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How to Plan a Destination Wedding, Part I

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Saying “I Do” in an exotic locale is undeniably romantic. So the question arises: how to plan a destination wedding? Planning a wedding in another state or country can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. Depending on the time of year, location and wedding size, it can be cheaper to have a destination wedding.

how to plan a destination wedding

Wedding pavilion overlooking the ocean at the Turtle Bay Resort on the north shore of Oahu. Photo: Bianca Photography

How to Plan a Destination Wedding

Do your research and ask lots of questions. Since you are having a wedding away, you have to ask yourself if you are comfortable in handing over a lot of the wedding details to a stranger. If you are a hands-on person, a destination wedding may not be right for you. There are many companies specializing in destination wedding planning; in fact, most resorts have an in-house coordinator who will help you with legal requirements and wedding details. Resorts and travel websites specializing in destination weddings include:

  • Marriott: Hotels and resorts throughout the world.
  • Starwood: Hotels and resorts throughout the world.
  • Sandals Resorts: The undisputed king of all-inclusive Caribbean resorts specializing in destination weddings and honeymoons.
  • Turtle Bay Island Resort on the island of Oahu, Hawaii
  • Expedia: Travel website with resorts specializing in beach wedding destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Hawaiian Islands
how to plan a destination wedding

Photo courtesy of Sandals Resort

Although you are not required to pay for accommodations for the wedding party or guests, it is a thoughtful gesture to provide room rate information in varying prices for nearby hotels and condos. Ask the resort where your wedding will be held for group discounts. Look into the cost of suites for the bridesmaids or groomsmen. Some suites have kitchenettes which can help offset meal expenses. (You are expected to pay for meals related to the wedding.)

how to plan a destination wedding

Prepare packets of information on nearby activities for your guests. Photo: courtesy of Sandals Resort

Make sure you do not base your decision strictly on the looks of the location. Consider every single thing that the area has to offer. It may be that the location has no nightlife and you like to dance the night away! Consider activities available for your guests. Provide a packet of information to each guest with brochures and information for nearby activities they may enjoy.

how to plan a destination wedding

Look for How to Plan A Destination Wedding, Part II in an upcoming post. We’ll talk about 5 essential questions you need to keep in mind when looking at different locations.

How to Plan a Destination Wedding, Part I was last modified: July 3rd, 2020 by Rachel Sommer