What No One Tells You About Destination Wedding Planning

So you’re thinking of your perfect wedding and don’t know where to begin. You’ve toyed around with the idea of a destination wedding, but you aren’t sure it’s for you.

Here are some important things to consider for destination wedding planning.

1. You should be able to visit your location ahead of time or choose a location you’ve already been to for vacation. Pictures aren’t everything and may be misleading in terms of space or quality. Believe me… they know their angles!

In planning my destination wedding, we went to Dominican Republic for two days to check out venues. We stayed at the venue we were pretty sure we were going to choose. When we arrived… all we could do was laugh and say this is NOT it!

We were shown small gazebos and told that it could accommodate our 80 guests. Some of the areas designated for a ceremony looked like it was an afterthought and not like it was created for weddings.

If you have a beach ceremony, you will likely have a bunch of uninvited guests standing by… in swimsuits. *cringe*

Luckily we had two days to explore other options.

2. You should be ok with not controlling every single detail of the wedding. You’ll end up just stressing yourself out. Since you’re not on location to plan, your wedding is planned by a wedding coordinator.

Of course the things that are most important to you should be expressed clearly. Pictures also help to portray your vision to the wedding coordinator. Especially pictures of work they’ve already done with customizations to meet your needs.

3. Things that are MAJOR decisions when wedding planning, such as a photographer, DJ, cake, hair and makeup are things that you can have your own vendors fly in for (for a cost) or you can choose someone on location. There are countless reviews for vendors on location and the locations typically have a list of vendors they’ve worked with and recommend.

I used vendors on location but did quite a bit of research online prior, in order to sample their work. There are also Facebook groups with tons of information. I was grateful to find a bridal group specific to the resort I chose and got great recommendations.

4. Some people who are near and dear to you may not be able to attend. Whether it’s due to cost or physical limitations or other reasons.

You can’t fault anyone for not attending. It’s a HUGE ask.

To make it a little easier for everyone, try to choose a location that you love that’s moderately priced. Provide ample time for guests to plan and save. Payment plans help. For guests who may be on a fixed income you can offer to cover all or a part of the cost for their trip.

5. There is a lot of paperwork and scheduling involved to be legally married at the location you choose. To make it easier, many people get legally married in their hometown a few days prior to their destination wedding.

You can decide which one you and your significant other will choose to celebrate… or both!

No one even knows this unless they’ve tried to plan a destination wedding, so your guests will only remember your destination wedding date.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if any of these are dealbreakers for planning a destination wedding. If not, plan away! Remember to have fun doing it. Time flies and before you know it, the big day will be here!


5 Reasons Why You Should Have A Destination Wedding

My wedding anniversary was a few days ago and it made me think about my destination wedding to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and the things I loved about having a destination wedding.

I fell in love with the idea years before I got married after actually attending one. The wedding was absolutely breathtaking. The ceremony start time was very specific, which I later realized was coordinated with the sunset. From that moment, I knew I wanted a destination wedding.

Here are some things I absolutely loved about my own.

1. It’s the best time ever! You marry your best friend in a beautiful location of your choice. Everyone gets taken care of and pampered by the staff… we had butlers! You also get to spend several days celebrating your wedding with your closest family and friends rather than just a few hours.

2. It’s the ultimate group vacation! You can choose to do things together or alone. I loved seeing my family and friends mixing and mingling… except for the times I was busy and they left me! It’s the type of trip that could not be duplicated even if you tried!

3. The location is typically new for everyone so there’s so much to see and do, whether it’s exploring the resort or other tourist locations such as major landmarks. I found that many of my guests hadn’t traveled for vacation in years and this was a new experience for them and also a good reason to get away. It was such a good feeling to see everyone enjoy themselves and even years later, still reminiscing about the great times we had.

4. The cost of a destination wedding is typically a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding for the couple getting married. Cost is usually a deciding factor in choosing a venue so this is very cost effective. Of course, the cost is offset by the guests paying their way to attend, but that’s why it helps to choose a place that is moderately priced that you think most of your guests can reasonably afford.

5. You can stay a little longer for a honeymoon when all of the guests leave and have some couple time. Think private dinners, couples massages, couples excursions etc.

I loved every moment of it and would do it all over again the exact same way. It was honestly everything I dreamed of.

I highly recommend a destination wedding. There are a few things to consider though that no one tells you. I have some helpful information coming up in the next post.