So instead of staying in the Kansas City area for your wedding ceremony and wedding reception, you’ve decided on a destination wedding. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go to Europe, Mexico or visit a tropical island in the Bahamas. There’s no better time to make the trip than when you say “I do,” and, as a bonus, you can begin your honeymoon immediately after your nuptials. A destination wedding gives you and your bride or groom-to-be a chance to get away from it all, at least in the physical sense. But there’s a considerable amount of preparation to consider before you jump on an airplane. Taking your wedding “on the road” shouldn’t be so stressful that you can’t enjoy yourself. With that in mind, we’ve put together four basic wedding destination tips to get you started on the first steps down the planning road.
1.) Preparing For Your Destination Wedding
Don’t forget to verify the legal requirements for marrying in another country. For many couples, it’s easier to get hitched at home because of these regulations. But if you’ve made up your mind that you want to get married in another country, make absolutely certain you’ve completed all of the necessary paperwork ahead of time. Talk to your wedding officiant beforehand to ask questions and become familiar with the process. You’ll probably spend a fair bit of time on the phone with your hotel or resort, as well. They can help with your wedding location and catering. If they do not provide these services, they should be able to recommend local wedding planners who can take care of the many, sometimes overlooked details for you. Or, you can locate a reputable wedding planner on the Association of Bridal Consultants website.
A word of caution, though. Make sure that you have either visited all of the sites you’ve selected for your accommodations, wedding ceremony and reception or have personal or extremely reliable references from others who have used the locations before signing a contract or handing out retainers. Don’t simply rely on pretty website photos or the promises of the wedding professionals you have selected. You might find that the wedding paradise you were expecting to enjoy is no paradise at all.
2.) Be Weather Savvy
No one wants to have their wedding plans interrupted by a hurricane or plan for a beach front wedding when high amounts of heat and humidity could be a drag on your guests. Although there’s no guarantee that any outdoor wedding, even in Kansas City, will be free of a few rain drops, dampening an otherwise well planned ceremony, there’s enough weather history in the books to help you plan around the most inclemate seasons.
If you’re planning a wedding in the Caribbean or the Mexican Riviera as an example, CNN.com reports that the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season (which includes the Gulf of Mexico) occurs from June 1st through November 30th. It might be best for the safety and comfort of everyone involved to plan your wedding around those months.
3.) Make Cent-sible Wedding Budget Decisions
Depending on your wedding budget, consider paying for the flights and/or lodging of your wedding party and immediate family. While you’re not obligated to pay for these amenities, take the time to explain the costs they may incur when inviting them. According to a recent wedding cost survey conducted by Yahoo.com in 2013, on an average guests spend $539 to attend a wedding in the United States. Tack on airfare and hotel for a destination wedding and that cost could easily quadruple.
Find out if group rates for hotel rooms and flights can be arranged through your travel agent to make the trip easier and less expensive for guests. Above all, do not be hurt or take it personally if some guests or family members are unable to make the trip. Not everyone may have the time or resources to travel to a destination wedding.
Think you can’t afford a destination wedding? Check out the video below as Antonia van der Meer, editor-in-chief of Modern Bride magazine explains to Julie Chen on the CBS Early Show how to make a destination wedding look like celebrity chic but on a budget.
4.) Let’s Get Packin’
As you’re packing for your destination wedding, make sure you take along everything you might need. To assist you in remembering even the littlest things, like buying contact lenses and refilling prescriptions to the bigger items like the wedding dress and credit cards, download and print the free travel plus romance pack list from The Knot.com. Don’t forget to arrange for someone to pick up your mail, water your plants or feed your pets. You may even want to prepay bills so they don’t become overdue while you’re gone.
And, unless you’ve got a house or apartment sitter and/or an extremely dependable security system installed, you might want to avoid posting your travel plans on social media. No reason to let the wrong people know you’re going to be out of town.
Bonus Destination Wedding Resources To Research Before Hitting the Road
We’ve provided just the most basic details that need to be considered as you plan for your destination wedding. But there are far more to take into account. Check out a few of our favorite on-line destination wedding resources that includes tips and advice from travel agents, wedding planners, resort and hotel wedding hosts, caterers and other wedding experts. You’ll find ideas for picking the perfect spot for your destination wedding to planning your rehearsal dinner and how to get the best deals on travel and accommodations.
At the end of the day, careful planning and an eye to detail before you arrive at your wedding destination will make everything go smoothly.
If you’ve planned or are currently planning a destination wedding, we welcome your personal tips and advice for others. Please include them in the comment section below!
Whether you’re planning a Kansas City wedding or look forward to exchanging your vows abroad, Ron Ruth Wedding Entertainment can help you design, create and produce an unforgettably fun wedding reception anywhere in the world you choose to celebrate your happiness. Start by getting our free wedding planning checklist and then contact Ron Ruth WED® , today to arrange your no-obligation consultation.