Wedding Tips for a Destination Wedding

(Photo from Conde Nast Traveler)

While jetting off to somewhere exotic for a destination wedding is an exciting idea for sure, the amount of work involved is not to be underestimated as well. After all, pulling off a wedding is no simple feat, not to say when it’s held at a foreign place where you might have no idea of the local culture and vendors! Here are some really handy tips to help you out if you’re planning to jet off for your wedding.

Location, location, location

Though this may seem like a little of a no brainer, think again. Many of us may fall in love with a specific place after seeing it in films or magazines, but what if you needed to travel more than 8 hours to get there, with 3 stopovers no less? This is especially true for island destinations, which more often than not, requires another domestic flight and a ferry transfer to get to. The amount of travel time will be a big factor for your guests when they consider if they would attend your destination wedding. To make everyone’s lives easier, the best thing to do is to make sure you choose a place that is straightforward to get to from the airport — we’re sure your guests will be thanking you for that.

In the same vein, do remember to check the weather for the season you are planning to hold your wedding in. Not everywhere is like Singapore, with predictable weather all year round. Do check for potential hazards such as hurricane season, extreme weather and so on.

Get a wedding planner or package

While some couples may like to be extremely hands-on with their weddings, this is usually not advisable if you are holding a destination wedding simply because you would have no idea where to start looking. Hiring a local wedding planner or getting a wedding package from your venue provider would solve a lot of problems, leaving you free to deal with other important things such as logistics arrangements for your guests, which trust us, would be more than enough for you to handle.

Check if any other events are taking place at the same time

It doesn’t always strike us until we’re stuck with say, a boisterous company retreat, but always remember to check with your venue provider if there are any other events taking place at the same time your wedding will be happening. After all, the last thing you want is for your exquisite wedding to be spoilt by these unintentional wedding crashers!

Plan an itinerary for your guests

Given that your guests have made the trip for your wedding, it is only courtesy for you to plan other activities for them apart from the main event. For example, if you are holding an island wedding, do give them options to engage in some sea sports or island trekking. Your guests will be stuck at your destination of choice during the few days of the short getaway, so do be considerate and let them know how they can utilise their time meaningfully while they’re there.

Scrutinise the contract

You should read all contracts finely, especially those for your destination wedding, simply because you are working in a different culture. The most dangerous thing is to assume that things would be the same over there just because they are so in Singapore — they might not be. To prevent unnecessary misunderstandings and mishaps, always double check with your vendors before putting your signature on the dot, no matter how minute the detail may be, for example, things like whether free bread would be provided, whether drinking water would be chargeable and so on.

Another detail you would definitely want to put down in your contract would be the details for hotel rooms — while you would usually ask for more rooms than you always need (no harm being well prepared), hotels would usually require a guarantee for the minimal number of chargeable rooms they would block for you. Do double check the number and make sure it is a realistic one to avoid burning a hole in your pocket. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask for a group discount for your hotel rooms since you are booking for a big group.

Be an early bird

This is especially true for destination weddings — you would definitely like to get an early start on your planning. Send out your invitations early since your guests would need extra time to plan for an overseas trip. Similarly, require your guests to RSVP early so you can confirm the number of rooms and tables for the banquet ahead of time.

Customise a welcome package 

There is nothing like arriving at your hotel room after a long flight to be greeted by a special welcome package put together by the hosts. Most times, it is not what is in the bag, but the thought that counts. As such, you don’t necessarily have to splash out a lot on the gifts. Instead, try to include useful and location-specific items that your guests might have forgotten to bring, for example, sunscreen and mosquito spray if you’re holding an island wedding. Having a handwritten welcome note addressed to your guests would also bring a smile to their faces for sure.

Always have a Plan B

We know the point of travelling all the way to a faraway place for your wedding is to have it say, take place in front of the magnificent Pacific Ocean, but not everything goes according to plan at times. In case of bad weather, it is a possibility that you would have to pull out Plan B. Always, always, plan for wet weather — for example, put up tents if you’re bent on having an outdoor wedding no matter what. Otherwise, you can also recce your venue’s indoor option to make sure that it is something that you can accept as well.

Dress appropriately

You may have been dreaming about that Vera Wang gown for the longest time, but is it really the best choice for a beach wedding? Choose a gown that would be suitable for the location you have chosen. Don’t try to fool yourself into thinking that you can put up with the inconveniences your dream gown may bring — you wouldn’t be able to. The worst thing would be for you to feel horrible in your wedding dress and be unable to smile for the cameras.

Do you have any other tips to share for planning a destination wedding? Let us know!

Read the original article at Conde Nast Traveler.