There are so many benefits of having a destination wedding – a more intimate wedding ceremony with only your closest family and friends, enjoying and embracing the local culture, getting married where you are wanting to honeymoon can mean you potentially pay less for the entire destination! There are so many reasons to have a destination wedding, and today I am going to walk you through how to plan a destination wedding.
Before anything else you need to decide where exactly you want to have your dream destination wedding. This is probably the most fun part of the entire wedding planning process. You could go anywhere in the world! Find romance with a destination wedding in Paris, or have a lively party in South America.
If the thought of choosing anywhere in the world stresses you out, then think of where you have always wanted to travel to, or where you would like to honeymoon.
Once you have the location, it’s time to choose a wedding date or season to get married on. A good way to start is by paying attention to the weather and seasons at your destination, especially if there is something unique to that country that you’d like as part of your big day – like the Cherry Blossom trees in Japan or the Northern Lights in Iceland. You can also choose your wedding date based on meaningful dates you share as a couple.
If possible, I recommend choosing 2-3 possible dates or a season of the year rather than one set date. This will give you flexibility when finding your dream venue.
Destination Wedding Vendors
Now that the location and possible dates are decided, find the necessary vendors. As a destination wedding photographer, I have seen quite some variety in vendors that are hired for a destination wedding. Some brides keep it to the bare minimum – especially if you’re having an intimate micro wedding, while others go all out! That being said:
Here is a List of the Top 5 Essential Wedding Vendors to Book for your Destination Wedding
- Wedding Venue: Once you decide where you are getting married, look up wedding venues, find inspiration, see what types of venues draw you. I suggest finding a place you really love and booking it as soon as possible, venues can book out years in advance. If you’re having a smaller wedding party, you will not have to reserve as large of a venue. You could even have your wedding at an Airbnb or local park.
2. Destination Wedding Photographer: You will want to capture these beautiful memories with a professional destination wedding photographer. A good destination photographer is someone who not only is experienced with wedding photography but has a passion for culture and travel. They will be able to tell the story of your wedding day while showcasing the beauty and uniqueness of the destination you choose.
3. Florist: What’s a bride without a bouquet of stunning florals?! Even if you are getting married across the world, you deserve to have the wedding bouquet of your dreams!
4. Wedding Dress: I suggest that my brides shop local for their wedding dress, there’s nothing like being able to actually try the dress on and see how it fits you. You’re able to pack your wedding dress and fly it across the world, and while that sounds like a lot of work, you’ll be more confident in your dress choice than if you were to order a dress at your destination without trying it on before.
5. Officiant: To have a destination wedding, you will need an officiant to actually get married. You can have one of your friends who is already coming to your destination wedding get ordained online or hire a local officiant, which may add to the charm and uniqueness of the wedding.
Local Vendors VS. Traveling Vendors
When considering how to plan a destination wedding, you can either find vendors local to the area you are getting married, or wedding vendors that have the option to travel, both options have benefits. For example, if you find a vendor local to the area they won’t charge you a travel fee, and their service will more than likely have a piece of the culture embedded into it. However, by choosing vendors that are open to travel you get to choose exactly who you want and bring them with you! Maybe there’s a local florist whose work you’ve always love – you can have the wedding of your dreams! A lot of destination wedding vendors, like myself, have their passports ready and are more than excited to travel!
How To Plan A Destination Wedding With Travel & Covid-19
You will want to book your plane tickets for your destination wedding as soon as possible! However, you will want to double-check with your airline on their policies regarding the virus, as well as the CDCs guideline for traveling and the regulations of the countries you are leaving from and going to. When planning a destination wedding, you really need to consider what is happening throughout the world and how this could impact your invited guests. With the world always changing, the regulations and restrictions will constantly be changing as well.
I want to provide you with a few resources for travel regulations with links to popular airlines and the CDC so that you can stay up to date and stay safe!
CDC link here
Delta Airlines link here
United Airlines link here
Virgin Atlantic link here
British Airways link here
Hawaiian Airlines link here
Alaska Airlines link here
This travel advisor from Expedia is great to get information on regulations and restrictions for different countries if you are planning a foreign destination wedding!
You deserve wedding photos that are luxurious and timeless no matter where you are in the world! Let’s connect and discuss how to plan your destination wedding!