Planning a destination wedding is very popular during the warm summer months. If your vision of the perfect ‘I do’ spot looks more like a Mexican beach than a hotel in Ohio, this one is probably for you.
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Take a look at the tips below to make your perfect destination wedding a reality:
Plan Ahead – Way Ahead
Exotic, destination weddings are very popular and, depending on the location, may take a while to lock in the venue – sometimes up to a years’ wait! The advantage to this long wait, while not ideal, is your friends and family will have time to save for the trip, and you can pay for the planning along the way.
Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner
Even if you’ve never considered yourselves the type of couple that would hire a wedding planner, destination wedding planning may we well worth the extra money to hire a planner. Let them handle the tricky details for you.
When interviewing potential wedding planners, be sure to ask about their experience with destination weddings. Ideally, the professional you pick would already have contacts with vendors in the location of your choice – this will make the process of planning your wedding from a distance much easier.
Know the Laws
If you’re getting married abroad, be sure you do extensive research about what you’ll need to do, bring, and sign to make sure your nuptials are legal in the nation you’re planning to wed in, and that your marriage will be recognized as a legal union within the United States.
Be Realistic About Your Guests’ Ability to Attend
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One of sad realities of a destination wedding is facing the truth that some friends and family members simply won’t be able to attend. For some people the issue will be cost, for other, elderly relatives, travel might not be an option. Take this reality in stride. After all, a destination wedding is a big departure from many peoples’ usual experience as a wedding guest, and it just may not be a possibility for everyone you invite.
Have Lots of Plan B’s
With all weddings, hiccups in the plans can pop up, and this is even more common in destination weddings. Be sure you have lots of contingency plans in place to avoid disaster; for example, when you choose a caterer, be sure to have another in mind in case the first one falls through. Making arrangements from a distance is tough, and it would be devastating to be stuck without a critical piece of the plan on the day of your wedding, so make sure you have a Plan B in place – for everything.
A destination wedding is a memorable way to start your life with your partner, just be sure to keep these tips in mind to make planning your big day as smooth as possible!
John Gower is an analyst for NerdWallet, a personal finance website dedicated to helping you save money with tips on everything from planning the perfect wedding to finding the best interest rate credit cards.