If you and your partner don’t consider yourself to be too traditional and have a bit of an adventurous streak, then planning a destination wedding for your special day could be a perfect option for you.

But beware undertaking a project like this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Planning your wedding day can be a stressful enough experience as it is. While moving it out of town can deal with some of the stress points, it is still a whole other ballgame and that is something you should be prepared for.

DO: Write down a list of ‘must-come’ guests

One of the sneaky benefits of a destination wedding is that it is a good non-confrontational way of slimming down the guest list. Many people who may have been offended with the snub at a local ceremony will turn down an invitation to your South-East Asia beach wedding.

Brilliant! No hard feelings on either side.

But that being said some of the people who can’t make it to your overseas ceremony will be guests you genuinely want to come. They will be tied by family commitments, financial considerations or might not have the holiday leave left at their job.

So you have to work out who those people are and really consider whether you’re OK tying the know without them.

DON’T: Procrastinate

You want to lock down your date and let people know as soon as possible.

You and your partner may be a carefree, fly by the seat of your pants pair but most people like a fair bit of notice before booking significant travel plans. You want to give people at least a year to align their work and personal life so that going on a short holiday can fit smoothly into their calendar.

DO: Check out the venue

You wouldn’t dream of not visiting the venue if it was local - and there is a reason for that. You simply can’t lock down substantial plans unless you understand how everything is going to work within the space.

If you leave everything until you get there, the chances of major logistical problems are huge and the money you’ll end up wasting on things that just aren’t going to work is going to far outweigh the cost of a trip to scout out a few venues 12 months prior.

It will also help with giving guests directions to find their way there when they arrive.

DON’T: Invite more than you can handle

Yes, there is going to be more people who can’t make your destination wedding than if you were getting married nearby. But counting on a certain percentage to sat ni is playing with fire.

At the very least do not start making substantial financial investments until you get a good sense of the RSVPs

DO: Familiarise yourself with local customs

If you don’t want to cause a stir on your day of days, it is worth getting a good idea of what sort of things aren’t going to fly in the country you’re visiting.

Both knowing about the culture in the country as a whole - like what is their attitude toward alcohol and drunkenness - is important but also check what will and won’t be allowed at the venue. If you plan to go on partying all night, check with them first, because you might be surprised at what is and isn’t commonly acceptable.

DON’T: Try to reinvent the wheel

There is plenty of places you can go to check out other people’s weddings and get great ideas on what has already been done at destination weddings.

You might be going overseas to be a bit different in the first place but trust me, you’re going to need all the help you can get and a few handy cheat sheets from wedding blogs you should really jump at the opportunity.

DO: Buy local

The more you bring the more expensive getting there will be. On top of that there will be a lot you have to declare with customs, which will just add to the stress.

If you buy locally however not only will everything be much cheaper (in most cases), you will create a much more authentic experience.

DON’T: Ignore the climate

Different countries require different dress to be comfortable. Maybe you’re OK with shorts and flip-flops for the groomsman, in which case you’re sorted. But please don’t force everyone to wear suits in tropical temperature.

If you still want to look great there are still plenty of options like custom made wedding dresses or even off the peg wedding dresses for beach weddings.

DO: Consider Your Guest’s Finances:

Do a little bit of legwork to get some good deals on hotels or pick a time of year that is cheaper to fly. The people that come are going to be paying a lot to be there, and while I’m sure they are going to have a great time its a nice thought to make the whole experience a little easier for them.

DON’T: Travel all over the place

If ever there is a time to have ceremony, reception and accommodation all in one place it is a destination wedding. It will cost your guests less in the day in transport and you eliminate the cance of people getting lost in an unfamiliar country (unless they can’t find the place to begin with)


Published by Alexander Dance