Destination weddings can be a dream come true, but they usually require more planning. Here are some ways to make sure you remember all the details!
So you’re getting married in a beautiful location and you couldn’t be happier! But there’s still a lot to do before your big destination wedding day. There are so many details that go into planning a wedding, just imagine how many more go into planning one a thousand (or so) miles away – But don’t let that scare you!
Keep these tips in mind and it’ll be a piece of cake (wedding cake, that is!). Here are 5 mistakes to avoid when you are planning your dream destination wedding!
1. Forgetting to research local marriage requirements
When choosing to have a destination wedding outside of the United States, keep in mind that many countries have different residency and paperwork requirements when getting married. For example, if you’re getting married in Greece, Greek law does not allow religious ceremonies for certain interfaith marriages such as Jews to non-Jews or Christians to non-Christians. Additionally, if you’re getting married in Mongolia, you’ll need medical proof that you don’t have AIDs or any other sexually transmitted or psychological disease, and a statement from the Police Department saying that you have no criminal record. Some countries even have a waiting period required after submitting your documents that can last upwards of 6 weeks.
Be sure to research the marriage requirements before finalizing your location to avoid unwanted surprises! Some requirements, if not checked ahead of time, can put a HUGE wrench in your wedding plans!
2. Not planning a trip to finalize details beforehand
It is HIGHLY recommended that you and your spouse plan a trip to the location of your destination wedding a month or two in advance of the wedding date to check out the venue, meet your vendors, and get a final look at the location. Taking the time to go in person, if you can accommodate the additional travel, will provide clarity, not to mention peace of mind as you get ready to say “I do!”
Photo: Travel and Leisure
3. Not getting a location specific gown
We often forget how different climates feel! Consider your location/climate when choosing what you’ll be wearing for the wedding (that includes the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, etc..) For example, if you’re planning on having your wedding on a beach somewhere tropical, you’ll want something light, airy, and made of a material that will respond well to humidity. Make sure you let your bridal consultant know about your location and the climate. Also, keep your bridesmaids in mind when choosing the style and fabric they’ll be wearing! They will be just as thankful, trust me.
4. Serving non local cuisines
When you’re deciding on a dinner menu, choose dishes that your area specializes in – this will ensure quality and taste! Look into what ingredients are locally sourced and try some traditional dishes. Remember, NEVER ask for an Americanized wedding cake in a different country because you can be sure it won’t taste like what you envisioned. Wedding planner, Mindy Weiss, said, “I love creating menus that highlight what’s fresh and in season at the destination.” You definitely don’t want the reception meal to be a bust, so make sure to take the time to research the food & culture of your destination wedding spot!
Photo: Martha Stewart Weddings
5. Forgetting to research peak travel times
When you’re planning a destination wedding, it is extremely important to keep special events and local holidays in mind, along with local seasons. Location specific events (think Carnival, can drive up flight expenses, accommodation costs, and other expenses. Also, peak travel season or “summer” at your chosen destination may vary greatly from what you expect – for example, peak “summer” season in Costa Rica is from December till March. You may want to consider choosing a date that falls JUST outside of peak season to take advantage of good weather and lower costs. Your entire guest list will thank you for it!
Photo: Raphaele’s Blog
With a destination wedding, there is much more room for mistakes, so it is important to do your research! As long as you avoid these 5 mistakes, your destination wedding will be the most beautiful, unforgettable day you could have ever imagined!
Are you planning destination wedding?
Leave us a comment below and let us know!
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