So you are planning a destination wedding. Congratulations! How exciting! The idea of running away to a magical location with your loved one sounds so romantic and ideal. While you may be cutting out a lot of the stress of planning a large local wedding, there are still some things you should look out for while planning your wedding out of state. We put together some tips and tricks to help guide you with putting together your destination nuptials.
.: Planning Tips :.
.: Take a trip :.
We can’t tell you enough how important this is! Take at LEAST one trip, and if you can, take two. On the first trip you will need to scout your ceremony and reception venues, and hotels. Planning a wedding online can be dangerous. A vendor may only post the best photos and locations they’ve had when in reality, it isn’t anything like it’s pictured. They showed you a big suite but the rest of the rooms are tiny, or that beautiful wedding took place before the beach became public. Taking a trip guarantees you what a venue will look like, so you’ll have no surprises.
You’ll also need to schedule tasting with your caterer, visit florists, and plan a hair and make up session if you’re choosing a local vendor. The best advice we can give you is to go visit your location a few times before the day of the wedding. If you can’t make a trip, read as many reviews as you can.
.: Make a friend :.
This is going to sound weird, but go with it. If you don't know anyone in that area/country, Insta stalk people. While planning our Icelandic elopement, we searched for waterfalls, only to find the busiest tourist destinations. And we weren't looking for a crowd. We searched Icelandic tags on Instagram, and reached out to a woman who lived in Iceland, she suggested the least busy, and not well known waterfalls for us to consider, as well as a few coffee shops and restaurants while we were there.
If you are renting an Airbnb, ask your host for ideas. While you may be getting married at a resort, you can always reach out to people to find things to do, people love to talk about the place they live, and you could even make a cool new friend.
.: Research Local Marriage Requirements :.
The legal side of getting married in another country can often be complicated. Many countries have a “residency requirement.” Although this is usually just a few days, it can be longer. England requires you to be there 7 days before your ceremony, while France requires you to be there 40 days before. Get all the legal information in advance and plan accordingly.
Many countries may even require paperwork that the United States doesn't. For example, to get married in Iceland you need a "Single Aspotille." Which is a certificate obtained through your county clerk verifying you are single, and able to marry. Find the registrars office online and start emailing them ASAP! It would be terrible to show up and find out you can’t even sign the license!
.: Mind Mother Nature :.
Don’t just assume that the weather in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Mexico is gorgeous year-round. In the Caribbean, hurricane season is July through October. In Hawaii, rainy season is November through March, and Italy can be unbearably hot in July and August. Plan around the expected weather for the season. If it’s rainy season, consider an indoor or covered reception location. Do lots of research leading up on weather forecasts and rain probability. Make plans to cover any change in weather, so no matter what the weather does, you’ll be prepared for it.
.: Dress the part :.
After deciding on your location, take some time to think about attire. While getting married in Cancun may be your dream come true, you might need to reconsider your dream dress. Because a ball gown in
tropical humidity will leave you dripping in sweat. If you’ve chosen somewhere outside with grass or dirt, a long train will get dirty and your 4 inch heels may stick in the grass. if you will need to hike, or walk to your ceremony location, choose a dress that is easy to hold while you walk, maybe a three foot train will need to be cut back.
Also, if you’ve chosen to wed outside in Italy or Georgia in the summer, you might not want to ask your groomsmen to wear tuxes. You can look just as dapper in a button down with vests or suspenders.
.: Don't worry about me :.
Once you have booked and paid us, you’re done! That covers airfare, hotel, and car rental. We’ll show up at least a day before your wedding to scout the area, and perfect portrait locations. Including a spot if you’re doing a first look. Its always great to have the same photographer who shot your engagement session come along with you to your destination wedding. You know how they work, you are comfortable with them and trust them. We travel all the time for weddings and are used to shooting in new fun locations and can offer a different perspective then a local.
We hope you found these tips useful, and as always, if you ever need planning help, reach out to us.
We might be able to help!
Or we might know someone who can!