Ultimate Destination Wedding Planning Guide

Every bride dreams of her wedding day. For the ultimate dream wedding, every facet from the wedding ceremony right through the reception and honeymoon, should be perfect.

A couple’s wedding and honeymoon are two of the happiest times of their lives. Planning these special times can be fun and exciting, but hours of research are required in order to make the right decisions. In recent years many couples have realized the time, effort and expense of planning a wedding and a honeymoon can be too much and decide to combine them to create the perfect destination wedding.

Destination Weddings have become an increasingly popular wedding trend, with the number of Destination Weddings tripling over the past 10-years.

Brides and Grooms are increasingly considering variations of the traditional wedding ceremonies. In many cases arrangements may be more relaxed and less stressful for the couple, and because the weddings may of necessity be smaller, the wedding may also be less expensive. Usually the destination wedding location also becomes the honeymoon site.

An average wedding in the US costs $20,000 – $25,000 and consists of 150-200 guests. By reducing the number of guests and combining the wedding and honeymoon, a Destination Wedding can provide a more memorable, intimate experience at a fraction of the cost.

The most common destination in the United States is Las Vegas, followed by the mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. For Beach Weddings, Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and Hawaii are popular choices. Many Cruise lines also offer wedding and honeymoon packages with options of shipboard chapels or weddings at various ports. And yet another option, is a Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings at Walt Disney World® Resort, which has become one of the most popular vacation destinations on the planet.

Regardless of the location selected, a Destination Wedding can be a romantic, memorable alternative to a traditional wedding. Destination Weddings provide the ultimate setting to celebrate your endless love for each other at a location where all your wedding and honeymoon dreams can come true.

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Destination Wedding Ideas and Resources

Destination weddings have become more and more popular and for good reason. Getting married in an exotic locale is a dream come true for many couples.

Maybe your destination is somewhere very special for you and your loved one. Or maybe it’s just someplace you’ve always dreamed of visiting. Whatever your reason, if both of you have your heart set on it, then go for it. One of the nice things about destination weddings is that they can be very affordable, depending on the location and the number of guests you invite. So whatever your budget, most likely you can pull it off.

Booking Your Location

Once you’ve decided that a destination wedding is for you, it’s important to begin planning. You’ll want to book your location as soon as possible, as you would for a traditional wedding. But unlike planning for a traditional wedding, you may not have as much control, since your wedding location isn’t nearby.

In this case, you’ll have to be willing to rely on others, like family members or friends who are closer to the destination to make some decisions for you. You may be fortunate enough to make a trip or two to your destination prior to the wedding, but if you can’t, choose people you know and trust and delegate responsibility to them, even though all final decisions will be yours.

Choosing Your Invitations

After you’ve settled on your location, it’s time to invite your guests. As with any wedding, your invitations are important because they set the stage for your wedding’s theme. Think how excited your guests will be when they receive an invitation to your destination wedding!

Guest Accommodations and Expenses

As you plan your destination wedding, keep in mind that you may be asking your guests to travel a great distance. Since guests are responsible for paying for their own travel and hotel expenses as well as any other expenses normally incurred with a wedding, you should do some advance scouting for them regarding airfare and hotel accommodations. Often, you can reserve a block of rooms at a discounted rate as well as alert them to any deals with airlines.

The cost of the wedding itself falls upon the couple or the couple’s families, just as it would for a traditional wedding. Because guests usually arrive a day or two before the wedding, you might want to plan an additional dinner or activity to include them. The couple would absorb any of these costs.

The Honeymoon

Another benefit of a destination wedding is that newlyweds can honeymoon at their destination wedding location. This alleviates additional travel and hotel expenses. Likewise, guests have the option of extending their stay and enjoying a mini-vacation for themselves. Everybody wins at a destination wedding!

Depending on how many guests attended the wedding, many couples host a party after their destination wedding or mail announcements to those who didn’t attend. Typically, these celebrations allow friends and family the opportunity to congratulate the newly married couple. Gifts are not required, but it’s not unusual for some guests to bring them anyways.

More Planning Tips

So after reading this, do you think a destination wedding is right for you? As with planning any wedding, there are endless details to consider. Although this article touched upon many of the basic points of destination wedding planning, there is much, much more.

With that in mind, I’ve included the following Web site links to help you perform further research. Each one has a wealth of information about destination weddings so you’ll be sure to get every question you have answered.

Enjoy the process and have a beautiful wedding!

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