Having a wedding out of town can be fun and exciting. Use these tips to get your destination wedding planning off to the right start.
Determine a budget: Having a destination wedding does not always mean that the cost will be lower compared to a wedding in your home state. Determine how much you would like to spend for the entire event. This includes the wedding day package, travel arrangements, rooms, activities and food.
Narrowing your location: There are so many locations to choose from and it can sometimes become overwhelming. Consider working with a destination wedding specialist. A destination wedding specialist works on your behalf to make sure all of your wants and requests are met at the locations you’re considering. More importantly, they can help you choose the location based on your budget and needs for your wedding day. It’s their job to ask the questions that you will not think to ask and make special requests on your behalf.
Determine how accessible your wedding planner is: Once you’ve narrowed your locations there are a few things to keep an eye out for. Throughout our personal encounters with planning destination weddings, we’ve met frustrated couples that decided to have a destination wedding with the hope of making their lives a little easier. However, once they made the deposit, their point of contact disappeared into thin air. Their calls were never returned, emails were rarely answered and answers to questions asked were never quite understood. When first contacting your potential location, pay attention to the response time, how long it took for them to respond to you, whether they addressed all of your concerns , whether they followed up with you in writing and made sure that the person you are communicating with remains consistent throughout the planning process. Contrary to popular belief, there is some planning that goes into having a destination wedding. Make sure you’re on the same page as your destination before paying a deposit.
Research and understand the packages: This is where we see a lot of couples being taken advantage of. It’s important to be mindful of all the details that are included in your wedding package outline and not to assume anything. First, make a list of all your wedding must haves. Then,match your must haves to the packages you are interested in. Pay attention to details such as, open bar, liquor type ( premium vs. non-premium), decor ,(e.g., how customizable is it? are you allowed to bring your own items?), additional costs for additional people not included in the package and, of course, making sure they follow up with you in writing. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. It will save you the frustration in the long run.
Following these steps is a sure start to having a smooth sailing destination wedding experience to anywhere you desire.