If you are looking to host a destination wedding miles away from your home, there is a lot of planning involved and details to consider. Lucky for you, we have an expert destination wedding team ready to help! We sat down with our team to discuss destination wedding etiquette and tips for making it the wedding of your dreams!
When to have a destination wedding?
Consider the time of year you are traveling. If it is a warm-weather wedding destination, the peak season may be January-March. Consider a wedding in a shoulder season or off-season. Also, tourism fluctuations can impact travel prices and make bookings rather expensive. Equally, a low tourism season could mean closed amenities. Use a travel advisor to help you select the best time of year for your destination.
Who should we invite?
Do you invite everyone or keep it intimate? Typically, a destination wedding is an intimate affair since the guests will be staying at the same resort as the wedding couple. In many cases, the wedding also doubles as the honeymoon. Whether you invite immediate family only or extending the invitation to a larger group. Have your guest list ready so you understand your budget and necessary guest accommodations — wheelchair accessible, kid-friendly, adults-only, etc.
How should we notify our guests?
Save-the-dates should go out eight to 12 months before your wedding because your guests will need to request time off work, save up money, and take care of other details. Official invites should be sent no later than three months before your wedding dates. Include all important travel details. When you plan a wedding with Fox, we have a wedding website created especially for you to keep everyone up-to-date with all travel updates and accommodations.
Who pays for accommodations?
Guests are traditionally expected to cover their personal lodging and transportation. Tactfully outline your expectations by directing guests to your wedding website with all recommendations and accommodations.
Choosing a destination
When selecting a destination, keep in mind the location should be safe and accommodating for you and your guests. An exotic wedding in a remote location may be your dream; however, consider everyone attending your special day. Choose a destination that will fit your style and budget as well as the guests you are inviting. Consider your least travel-savvy guest and consider their comfort while planning.
Learning the marriage laws
Marriage licenses in some countries may take much longer than expected or may require you to arrive early for information processing. Our wedding experts can help you determine what rules and regulations apply to your preferred destination.
Avoid shipping items
Shipping items to and from your destination can be quite expensive. Resorts will have decorations on-hand and items such as bridesmaid gifts can often be purchased in-destination. Great tip! Try to distribute must-bring items in the suitcases of family members attending your wedding.
If time and budgets allow, arrive at your destination early. You will have more time to finalize last-minute details with the venue and check out the ceremony site. Typically, you will have an on-site wedding coordinator. Connect with them upon your arrival. Finalize your details with them. Hair, make up, photography, ceremony set up, etc. Most resorts prefer couples to arrive at least 48 hours before the wedding.
Discover resort wedding packages
Take advantage of the “preview” packages available at the resorts. Most destination wedding resorts will offer a package for the bride and groom to come and stay 2-3 nights at the destination. Visit with the wedding team and pick firsthand the locations for the wedding! Plus, if you book your wedding at this location within a specific time frame, you will get a credit towards your wedding! Win-Win!
Select a destination wedding planner
If there is a special date you really want, book early! Destination weddings are very popular and many popular wedding dates book up early, so plan accordingly and use a destination wedding planner! Our destination wedding team works with many resorts and wedding teams throughout the all-inclusive markets. We can recommend the best option for your requests!
If a destination wedding sounds like a great way to say “I DO,” schedule a virtual appointment with one of our talented advisors today! If you are unsure whether a destination wedding is your best option, join us on March 2nd at 7pm (CT) for a live virtual event. We will discuss the latest destination wedding trends and talk with newlyweds about their recent wedding planning experience.