are not a native of the area. A wedding consultant can help you select a venue and is more familiar with the local vendors.
Consider the ages of your guests. Look into an all-inclusive cruise or resort at off-peak seasons. This helps keep the cost down for friends and family. Request your guests not to purchase a wedding gift, especially since guests will pay their own way to attend your destination wedding. Ask for a group discount when coordinating with a travel agent.
Plan early. Reserve your venue soon, especially if this is a well-traveled tourist attraction. Allow time to complete marriage requirements for the country you are visiting. You may have to fulfill residency requirements, translate paperwork and post a public notice.
Check if the laws applying to your destination do not allow weddings on certain days of the week. Think about having a religious ceremony, rather than a nonreligious ceremony, as some locations prohibit nonreligious ceremonies. You will need an open mind when making the final decision.
Get a passport early because it may take awhile. Remind your guests to secure a passport, too. Send each guests a brief message on how to obtain a passport.
Have a contract with your signature and the vendors' signatures before you pay for anything. This helps protect you and the vendors because it should spell out the requirements of each party.
Buy wedding insurance. It is better to be prepared if an unforeseen problem occurs, such as a medical emergency, natural disaster, or vendor problems. Plan to pay between $200 and $800 for insurance.
About the Author
Terrichele Bradley is a freelance writer with experience in weddings publishing.
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