Things to Consider When Planning a Destination Wedding

Research
You must first determine the location of where to host your destination wedding. It is important to do as much research as possible to determine the location that will best suit your overall needs and budget. Enlist the help of a destination wedding planner or travel agent to assist you in this process.

Budget
This is the most important thing to consider when planning your destination wedding. Depending on the number of guests you are inviting, you must consider travel costs, accommodation and what portion of the wedding you and your fiancé will be paying for..

Time of year
Just because you choose a tropical location doesn’t mean that the weather will be perfect for your wedding date. You must take into consideration hurricane season as well as “off-season” for resorts as they may have less staff available to serve customers.

Residency requirements
Depending on the country that you choose for your wedding nuptials, there may be certain residency requirements in place; for example, you must be in Jamaica for a minimum of 48 hours before your wedding ceremony.

Validity of marriage in your home country
The validity of marriage is dependant upon the laws of the country where the marriage is performed. It is your responsibility to ensure you do your research ahead of time to determine whether you are responsible for submitting paperwork to the governing body of your country. You may also be responsible for translating the documents to the language of your country.

Proximity to the Airport upon arrival to your location
It is very important to research your location thoroughly. Some resorts may be up to 4 or more hours away from the airport which may be difficult on families travelling with children or seniors with mobility issues. In the same sense, you want to ensure that a resort highlighting “within close proximity to the airport” doesn’t mean that it is next door to the resort. [This could make for a very unpleasant stay for you and your guests with noise interruptions at your wedding]

Language barriers and document translations
In some cases, depending on the country you choose to have your wedding, the wedding ceremony will be spoken in the language of the country as well as the documentation that you will be signing. You need to be aware that you may not understand the language spoken at your wedding ceremony.

Required Vaccinations and blood tests / x-rays
Depending on the country, blood tests and x-rays may be required to issue a marriage certificate. In Mexico for example, the bride is also required to take a pregnancy test.

Allow your guests enough notice to attend
When inviting guests to your destination wedding, ensure you provide enough notice for them to take time off of work, prepare a budget for the trip as well as enough time to prepare passports and visas that may be required for travel.

Find out what is included
Many resorts will offer all –inclusive options for you and your guests. This is a great way to ensure your guests can plan ahead with their budget. You will also want to inquire what wedding packages they have available on-site instead of having to contact individual vendors for all aspects of your wedding planning.

Why Choose a Destination Wedding?

Right now you may be wondering whether or not a destination wedding is right for you. While a wedding in the Caribbean may be a dream come true for many, you have to ask yourself is it for you. Often, couples choose to have a destination wedding because the location is personally significant. Perhaps the two of you first realized you were in love on vacation in the Caribbean. Perhaps he popped the question during that week-long cruise you two took together.

In addition to personal significance, many couples choose to have a destination wedding simply for the romance of travel. Sometimes the decision is made because there is a need to escape. Perhaps you have already started planning a traditional wedding and found it is not what you want.

Here’s some reasons on why choosing a destination wedding might be right for you:

Once in a Lifetime Reunion:

Perhaps you have family all across the country, or all across the world and most guests will need to travel regardless of where your wedding is located – so meet in paradise! Imagine having all of your close friends and family together for celebrating you and your love. Your wedding will not only be a vacation for many, but also a reunion.

One on One time With Guests:

Destination weddings tend to be smaller, more intimate events. The guest list of a destination wedding is usually smaller which allows you to indulge in extra luxuries and invite your closest friends and family. Spend more quality time with those you love. A destination wedding provides you with relaxing days to unwind and enjoy time with those you love.

Unique & Memorable Wedding Experience:

A destination wedding allows for creativity reflecting the tastes and styles of you and your fiance. You can have a religious ceremony and traditional wedding if you want or do something different and make it completely your own. Even if your tastes are traditional, a destination wedding will be unlike any other wedding. You can express yourself. Unlike a traditional wedding, a destination wedding lets you think outside of the box and expected traditions. You can create a wedding as unique as you are.

Cost Effective:

You would like to spend less on your wedding. The average cost of a Canadian wedding is $30,000 (and may be more if you live in major cities). Destination weddings are considerable less cost than this. If your budget is restrictive, Mexico and the Caribbean provide great value and even free weddings in some cases.

Start the honeymoon early:

You can experience your very own “wedding-moon” (wedding and honeymoon combined)! You have already purchased your airfare, so why not take the second week and enjoy your wedded bliss. You can stay where you are… or change locations for a new experience.

Eloping & 2nd Marriages:

You would like to privately elope in paradise. You can be legally wed abroad; the resort can provide witnesses and then if you like, have your wedding reception when you return home!

Grooms Like to Get Involved:

Whether it is deciding on gift bags or coordinating guest outings, grooms seem to be more involved in destination wedding planning. Specifically, grooms enjoy organizing the smaller events such as day outings and happy hour mixers.

Amazing Photos & Memories:

Imagine how your photos will look, straight out of a magazine; that you and your fiancé will enjoy forever. You can also have the entire wedding week documented and provide picture albums to your guests as a thank you for attending the wedding.