Destination Weddings are a very popular choice for today’s couples. Travel Agents and Resorts are now working hard to simplify the process and give couples and their guests a “holiday” to remember. They are the experts that are equipped to help you with the big-picture planning but these little hints (Practical Destination Wedding Planning Tips) will help you with the details!
Planning Tricks for the Destination Bride:
~Plan early- order accessories early enough that you can assess the size and weight of the items. You may also be able to split the items among close family members or bridal party.
~Choose accessories and favours that are lightweight, sturdy and compact. Glass items are heavy and breakable and your guests will not want to travel back with these things.
~Check travel restrictions: items such as sand, glass and matches may not be permitted on the airplane. Check with a travel agent or airline before assuming something is safe.
~If you are incorporating the Sand Ceremony into your destination wedding you need to plan ahead. Remember that the finished central vase will need to travel upright with as little jostling as possible to keep the layers intact. Be aware that depending on the destination and restrictions at the moment, you may not be able to bring it on board in your carry-on. Be prepared emotionally for the sand to be disturbed. You can either accept that the mixed up sand symbolizes your unity OR you can re-do the ceremony privately with the layers landing to your taste. Some couples plan to do this when they return and use actual sand from the ceremony site.
~Consider doing the sand ceremony privately at home or at a local reception after the actual destination wedding. Remember to bring back some of the beach sand to use as a base. This is simpler than transporting the finished sand ceremony and is also a nice addition to a celebration for friends and family members who could not join you for your destination wedding.
~Consider practical favours for your guests; Personalized Sunscreen, hand sanitizer, hot cocoa, hand fans, Bottle Openers, Personalized Playing Cards and Luggage Tags are all good options.
~Take your own Cake Topper. You will want to pare down on the wedding accessories but a cake topper is a nice and personal item to bring with you. Choose one that travels well, make sure it is lightweight and non-breakable or at least packaged in a manner that will keep it safe enroute.
~Paper umbrellas are a welcome gift for guests who will be sitting in the sun during your ceremony. If you are travelling light, consider one for the bride and each bridesmaid. They look beautiful in photos and will shelter bare shoulders for the hot sun.
~Notify guests as soon as possible. Start letting guests know about the basic arrangements as soon as you have settled on a date and location. Many guests will need to book time off work, arrange for childcare and save money for the trip and all these things take time. Guests should not make the decisions for you but you want to be certain that key people are available at a certain time of year. Communication is important as is making a solid plan and sticking with it.
~Be open to the possibility of a second reception. This can be as simple as gathering at a restaurant or hosting a backyard barbeque. There will be people you care about who will not be able to attend your wedding for age, health, financial, family and employment issues. Try to think of a way to include these important people in the process. Even a photo-showing evening with a cake and the bride and groom in their wedding attire would allow these people to feel included and give you another chance to show off the wedding gown!
These helpful hints were compiled by our customer service agents based on questions and comments from our many destination wedding-bound brides and grooms. Originally published in the Spring Summer 2014 Edition of The Wedding Ring. (Click to view the entire issue online!)