Opting for a destination wedding is ideal for some couples. It typically means a small guest list, comprised of immediate family and very close friends, so this kind of affair lends to a more intimate approach. It also acts as a mini-getaway for the bride, groom, and all parties involved, therefore extending the festivities for more than just one day.
Mr. Z and I initially had our hearts set on having a destination wedding. We visited multiple venues in multiple cities around Canada and the US, before coming full circle and tying the knot in our hometown. I simply love the idea of jet setting with your nearest and dearest and getting hitched, but there are several important factors to keep in mind when choosing this type of shindig.
A destination budget must remain considerate of the “when and where”. While the actual affair might be less expensive than a city wedding (less guests equals lower costs on food and drink, entertainment, décor, etc), the rate of “getting there” can be quite pricey. The chosen location could require airfare and costly lodging accommodations. Popular vacation spots have certain times of year that are identified as ‘peak season’, where hotel rates become higher than usual and sometimes, there’s a minimum night’s stay (if you’re not intending to subsidize, it’s important to be mindful of your guests and the costs they’ll incur in order to attend). It’s also essential to visit the site prior to the actual event, to meet with coordinators and staff, scout out the grounds and ensure it’s the right for you, and so this extra trip should be factored into the budget as well.
Planning a destination wedding requires a lot of lead time for both the happy couple and invited guests. It’s a good idea to send out 'save-the-date' cards at least six to eight months in advance, giving people ample time to book off work and make necessary travel arrangements.
Ceremony and Reception
Once you’ve nailed down the date and place, it’s crucial to find out the specifics of your chosen location. Is there a wedding coordinator at the hotel? What sort of wedding packages are available and what exactly is included (food, bar, flowers, etc)? Will you be bringing along an officiant for the ceremony, and if not, is there one available that meets your religious or spiritual needs? Is there a hairstylist and makeup artist on site? What sort of options are there for entertainment? Make sure all these questions are answered.
Whether it’s a fun in the sun island adventure, or a ski retreat surrounded by snow capped mountains, a destination wedding is a unique and very special way to say I do! Stay tuned for upcoming posts dedicated to destination wedding extravaganzas.