This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.
How do you choose a venue for the wedding of your dreams when it’s thousands of miles away?
When selecting a venue for your destination wedding, the world is literally at your fingertips. However, there are several practical and financial issues that you will need to keep in mind. For example, are there any legal requirements you should consider in the country of your choice? Also, what sort of travel or financial costs will you and your guests will need to consider? To save you time and any wondering about how to get started in your planning for this exciting type of dream wedding, we wanted to share 4 key tips you should consider when planning a destination wedding.
4 Considerations When Planning A Destination Wedding
1. How far are you willing to go?
The first thing a destination wedding requires is a destination — either a country or region that is meaningful to you. Perhaps it is a place which you have long dreamed about traveling to, or somewhere that has personal meaning to you. Before you fully commit to the idea though, ask yourself a few questions. How easy or expensive is it to reach this destination? Logistical or financial issues could trim your guest list of those whom you dearly wish to attend. Set a very preliminary travel budget to help guide your choice and understand the logistical issues ahead of time. Being upfront about the big picture and getting buy-in from guests as early as possible will make sure those who are important to you can increase their probability of attendance.
2. Reach out and make contact
Once you have your choices narrowed down, consider specific venues in the area. Take a look at social media posts – particularly Instagram – and other travel sites to settle on a particular region or town. Read comments on a venue’s Facebook page or other information portals to get first-hand input. Once you have narrowed down your selection to a few special places, check out the venues’ own offers on a venue marketplace. These sites can help you understand the particulars of each venue and compare their offers as early as possible. Once you have a shortlist you can get busy emailing or calling with venue managers with a list of questions in hand. Make sure you investigate wedding packages, options for decoration, and whether they will offer an on-site coordinator. Another excellent tip is to ask for customer references, these can be valuable in understanding the venue’s true worth.
3. Some choices are better than others
While a white-walled cafe and terrace on the cliff over the Aegean Sea might seem essential for your perfect wedding day, you should also consider some other types of locations that might make your long-distance planning a little easier. If you are booking a long-distance destination for the first time, a full-service resort can be a great choice. A resort will allow you to manage all of your vendors, rental needs, and guest experiences in one location. For smaller venues make sure you are able to communicate effectively with the venue manager. If you do want to utilize a smaller local venue for one of your events during the wedding, consider hiring a wedding planner to make sure that both planning and execution are being handled by someone experienced on the ground.
4. Be smart about your execution
Set up a wedding site, particularly with a destination wedding, keeping the guests fully informed is crucial to making sure that their experience abroad goes smoothly. This will keep them informed about other sight-seeing opportunities they can take advantage of, as well as all of the wedding activities you have planned. Also, work with your guests to set up an efficient transportation plan. Making sure that their transportation needs can be handled in bulk will cut down on your costs and allow your guests to start mingling ahead of time. Finally, consider appointing a contact person who can help guests with travel issues or concerns, as well as any unexpected problems, and leave you free to manage other issues.
There are plenty of other small details to consider when organizing your destination wedding. However, we want to leave you with one important pro tip that applies to every wedding, no matter the location – go with the flow. Remember, a wedding is a special experience and you are there to celebrate. Foreign travel can be especially stressful – as can weddings – but if you plan well and embrace the adventure, you will have created an experience that you will both remember and cherish forever.
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Bio: Jessica Sirotin is a senior content writer and editor at Tagvenue.com, a platform that helps users find and book perfect wedding venues in Sydney, Melbourne, London, Manchester, and recently also Singapore.