Of the 2.4 million people married in the United States this year, almost 25 percent of them will choose a destination wedding. A beach destination wedding is definitely a popular trend. It allows the bride and groom to save money by combining the wedding and honeymoon, while providing guests with the opportunity for a mini-vacation.
If a beach destination wedding sounds right for you, check out these helpful tips to make the experience even better:
Planning a Destination Wedding
- Start planning now. If you want a large amount of guests to attend your destination wedding, PLAN EARLY! Plan according to the size of your group. Pick something group-friendly with characteristics that make it reasonable and easy to accommodate that number. Do you want guests to stay for a week, a long weekend, or at a completely different resort? These are things that should be defined early in the planning process. Some resorts require rooms to be rented for a full week. Some couples would prefer their wedding guests stay elsewhere. You need to clearly communicate these items to your guests.
- Go all-Inclusive. All-inclusive resorts help cut down on stress because there’s no need to carry around a checkbook or cash — everything is included! Plus many all-inclusive resorts offer packages including an on-site wedding coordinator.
- Choose your backdrop. Decide immediately whether you want a beach, gazebo or ballroom wedding. Many resorts do not offer beach weddings, which is surprising to most brides.
- Find a photographer. Does your resort allow external vendors? If they do not, are you happy with the photo package offered at the resort? These same questions should be asked for each of your wedding services as many resorts have strict guidelines for vendors allowed on property.
- Keep it Simple. Don’t overdo or over think the decorations. The beach itself is more than enough for a beautiful backdrop! And it is less stress on you.
- Keep your name… for now. If a name change is planned, wait until after the trip, and make sure airplane tickets and reservations are made in the pre-married name.
Getting married in a foreign country
- Know the local regulations. Be sure to check out the regulations in the country you’re visiting for any pertinent marriage requirements such as length of stay, blood test, witnesses, etc. Many couples decide to be legally married at home. It’s usually kept discreet and done right before departure.
- Know what you can bring. Will you be charged duties and taxes if you’re bringing in a large amount of merchandise into the country? These questions also apply to bridal party gifts, welcome gifts for your guests etc. Make sure you know the international rules and guidelines for customs in that specific country.
On Your Way/While You’re There
- Call ahead. Let the airline know that you’re bringing a wedding dress on the airplane with you. Ask if they have specific recommendations, such as having the dress boxed or hung in a plastic garment bag. And to be absolutely, positively sure it makes the trip with you, carry-on, don’t check it!
- Plan a few group activities. (but not too many.) People will enjoy the time together, but also want to enjoy their vacation alone.
RELAX & LAUGH! Enjoy your vacation and destination wedding, no matter what little things go wrong along the way. In the end, they won’t matter!
Also, a fun idea for any bride, consider wearing a unique perfume. Years later the scent will still remind you of your special event