Deciding to have a Destination Wedding can be a very exciting time when you imagine all of the possibilities available to you; Beaches, Mountains, Private Villas, Cliffsides, Waterfalls, Cruise Ships, All-Inclusive Resorts, Quaint Villages, Historic Churches, Caves, Volcano Edges and so much more! Discussing with your family and friends about where your future partner and you will eventually say "I do," can soon turn from exciting to overwhelming, when you really can't decide on where to choose! For some clarity and direction, here are 5 Tips To Choose Your Destination Wedding Location:
Tip 1: Travel Time
It seems pretty basic but many couples forget to think about how long it will take to get to and from a destination. If your group and you are planning to travel for more than 3 days, you may be open to locations that come with longer flight times. If you don't have that many days though, you may not want to look into locations on the other side of the world, with travel times taking up most of their days. On the other hand, you may want to start your wedcation that much sooner and prefer flight times that will be quick and painless regardless of your travel days.
Tip 2: The Season
It's pretty safe to say that no one wants to be rained upon during their wedding. It's even safer to say no one wants a hurricane, moonsoon, heatwave or any other natural occurring event to disrupt their vows. If you already have a date chosen, you may want to stay clear of countries with less than favourable weather patterns during that time or look into changing your date if possible. Remember, your wedding is supposed to be special and while you may be getting an amazing deal to travel during the very beginning of Hurricane Season, with little risk for example, there's still that risk as Mother Nature is unpredictable. Save the low-season deals for another vacation and minimize your risks as much as possible.
Tip 3: Your Religion & Culture
Marriage is a sacred thing and whether you choose to do a legal or symbolic ceremony, you should be able to incorporate who you are into it. Having a destination wedding does not mean you have to give up your culture or religion to do so. It's a matter of asking the right questions about what's important to you and realizing which countries have those vendors that can cater to your religious and cultural needs. Of course, there are certain things you can be flexible with or bring from your hometown but you'd be surprised what may already be available there for you and will definitely see which countries have catered to your ceremony type before.
Tip 4: Affordability For Guests
Destination weddings can definitely put a damper on your guest count and a lot of that has to do with getting time off or finances. Remember you will have certain people in your lives that you want to be there and for this you need to come up with a reasonable budget for your guests to spend to attend. Keep in mind if it's a family of 4, for example, not everyone can afford a $10,000 household spend for your wedding week. Certain countries come at a higher travel price-point and you need to weigh out what's more important, certain guest attending or that specific location. Also keep in mind that your guest budget will at the minimum include their flight, hotel, transfers and food and drink, if it's not all-inclusive.
Tip 5: Non-Wedding Days
Guests will be travelling to a Country for your wedding, sometimes for the first time. It's important to consider what that country has to offer on the Non-Wedding days when guests will have some free time to explore. Excursions are a great way for you to thank your guests for taking the time off work, spending the money and travelling to your destination wedding. It allows guests and yourselves to really explore the country you chose and fall in love with it that much more! See what the country has to offer, consider your lifestyle and what you think is fun. Don't choose a country that only offers hiking tours for example, if your guest list is full of elders and asthmatics who hate to hike. You want to choose a country that offers multiple well-rounded experiences for all types of travellers to enjoy.
By now, you should've been able to cut down your options. If you're still stuck though, look out for my next blog that will discuss choosing the right venue location to hopefully help cut that list down even more!