Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular for couples because they are affordable and allow the couple to have a small wedding of close family and friends in a beautiful location of their choice. Couples can be wed anywhere in the world that they please, whether it is an old castle in Europe or sunny tropical beaches.
However, there is a lot of planning that goes into a destination wedding, including making sure you have some documents you would not otherwise require if you were getting married at home. We have compiled our top tips for planning the perfect destination wedding.
#1 Always Visit Your Dream Destination First
Before the planning even begins, take a trip to the location you want to get married in. Your friends may love Mexico, but maybe there is just something about the resort or the location that is not fitting for you.
It is not always wise to rely on photographs of venues where you want to have your wedding, because photos are meant to capture only the best angles. You may not like how far accommodations are from your reception site, for example. Always visit your dream wedding location before booking so you know exactly what you are going to get.
#2 Remember to Budget Wisely and Remember Currency Exchange
If you are getting married in a country other than your own, currency exchange can be a huge factor on your budget. Some places may have a favorable exchange rate, while others will cut your budget in half if your countries dollar is weaker than the country you want to be wed in. Take this into consideration and check the market exchange while formulating your budget.
Many destination wedding locations also provide you with an on-site wedding planner; someone who knows the area where you will be married, local vendors to recommend and can answer any questions you may have. Wedding planners are tasked with staying within the couples allotted budget, which makes everything easier on the couple.
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#3 Research and Understand Local Marriage Requirements
Getting married abroad is not always as easy as being married at home, even though it may be cheaper and will offer your guests a once in a lifetime experience. Researching and understanding all local marriage requirements is vital for your ceremony to be considered legal. Paperwork is usually required to show that you have either never been married before, or have been legally divorced from a previous partner.
Some countries also have residency requirements; this means you will have to be in the country for a certain amount of time. For example, England is seven days while Turks and Caicos is 24 hours, while France requires a minimum of forty days before a marriage can legally take place.
#4 Tell Your Friends and Family Well Before the Invitations are Sent Out
No one likes getting an invitation to a wedding in six months that is five thousand miles away and may cost them several thousand dollars to go to. Whether you are choosing your bridal party or finalizing your guest list, always tell people you want to be there well before the invitations are sent out. This will give them plenty of time to save their money and plan for time off from their jobs.
Springing a destination wedding on your friends and family with only a couple months to try and arrange everything will likely not work in your favor and could result in people you want to be there the most unable to go. It is important to be courteous to the people you want as your guests; after all, they will be traveling several thousand miles to be with you on your special day.
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About the Author: This article was written by Theresa Gibson, savvy wedding blogger and social media manager at Top10WeddingVendors.com, a leading go-to vendor guide for brides across North America.
Mood board images via Pinterest.