Author: Abigail Golder
Perhaps you’ve dreamt of a magical beach wedding since you were young. Sometimes, life does not go as planned. For instance, the love of your life has proposed but you live in the mid-west, where the closest beach is thousands of miles and a full day’s travel away.
While you might quickly become discouraged, there’s no reason to fret! Destination weddings are fun and if you have played your wedding planning cards right, shouldn’t be too challenging. We’ve collected some necessary tips for planning a destination wedding that you’ve always dreamed of.
Consider the Timing
Because we are talking about a dream (destination) wedding, it’s important to consider all the important factors. One of these, is the time of day and time of year for your wedding date. If you’ve always been dreaming of a southwestern, desert wedding, the season for prime wedding time is actually in the winter months. Similarly, Austin, Texas, may be hot or rainy during the summer months, so a spring or fall wedding is a great time for a Texas wedding.
If a mountain-top wedding is your dream, consider that places like Colorado have snowy winters and windy springs. While you may think that a May wedding would bring perfect weather and a touch of cool air, it will in fact bring gusty winds that are sure to falter your hair. That said, we aren’t trying to discourage in any way. If it’s always been your dream to get married in April in the mountains, you’re looking to have a wedding at one of the less desirable times, there’s always the option of an indoor venue. This way, you can choose your wedding date regardless of the weather.
Plan at Least Two Trips
It’s important to plan some visits to your destination of choice long in advance because you don’t live in the place that the major event is located. The first trip should be to visit venues and speak to other vendors like DJs, caterers, florists, etc. While it’s ideal to go a few times in the planning period, the first trip should be at least one year, ideally 14-16 months, before your Big Day.
After choosing your specific venue, plan the second trip for about the 6 to 8-month mark. At this point, couples likely have picked a wedding theme, determined a guest count, and brides has found their dream gown. Get in touch with local hair and makeup artists and schedule a trial during this time. That way, if you don’t like your style, you have plenty of time to rethink this important decision. Now that you have a guest count and wedding them, you can also revisit your venue and get a more detailed idea of how the décor, seating and schedule might pan out. Schedule a second meeting with your florist and caterer to update them on all the progress as well.
The third trip is optional, but extremely helpful if your time and budget allows for it. About 6 weeks before the wedding, head to your destination one more time. While this might not be possible if the wedding is international, it’s super helpful if it’s a drivable trip. For brides that didn’t like their first hair and makeup trial, are planning DIY projects, or need to do a food tasting, this third trip is necessary. Otherwise, save the expense. This will allow you to arrive at your destination wedding a week ahead of time to organize and set up.
Keep Your Guests in Mind
Considering that you’ve likely been dreaming of this day forever, it’s important to do things your way. That said, a destination wedding is not only expensive for guests to attend, it’s also time consuming. Most people will end up taking a few extra days off work to make it in time. Consider your friends’ and families’ schedules and wallets when choosing your destination. Many more people will likely be able to come if it’s close enough to drive or inexpensive to fly.
If you’re Big Day does include a significant time or financial sacrifice, consider supplying invitees with reasonable options. This could include nearby resorts’ all-inclusive packages. Also, ask the resort if they will give a discount for a group reservation. Many resorts offer this amenity as an incentive to bring in more business. After the RSVPs start flowing in, supply your guests with airport information, shuttles or inexpensive car rentals, and tips for traveling in your destination.
Hire a pro
It’s true that wedding planning can be stressful, especially if your Big Day is thousands of miles away. The key to a successful destination wedding is having plenty of time to plan. If your schedule doesn’t allow it, consider hiring an advisor or a wedding planner to lift some of weight off your shoulders.
As you can see, it takes quite a bit of planning, and finances, to plan a destination wedding. Give yourself plenty of time to visit the location and to save up for the wedding of your dreams. Use a savings account, like Radius Bank’s high-yield savings account, to stash some cash for your big day. Not only is it super easy to set up an account (it’s all online), but they have one of the highest APY rates on the market.
Follow these tips for planning a destination wedding and chances are, you’ll have the wedding day of your dreams. Contact us for any wedding questions you might have. Happy Wedding!
About the author: Abigail is a DIY bride with an upcoming wedding date in September! She's been planning her Colorado wedding from her home in Arizona with a some help from her wonderful friends, family, and of course, her future hubby. She is a Freelance Content Writer who loves to share a great story. Originally from Colorado, Abigail grew up in a small town called Montrose and she still spends much of her free time in the mountains hiking and skiing.
This post is sponsored by Radius Bank.