As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, we’ve compiled a short list of do’s and don’ts to aid in your destination wedding planning process (feel free to recommend others):
- Try to visit the location at least once before the wedding. This will give you a chance to check the venue, meet your wedding planner in person and make any important decisions. It’s one thing to see photographs but another to see it in person, even if it is an added cost. It will put you (and your families’) mind at ease.
- Pick a local souvenir for your guests to take home. Look around before making your choice for something that’s not so available everywhere (they can buy it themselves otherwise) and at the same time have it be something with a connection to you (the couple) or the wedding theme.
- Prepare welcome bags for your guests. There’s nothing better than checking in after a long flight to a nice bag of goodies hand-picked by you. Based on the location, this may include something to nibble on, a guidebook, a map of key wedding-based locations and any other fun trinkets to get everyone in the wedding mode. You can order blank tote bags online and customise them so your guests have something to carry around during their trip. It brings back such nice memories when we see some of our friends and family still using our bags to this day.
- Pick hotel options of various price ranges for your different guests. Family may be able to splurge a bit more and won’t have a problem staying at your hotel but your friends will most likely prefer something more budget-friendly and central.
- Plan a small rehearsal dinner the night before. This will give you some valuable time to spend with everyone before the crazy day. Pick somewhere in a different location too so your guests get to see more during their trip.
- Incorporate local cultures and/or traditions into your wedding. What makes the location or country special? What are their weddings usually like? This will add a nice flavour to the wedding and really make it special. If you’re not into such traditions, get creative with how and where you do the wedding instead by finding unique locations or activities for your guests.
- Don’t take it personally if some of your friends cannot make it. While some may have other prior commitments and it does hurt to not have them there, don’t forget it may not be as easy (nor affordable) for some of your friends to make it. It doesn’t mean they don’t wish to be there though.
- Don’t just pick a wedding planner the hotel or venue recommends. They may limit your options for vendors to work with (usually limited to those they have a relationship with) and not give you the full attention you may need. Research your options carefully, read reviews and try to set a Skype chat in advance before making your choice.
- Don’t expect things to get done the same way as back home. You need to consider cultural norms and habits too. Even tastes vary so try to accommodate and adjust rather than get upset if things don’t go your way.
- Don’t miss a chance to do your trial makeup or hair session, even if you don’t have a chance to come beforehand and only have a few days pre-wedding. You’ll most likely have to pay extra but it’s worth it to meet the people who’ll be styling you that day and planning out what you want.
- Don’t freak out over the smallest details. Think big picture. Just like any wedding, something is bound to go wrong but most times, your guests won’t even notice it.
- Don’t forget to plan your honeymoon. Having a destination wedding may feel like hitting two birds with one stone, but you’re gonna want/need that one-on-one time after all the festivities. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in planning the big day that you forget what happens after. We actually forgot to book a place to stay after our wedding day but fortunately it was low season and it actually turned out better to have a more spontaneous island-hopping honeymoon.
Photography Credit: Vangelis Photography