10 Tips for Planning a Successful Destination Wedding

 
 All photos by  Anna Kim Photography  | Venue: Sugar Beach Events | Maui, Hawaii

All photos by Anna Kim Photography | Venue: Sugar Beach Events | Maui, Hawaii

Dreaming about a destination wedding, but planning one stresses you up to your eyeballs? Relax! These foolproof tips are based on experience, and will help you get through your destination wedding planning. So you can stress a little less and vacation a little more while you’re there.


#1
Choose a venue
close to your heart

Yes, a secluded island location with white sandy beaches and water so clear you can see fish swim in it all sound tantalizing, but if you’ve never been there then you might want to stray away and keep that on your honeymoon list. It’s best to pick a location that’s significant to both of you, such as your fave vacation spot. A somewhat familiar location will give you a story to tell to your guests, and give you the ability to suggest all the awesome local hot spots to check out.

  Anna Kim Photography  VenueSugar Beach Events | Maui, Hawaii

#2
Hire a professional

Whether its full wedding coordination or just the day of services, it’s always a good idea to let someone else take the reins on your special day so all you have to do is hop on a plane and show up. Hiring a local planner that’s familiar with your venue and know all the best vendors in town could take loads off your plate. They can take care of all the intricate details, while you sit back, relax, and do all the fun wedding stuff.

#3
Take a trip

Not most people are fortunate enough to take an extra pre-wedding trip to their desired exotic location. But if you have the funds and vacation hours we highly recommend this! If possible, coordinate with your planner and have them setup meetings with your vendors while you’re there. That way you can personally discuss your wedding plans, taste test the menu, pick out your linens, and speak with your florist. And while you're at it, book a hair and makeup trial with your chosen artist and setup an amazing engagement photoshoot with your photographer. It gives you the chance to get to know everyone involved for your magical celebration.

#4
Climate control

We all want to be June brides, but if thats the hottest time of the year for your locale and you’re imagining an outdoor wedding in the scorching sun you might want to make a few adjustments. Be nice to your guests and yourselves because no one wants to be dripping sweat in formal attire. There's nothing worse than uncomfortable guests complaining on your day. So do a little research and pick the perfect timing for an unforgettable event.

#5
Notify in advance

If your mind is finally set to push through with a destination wedding, you’re going to want to notify your guests well in advance including your own workplace. Some people don’t have as much flexibility as others when it comes to schedule, so do them a favor and try to set your date out a year in advance. Even if you haven’t decided on your save the dates quite yet, at least giving a confirmation by word of mouth will help them prepare accordingly.

#6
Consider your guests

Yes it's your big day,  so splurging on that presidential suite seems pretty reasonable. But that doesn’t go for all of your guests. Put them at ease and try to block out accommodation at a mid range hotel. It helps to know that they can actually afford to attend the wedding. Also try to do a little research on peak seasons so everyone can get more bang for their buck!

#7
Delivery

It is inevitable to avoid not having to bring anything else aside from your luggage, especially if you’re taking care of a few things yourself such as welcome bags, favors, or stationary. But you can avoid the hassle of checking in extra boxes at the airport. Simply ask your planner if you can have a few packages delivered to the venue directly beforehand. Most likely they will accommodate when it gets closer to the date.

#8
Factor in extra expenses

There’s no proper etiquette to follow when planning your destination wedding weekend. So if you didn’t go over your budget already, you might want to consider handing out welcome bags to show your appreciation. Or you could even ask your planner to organize a little welcome party for your guests. Let them know how grateful you are for taking the time off and flying over an ocean for you.

  Anna Kim Photography   Sugar Beach Events | Maui, Hawaii

#9
Dress for the occasion

When choosing your wedding dress keep your venue, theme, and weather in mind. And don’t forget that you’ll be hauling that dress on the plane with you, it's a big no no to checking it in. Try to be mindful of your entourage as well, or else the groomsmen will forever hold a grudge against you because of the five piece suit you made them wear on the beach in 90 degree weather.

#10
Keep everyone in the loop

If you can keep up with your social media, you can keep up with your wedding website or app. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, so if you do have to make updates or changes to any wedding weekend event notify everyone as soon as possible. And if you want to go the extra mile to make sure everyone is on the same page, you can provide your guests with a hard copy of your weekend timeline, and/or a contact list of  your planner and entourage just in case. Hopefully this will prevent you from pulling all your hair out by the end!

Happy planning! Contact us today if you need help planning or designing your destination wedding. We love traveling!


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