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Planning 101

The Do’s and Don’ts of Destination Wedding Planning

Yes or No Checklist

If you’ve been thinking about destination wedding planning, here are a few destination wedding dos and don’ts to get you started:


Do you/Be true to yourself. Plan a ceremony that, when attended by friends and family, is true to you. Incorporate your favorite things, things you’d like to share with the people you love, and things that you won’t regret. Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by the needs or desires of anyone but your spouse-to-be. Do you!

Have a wedding planner on the ground. You might be the super organized, type A personality, but when it comes to wedding planning in a foreign location, it doesn’t hurt to have a wedding planner or coordinator on the ground. Planning from miles away is bound to have its ups and downs, so in a moment when a face-to-face meeting would be more convenient and effective than a phone call, your on the ground planner can step in and represent your best interests.

Visit your destination at least once. Most people chose the location for their destination wedding, because they’ve previously traveled there with their significant other, it’s the place they fell in love, or because it’s a convenient or popular location for a destination wedding. (In need of inspiration? See some of the most coveted wedding destinations here!) In some instances though, it’s a place they’ve never traveled to and simply just want to get married in. Regardless of the circumstances, you should try to visit your destination at least once. While visiting the location, you should definitely plan to see the venue of your events and know the lay of the land to be able to assist your guests with logistics and travel arrangements.

Incorporate location specific details into your event. Getting married in the Bahamas? Have a Junkanoo rushout at your reception. Getting hitched in Mexico? Hire a mariachi band to perform at the reception. These are all just ideas of how you can incorporate cultural details from your location into your wedding events. The beauty of this is that there are so many ways to incorporate your location; there’s entertainment, food, beverages and even wedding favors. Whatever the choice, it’s sure to enhance your wedding celebration in the best way.

Have a signature cocktail at your reception. Cheers! At the end of the day, the reception isn’t just about the food menu; your cocktail and bar menus are equally as important. Couples have relished in the opportunity to create signature cocktails for their event. Signature cocktails can be planned to perfection by a mixologist and paired with menu items or they can be simple signature items, crafted by you, and sure to make a splash.


Blow Your Budget. This applies to all weddings, not just destination weddings. There is so much to consider during the planning process and so many ways that your budget can be derailed in the planning process. Keep in mind, some say that a destination wedding should be less expensive than a wedding in your hometown. Stick to your guns if you truly want something, but don’t waste money unnecessarily if you really don’t need it.

Sweat the Small Stuff. The most important part of your wedding is the marriage itself, the beginning of your union and your journey to marital bliss; always remember that! Is your favorite photographer already booked? Favorite venue unavailable on your date? Don’t sweat the small stuff; everything will fall into place and be beautiful. Hakuna matata.

Procrastinate. Unlike those nights in college where you could pull an all nighter and still get the assignment done, some aspects of wedding planning require advanced planning. Don’t wait until the last-minute. Wedding particulars like the dress, which should be ordered (per recommendation) at least 6 months in advance, and your venue, which you should confirm as soon as you’re able should are important aspects of planning that will make or break how your day plays out. Procrastination won’t make these things impossible, but for things like the dress, you can potentially incur additional fees for rushed orders or processing.

Forget to Plan for Inclement Weather/Have a Backup Plan. Because you’re opting for a destination wedding, there’s a high probability that your venue may be outdoors, exposing your event to the unpredictability of Mother Nature. Not to rain on your parade (literally!), but you should inquire about your venue’s inclement weather plan, and definitely put a plan in place for bad weather on your special.

Be Afraid to Ask for Help. This is last, but by no means least. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether its financial or creative, the people in your innermost circle are able and willing to assist with whatever you need while planning your wedding. Chances are they’re so excited about your upcoming wedding, that they will go above and beyond to help you achieve your wedding goals. It only takes one question; ask (for help) and you shall receive!

Happy Planning!


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