Anything in particular you would like to know in regards to planning a destination wedding? Leave a comment below with your questions and I will try to have it covered over this series!
Nature with it's unexplainable beauty becomes the forefront in Destination Weddings held in some of the most breathtaking and picturesque places across the globe. With a backdrop seemingly difficult to capture on film, though still shockingly stunning on it, leaves those who were there present only to really know and experience the true scene that was set before them on the most special day of these couples lives. As time stood still, they exchanged vows for as long as they both shall live, broke trends and created their own definition of 'perfect'.
It's a thought that you would think only true in fairytales, but a real life story for these brides, who share their thoughts on planning a Destination Wedding in our new Real Brides Series (this month with the theme of Destination) explaining how it all unfolded for them and offer advice for future brides looking to turning a dream of a destination wedding into a reality. Here are the top 7 tips I rounded up, but you will be able to read their stories and individual advice in our series that will be shared on the blog over the next couple of weeks.
1. Give yourself enough time to plan
A destination wedding takes longer than a local one so give yourself a year and a half to two years and know that in down season the local vendors may take a while to respond.
2. Prioritise early
Know what it is that is most important and what is least important - In terms of guests, finance, decor, florals, food - everything! Then know your budget and allocate accordingly.
3. Be the Queen of checklists
Put everything into writing and document everything. There is nothing like that feeling of crossing off what you have achieved and visually being able to see how you are progressing. It also means you are able to always go back and check communication with planners and vendors, and ensure you don't forget anything when packing.
4. Do your own research and be familiar & check conversion rates regularly
Don't always rely on others advice or planners recommendations. Even when using a planner those things that are most important to you should be researched by you. Always double check costings, and where possible pay with cash on arrival the agreed amount, which will eliminate any issues with sky rocketing conversions over the one to two year span.
5. Don't be afraid to break wedding traditions and adopt to your surroundings
Don't feel like you have to include everything a traditional wedding should - forgo the cake if it's going to be too hot, and trade it in for a local sweet, don't give favours guests can't take home or are bulky/heavy and don't go overboard with flowers or decor (in some countries florals are imported from Holland and will only last the day of, if that!). It's best to make the most of the setting you've chosen and create your desired ambience in other ways.
6. Make the most of the time with your guests who have travelled
Your guests have gone to the extra effort and cost of flying to your wedding location, so if possible it's great to organise a pre or post wedding event. This can be covered by you if budget allows, but if it doesn't - even the organisation of getting everyone together will be greatly appreciated. Just ensure guests are aware of these dates when booking so they don't miss out.
7. Adopt a carefree and whatever happens, happens mentality
Things may go wrong, people may not be able to make it, the decor may not look how you intended or the ceremony not perfect due to no rehearsal, but take it all in your stride and go with the flow. Don't stress the little things, you'll laugh about them later (promise!). You've organised your closest family and friends to share in a day to celebrate your love, so have fun with it and enjoy the moment, it will be over before you know it!
Images courtesy of Nikos Gogas & Steven Cutri.