Here’s Everything you need to know when planning your destination wedding.

Having your wedding far away from home means you can experience a more intimate ceremony and essentially enjoy a two-on-one wedding and honeymoon. Organizing an event is not an easy task. Before you fly abroad to marry your sweetheart, there are some important things to consider.

Meet the Expert

Christina Maddox is the owner and founder of Heaven-Sent Wedding Consultants and Travel Agency, an award-winning wedding planner who has over 22 years of experience in the industry and has planned over 372 weddings and 75 Destination Weddings. Christina is the Delaware Chapter Head for the International Association of Destination Wedding Professional

According to Christina Maddox, Destination Weddings are a great option for couples who want to take an approach to plan their wedding. “What I often see at weddings outside the United States is that couples quickly become impatient given the responsiveness and relaxed demeanor from vendors,” says Pro. However, it requires more than a relaxed attitude.  There are many other factors to consider when planning your wedding.

Destination Wedding Planning Guide

Destination weddings are the best for couples who love to host and celebrate with their guests in unique locations whether you decided on a tropical celebration in the Bahamas, an island fête in Bali, or a romantic getaway in Punta Cana, we’ve got you covered with every detail you need to know when planning a destination wedding. 

How to choose the location of your Wedding?

When choosing a destination for your wedding, always keep in mind that it must be safe and have all the resources you need. Beach houses where you spent your childhood summers won’t work, remember that you must accommodate all your guests or any of their accessibility or childcare requirements.

Make sure that there are no recent travel warnings, political disputes, or health concerns in the region – if there are and remain undeterred ensure that all your guests are fully informed and that none of your guests will feel uncomfortable due to their religion, gender, or sexual preference.

Here is a Bride’s Tip 

Analyze how feasible the travel would be for your oldest or least jet-set guests. A sequence of automobiles, planes, trains and boat rides may be impossible for your elderly grandparents or pregnant guests.

Hire a Professional 

Hire a professional wedding planner that specializes in destination weddings. I know that you probably did not expect that, but it’s true. If you are planning a destination wedding you need someone who has relationships with the national account managers and tour operators like Heaven Sent Travel Agency and knows how to handle everything before you arrive, so you and your guests can arrive stress-free. 

This way, instead of you spending hours on a call trying to figure out how to overcome the language barrier or making executive decisions from miles away, you have an expert doing it all for you. Always choose a seasoned wedding planner that has extensive knowledge of the locations, venues, and planning outlook before you book your venue. However, if a planner is in your budget, look for a planner that has a strong connection with the resort that will allow you to get discounts that can save you money for your wedding or event.

Consider Guest Lodging 

Etiquette is a gesture that doesn’t require you to pay for lodging but makes recommendations that cater to different budgets. It’s best to offer multiple options at different prices. Setting up room blocks for your guests is what Heaven Sent Travel Agency is an expert at and can negotiate a lower price and consolidate everyone in one vicinity. Heaven Sent Travel Agency will make sure there is room availability for every guest. The Destination event consultation is crucial to Heaven Sent Travel Agency getting our questions answered also, don’t set your wedding date until the confirmation comes back you’re sure there’s room availability for every guest you have. 

Go Local to Save Big 

If you’re on a budget but still want to do a Destination Wedding, we recommend that you go local. This also can create an immerse in the very environment that captured your heart. You’re shelling out big for this destination, so you might as well fully embrace everything it has to offer.

Visit the site in Advance 

Ideally, you should see your venue once before booking and again after three to four months before the wedding to finalize the details. It’s called “test driving the resort. ” If a second trip is not possible, at least you should arrive 5 days in advance to confirm all the appointments that has already been scheduled by your wedding planner and make decisions and have a hair and makeup rehearsal. The best time to visit the site is during peak and non-peak hours, from Thursday – Sunday to get a sense of the overall vibe of the location because this is a perfect time for you to see and feel what will be your guest’s experience. If you can’t make it, hire a professional who is great in details, communications, and connections.

Meet your Vendors

Arrange to meet with a well-known florist or rental company in your destination before your first visit. We suggest asking the venue for recommendations. You may discover a local talent you didn’t know about and save money. If you bring a professional from home, expect travel and accommodation costs to be covered. 

Plan your Additional Vendors

Extend the celebration by planning additional events beyond the big day. Guests will always enjoy additional activities. You don’t have to go crazy for a weekend of events, but a welcoming welcome party is a popular option. Depending on your budget, you can combine this with a rehearsal dinner or host a casual get-together later for larger groups. Some pairs also include interactive activities introducing the site, such as group tours and tastings. You can also end your wedding weekend in style and say goodbye with a post-wedding brunch or lunch. All in all, no extra event is needed. You must do anything within your budget and schedule. Nice reception and get-together can be a wonderful experience for two families to bond and get to know each other. There’s no way around it. It’s your time and your money to do what you want.

Secure your Wedding Insurance

When it comes to getting married in a foreign land, it’s best to expect the unexpected. Investing in wedding insurance can protect your financial investment and ensure your emotional security. Some venues may require it. You should register well in advance of your wedding some companies can accommodate tight deadlines, but it’s best to be clear early and be clear about their policies and the types of insurance you agree to. Heaven Sent Travel Agency provides wedding and travel insurance. 

Always Consider Unsuspected Expenses

Destination weddings have an interesting reputation for being budget-friendly, but that’s not always the case. Please let Heaven Sent Travel Agency know and Plus, adding a welcome party or brunch the next day will cost you some money as well. Remember to inform your credit card company of your travel plans. That way, you won’t incur last-minute international transaction fees or have your card declined. You will also need cash (local currency).

Check Local Marriage Requirements

Legalizing a marriage in a foreign country is not as easy as hiring a registrar. Different countries have different requirements and require a variety of documents, from birth and medical certificates to declarations of intent and proof of residency. Do your research well in advance to give yourself enough time to put everything together. In some cases, it may be easier to obtain a domestic marriage license (depending on the state) and perform a civil ceremony before leaving the country.

Secure Passports and Other Documents

A valid passport is required for international travel and a valid driver’s license for domestic travel. Once you’ve chosen your wedding date and location, check all expiration dates and then double-check. Depending on the country, additional information may be required, such as a list of previously visited countries, medical records, or vaccinations.

Create a Welcome Bags

Heaven Sent Wedding Consultants & Travel Agency can create welcome bags for your guests. Show your hospitality by giving your guests welcome packs as soon as they arrive at the hotel or resort. Fill it with items that appeal to the place and make your stay comfortable. Bottled water, snacks, cards, aspirin, etc. are great additions. Warmer climate destinations require sunscreen and aloe vera, while high mountains require warm cocoa mixes and mittens. 

Stuff your Suitcase

I haven’t found a destination outside the continental United States that offers the same quality and variety of linen rentals. International shipping is risky and expensive, so we always pack as much as possible in checked luggage. Anything that can be shipped must be shipped to a designated person (such as a planner) at least one month before the significant date. It must be sent Not just for hotels. 

Wear an Appropriate Wedding Dress 

When purchasing a wedding dress, carefully consider the climate and terrain of your wedding day. Breathable fabrics work best in hot and humid areas, while clothes made of thicker materials are best suited for cooler climates. Light lace from Mexico is as stunning as a French villa-adorned ball gown. Don’t think about packing a dress in a suitcase! 

Honeymoon Get Away

Getting into honeymoon mode can take a little ingenuity, especially if you decide to stay at the same resort as guests who extend their trip. Say goodbye and have a clear departure even if you are staying at the property. If you want more privacy without hurting your loved ones, we can move you to another area of the hotel or resort Some resorts have elevated accommodations, think luxury suites, overwater villas, or self-contained cabins that are set apart from the rest of the space.

The top six destination planning Questions of Engaged Couples, Now Answered

To guide you further, our experts answer the top questions couples have when planning their destination wedding.

When should I have my destination wedding?

This depends on the schedule and availability of the resort or hotel and seasonal changes have a big impact. If you want to take advantage of the local environment with your outdoor celebrations, check the average rainfall per month and try not to place your event in the middle of the hurricane or monsoon season. Be aware of tourism fluctuations. High season means higher booking fees and more crowded attractions, while low season can mean empty streets and closed hotspots.

When should I notify guests of my destination wedding?

Save-the-dates should be sent 10-12 months prior to the wedding. While Formal invitations should be sent out at least five months in advance. With very long lead times, guests can make arrangements. 

Who pays for guest accommodations?

Guests are typically expected to pay for their own accommodation, Heaven Sent Travel Agency will offer several options at different prices. However, it’s important to do this as elegantly as possible. When your room block is in place, have all your guests contact Christina Maddox directly to secure their reservation. Christina will have everything in place for you for spreading the word to your guests. You can also create a wedding website as a point of reference for your guests as well. 

Do I need guests to book travel? 

You don’t have to book someone for your trip, but it’s a nice touch to make the process easier. Hiring Heaven Sent Travel Agency can help you take group bookings, fill in everyone’s travel information, and get the best deals. You can get valuable information and lighten your burden. You can also get upgrades and luxurious treatments. You can also start a Facebook group or group chat so everyone can share flight information and plan trips together. Providing wedding planning ensures everyone is on time and well informed.

Do I need a registry for a destination wedding?

You don’t have to book someone for your trip, but it’s a nice touch to make the process easier. Hiring Heaven Sent Travel Agency can help you take group bookings, fill in everyone’s travel information, and get the best deals. You can get valuable information and lighten your burden. You can also get upgrades and luxurious treatments. You can also start a Facebook group or group chat so everyone can share flight information and plan trips together. Providing wedding planning ensures everyone is on time and well informed.

What COVID precautions should I take for my destination wedding?

It’s two things. For safety reasons, if you want your guests to adhere to certain standards like vaccinations, masks, etc., clear, and consistent communication is important. From a logistical perspective, travel continues to increase, so destination weddings are getting more ‘yes’ RSVPs than ever before. Advising couples to encourage guests to get tested before the celebration begins. All destination weddings this year had a rapid on-site inspection the day before the wedding, and everyone had to undergo the inspection. There are no exams, no admissions.

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