Top 10 tips for planning a destination wedding

Many couples dream of tying the knot on a beach in Mexico or a classic villa in Italy, but not all are prepared for the amount of planning needed to pull off the perfect overseas wedding. Here are our top tips to know before you start planning your dream destination wedding.

1)   Location

Try to choose a location that isn’t too difficult to get to, especially for your guests. Rather than choosing a small town in the hills of Italy that will need an extra four hours and three train changes to get to, pick a similar location that is closer to major airports and train stations.

2)   Extra help

Hire a planner who has worked in the area your wedding is taking place (a bonus if they have worked at your venue in the past). They will know the vendors in the area and can act as the middleman, especially if you don’t speak the local language.

3)   Holidays

Check the national and local holidays in the country you are looking to have your wedding to be sure none of them fall on the same day you say your I do’s. Some vendors may not work on holidays or the hotel may have special holiday events planned.

4)   Learn the law

Make sure you know the legal requirements of getting married in the country before you set the date and put deposits down. Get all your paperwork over to the relevant people early on in the planning process so you can focus on less formal aspects of the wedding.

5)   Don’t invite everyone you know

Destination weddings are ideal for couples looking to have a small wedding with their closest relatives and friends. Sometimes you may feel obligated to invite your fourth cousin you haven’t seen since you were ten years old, but remember they might in term feel obligated to attend even though they may not be able to afford to get to the wedding.

6)   Help with guest accommodation

We are by no means saying you have to pay for hotel rooms for all your guests (unless you want to), but organising a group discount at the hotel or a different hotel in the area may help take pressure off you guests. Remember they won’t know the area and best places to stay so help them out by organizing their rooms for them.

7)   Invitations

Invitations for a destination wedding are generally sent out earlier than for a local one. Try send them out at least four to five months before the RSVP date to give your guests enough time to plan and respond.

8)   Check the weather

Don’t assume that because you are getting married on a tropical beach that the weather will be in your favour. Research the season you are looking to have your wedding in and make sure it isn’t in the middle of the hurricane or flood season for that location.

9)   Insure your wedding

Wedding insurance is advised for destination weddings especially. Some may see it as an unnecessary cost in general, but it could be a lifesaver in the case of a natural disaster in the country on or before your wedding day.

10)   Make a timeline

Remember you are working on local time and vendors in your chosen country may do things differently to ones back home. Make a wedding weekend timeline for both your vendors and guests so everyone knows when are where to be during the run-up to your ceremony.

For weddings in romantic destinations, it has to be Thomson Weddings.

For more details, please call them on 0203 451 2716. Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras.

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