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A destination wedding sounds very romantic, fun and thrilling; after all, who doesn’t get excited at the prospect of going somewhere gorgeous and unique to exchange vows? But it requires more planning than just buying plane tickets and booking a hotel.
We bring to you a list of crucial things you should keep in mind before planning your destination wedding.
1. Pick a location that suits you the best
A lot goes into picking up the perfect destination. Right from the weather to the vibe of that town, everything should be evaluated. Tourist season or off season – the location you pick decides the travel, time and budget required to pull your wedding off.
2. Learn about your destination
What is the distance between the airport/railway stations to the venue? Will your guests be able to stay on property, or will there be a need for transportation to get to the venue? Is the city hotter than your hometown? You’ll have to answer a lot of such questions about your venue to your guests when you invite them. It’s better to investigate and learn about your destination well in advance. The success of your destination wedding depends upon how well you time it.
3. Visit the location
This might sound a little unnecessary to you now, but visiting the location beforehand will turn out to be a blessing. Take at least one planning trip. This way, you can inspect the sites for your ceremonies yourself. You can also meet your vendors, like the caterers and decorators.
4. Send your invitations early
Invitations need to be sent much earlier than a traditional hometown marriage. You have to give your guests plenty of time to arrange for their tickets, accommodation (if necessary), leave from work among other things. Inform your guests about the destination before you ask them to stand by your side so that they can gracefully decline if finances are tight.
5. Take good care of your guests and keep them informed
By inviting your guests to a destination wedding, you are asking them to invest their time and money on your big day. Thus, it is important to show them how much you appreciate their efforts. Keep your guests informed about the location, the ceremonies and functions and travel arrangements. Provide them activity options for things they can do while visiting your wedding destination. If they can build a vacation around your wedding, it will further justify the cost they’re paying.
6. Check the local marriage laws and requirements
Check the local laws and see if you will have to register your marriage with a different legal authority. Make sure that your destination marriage is recognized everywhere. Also, make sure you have all the things you will need during the various ceremonies. You cannot always rely on the local markets to fulfill all your needs.
7. Plan events efficiently
Most destination weddings take place over a period of a few days. It is the responsibility of the couple to keep the guests entertained or else they will feel trapped at the destination. Plan the meals so that the guests don’t have to go out themselves. Organize the main events like sangeet, bachelor/ bachelorette parties, Mehendi, Haldi and the wedding on consecutive days. You can also plan sightseeing trips and family picnics where you can incorporate some fun family games.
8. You don’t have to invite everyone
A lot of couples prefer to keep their destination wedding a bit more of an intimate affair. Most couples prefer calling only their family members and best of friends. But if your budget permits, do arrange a reception party back home for all those quirky cousins and long lost friends. After all, they all deserve to be a part of your grand celebration.
9. Plan your finances in advance
If done right, a destination wedding can cost no more, and maybe even less, than hosting the same party at home. Sometimes, the total costs are less even after you pay for all the accommodation, travel fares and your planning trips. But this might not be true in every case. Sometimes, a destination wedding can burn a big hole in your pocket. Keep provisions for some miscellaneous expenses. Always keep in mind the currency difference, if the wedding is abroad.
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Try to relax and enjoy the most important days of your life. Because in the end, what matters the most is the celebration of your new beginning.
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