Destination weddings are a great way to celebrate your love of travel and your love for your partner. While you might be confident you want a destination wedding, knowing what location to choose can quickly become a challenge. Throwing a dart at a map might be okay if you have an unlimited budget, but it’s best to take time to think about what you’re looking for in a location.
From Tuscan vineyards to Caribbean beaches, there’s something so romantic about all destination weddings. So how do you narrow down the choices and find the perfect place to say “I do?” It turns out planning a destination wedding isn’t so different from designing any other event. You’ll need to start with the basics and see what fits your style, your budget, and your guest list before you can book your plane tickets. This guide will take you step-by-step through the process of choosing your destination wedding location.
Know Your Budget
Like all parts of the wedding planning process, your budget matters. It might even be the most important part of deciding just where you’ll have the wedding of your dreams. Sure, we all want to share our big day on the gorgeous white sand of Tahiti, but those aren’t exactly bargain plane tickets. Flying halfway around the world has its perks, but it can be expensive for both your wedding arrangements and your guests who will need to travel.
The good news is there are a lot of affordable locations to host your destination wedding that won’t do a number on your wallet. Places like the Caribbean, Mexico, or even other cities in the United States are great options for destination weddings that don’t come with the big price tag. The experts who host destination weddings at Koloa Landing Resort recommend choosing a venue like a resort that offers full planning packages, so you don’t have to bring anything with you.
How many people do you want to be there on your big day? One of the biggest challenges with destination weddings is finding a location that works for everyone on your guest list. While you shouldn’t try to accommodate for others, you should realize that most people in your extended family and friends list can’t afford to shell out thousands to travel to distant continents.
The general rule of thumb is that the further you travel, the smaller your wedding size. Remember, when you go to your wedding location you’ll be responsible for finding accommodations and planning activities. How large of a group are you able to plan for? If you’re hoping to travel with all of your friends and family, choose a location that is more accessible and all-inclusive.
What type of ceremony do you see for yourself and your partner? More traditional wedding ceremonies that adhere to strict religious guidelines will need to look for places that are able to accommodate their needs. A Catholic wedding should be easy to swing in Mexico, for instance, but it would be more of a challenge in a location like Thailand.
With the ceremony style, keep in mind any traditions. Will you need a special Kosher menu for the reception? Will you need a priest or special officiate? Work with your venue to see if these things are possible in your chosen location. If not, you might want to look somewhere else.
Your Dream Wedding
In many ways, destination weddings are a dream come true. Maybe you’ve always imagined saying “I do” in a Medieval castle, or you wanted to take your photos on a beautiful beach. These things are all possible if you’re willing to step outside your own backyard when it comes to wedding destinations.
There are no rules when it comes to your wedding. You can choose a single location, or change the city by the day. You can have an open sea ceremony on a sailboat or even a cruise ship. The options are literally as big as the world itself. Where do you see your dream wedding? The backdrop is whatever you make it.