The moment you have waited a lifetime for has finally arrived; you have the engagement ring of your dreams from the man of your dreams. And yet times are tough, but does that necessarily mean you should have to compromise on the wedding of your dreams? Destination weddings has been a rapidly growing trend in the last couple of years, and when stacked up against the idea of buying 150 of your closest friends dinner, can be an incredibly enticing idea. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning a fun, affordable destination wedding.
Dress, flowers, and even food are all often influenced by where you have chosen to have your wedding and can often be taken care of later in the planning process. But there are a few key things to make sure you get out of the way as soon as possible.
First things first, know thyself. If you’re a bit of a controlling bride, or a hands-on, type A party planner, then the concept of a destination wedding is not for you. You must be able to put yourself and your guests in the hands of people you have never met, at a venue you have likely never been to. If the term “sight unseen” makes you nervous, then you will probably be more comfortable with a wedding that’s a little closer to home.
Second, remember to keep the guest list short and sweet. Determining the number of guests early on will determine your budget as you begin to search for foreign venues and vendors. Only your closest friends and family should be invited or expected to attend. Also, remember to keep it simple for those planning on attending. Some couples offer to pay for their guests hotel stay, others ask that guest’s attendance at the chosen local be their only wedding gift, but however you decide to handle things, a small ceremony is one of the biggest draws of a destination wedding.
Save the date is another phrase that cannot be stressed enough when beginning to plan a destination wedding. Make sure you send them out as far in advance as possible. For guests that are planning on attending, timing is often a make or break factor. If there are certain guests that you want to be sure will be there, save the date cards are a crucial part of the planning process.
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Speaking of the date, make sure to choose your big day with the chosen local in mind. If you have decided to be a beach bride, make sure to avoid hurricane season in the late summer months. If a European wedding is more your style, try not to pick a date during peak-tourist season. Avoiding the crowds can often mean less expensive flights and more variety or flexibility when choosing your accommodations.
Our final tip is less of a tip and more of a perk; when having a destination wedding remember to use your environment as your main decoration. Before you make yourself crazy with flower choices, color palettes, and table clothes, remember that less is more and the location you have chosen is more than enough decoration for the big day. Whether you’re below a European mountain range, a small chapel in Arizona, in New York City’s Central Park, or on a tropical beach in Costa Rica relax, enjoy, slide on that wedding ring and maybe find out what “island time” really means.