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.
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.
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.