Planning a Destination Wedding: What You Need to Know, Part 2
Photo by Susan Pacek Photography
There’s a lot that goes into planning a destination wedding. We covered some of the first pieces of planning you’ll need to figure out in part one of our Planning a Destination Wedding series. Let’s dig a little deeper into the questions you’ll need to answer about finding a venue and vendors and expectations for guests. Whether you’re throwing a Costa Rica wedding on the beach or a high-altitude celebration in the mountains, planning a destination wedding takes time and details. Here’s what you need to know about planning your wedding far from home.
How do you find a venue at your destination?
Once you’ve nailed down your destination, you can start looking for your venue and accommodations. Make sure that you have both available before committing to a date. You don’t want to find the perfect venue only to discover that every hotel in the area is booked up. Do your research online to look at resorts, hotels, and other venues in the area you’d like to go. Look for venues that have experience hosting destination weddings and read reviews from other couples to see what you can expect.
How do you find local vendors?
One of the best ways to find vendors in your destination wedding area is by word-of-mouth and the internet. When planning far from home, you don’t have the same access to visit vendors to determine who might be the best fit. Instead, rely on recommendations from your venue and wedding planner. Both will have worked with vendors in the area before while hosting or helping with other weddings. Additionally, you can do your own research online to look at reviews, products, and service offerings without needing to hop on a plane.
How soon should you let your guests know about your wedding?
You should give your guests 6-10 months of advance notice about your upcoming celebration, so you’ll need to have your date locked in and relevant details figured out so you can send save-the-dates with enough time for your guests to plan their own travels. You’ll also want to ensure you provide any and all information your guests might need in your save-the-dates, invitation, and wedding website. Include information about where all events will be held, any planned activities for your stay, and where guests can look for lodging.
Do guests pay for and plan their own travel and accommodation?
Typically, yes. Your guests will pay for their own travel and accommodations to attend your wedding. This is why destination weddings tend to be smaller affairs with only close family and friends receiving an invite. If you’re looking to have everyone you know celebrate your wedding with you, consider planning an event for after you return when all your guests (including those who may not be able to afford the time or cost of travel to your destination wedding) can celebrate with you.
How do you plan a wedding from a distance?
A destination wedding adds the challenge of distance to your planning process. You don’t have the same access to venues and vendors that you’d have at home. This is where a destination wedding planner can step in to ease your planning frustrations and worries. With our wide network of wedding venues, we can help you plan the wedding of your dreams in Costa Rica, the mountains of Colorado, or anywhere else in the world!