You deserve to celebrate the beginning of your marriage in a spot that’ll bring as much joy to the day as possible. Whether you’ll be surrounded by friends and family on a paradisiacal beach, or opt for a more intimate elopement atop a mount, you’ll have an endless amount of choices to explore when planning your destination wedding.
While typical budgeting for your nuptials can help ease the expense of the celebration, destination weddings will require more advanced planning. Nevertheless, there’s an unforgettable day to be made, so consider these tips when looking to travel for your wedding.
Know Where You’re Headed
There are plenty of reasons to hold a destination wedding. For some, it’s preferring a luxurious evening or a venue in a bucket list location. For others, the place holds sentimental value or is a hometown for one side of the family. Regardless of your ‘why,’ it’s important to know where you’re headed as early as possible to give you and your guests ample time to find accommodations.
It’s best to avoid peak travel season when selecting your wedding dates as venues will likely be crowded and their prices significantly higher. You’ll want to research these times of year by the specific region you plan on visiting; vacation season for a tropical destination might be timed differently from something like a European countryside.
Once you’ve determined your dates, book a hotel or resort block for you and your guests to save money on boarding and to keep everyone in the same area once they’ve traveled all that way. Be mindful that there’s usually a minimum and maximum number of rooms you can set aside, though certain hotels might be flexible with the upper limit. Whether you get married on-site or book a shuttle for you and your guests, hotels will usually discount your room rates – or keep them at one flat rate – once you reserve a block.
A big perk of a destination wedding is that you can keep things simple and let the venue speak for itself. What you minimize, DIY, or thrift in decor and flower arrangements can save you hundreds, if not, thousands of dollars.
Plan Well in Advance
Travel-heavy weddings mean that flights need to be booked and guests need to be invited as soon as possible. Your ‘Save the Date’ reminders will need to be more detailed than the average to account for location and timing. Having more information for your guests early-on means that they’ll have more time to plan, save, and even decide if they want to make a bigger trip of the occasion. If you have the budget to do so, consider setting money aside to assist close friends, family, or wedding party members who couldn’t otherwise afford to go.
If you’re looking for something more intimate, destination weddings are also great for elopements. Celebrating your wedding privately creates a close-knit setting where you and your future spouse can take the first step in your new lives together and move right into the honeymoon, all while reaping the financial benefits of eloping and saving on things like a DJ, caterer, and flowers. If you’d like the best of both worlds, you can even host an informal “reception” party with friends and family when you return home.
With the uptick in video sharing, you could always hire a videographer to host a live, private feed of your wedding to involve people in your elopement or accommodate those unable to travel. However you choose to incorporate your loved ones, it’s important to know what your next steps are after the wedding to recognize all of the people that made it possible.
Destination weddings are often a significant investment. With travel being a focal point of the event for you and your guests, you might feel like you have to be more fickle moving into your honeymoon, house planning, and other major spending after the main event. Proper saving and budgeting can help alleviate that strain and allow your lives to truly begin after the festivities have ended. If you’re looking for the perfect wedding spot and a dream home to return to all at once, today’s 30 year fixed mortgage rates allow you to pay off your mortgage gradually over a three-decade period. These lower monthly payments offer penalty-free mortgage payoff opportunities while allowing you to save and invest more towards your big day and honeymoon.
Just like budgeting for any other major spending, it’s important to prioritize the organization of your big day over anything else. Hiring a certified destination wedding specialist and/or onsite wedding coordinator could cover everything from travel planning for you and your guests to day-of finishing touches, setup, and deliveries. These will be your superheroes, ensuring that everyone is where they need to be, while you take the time for yourself to get ready for an unforgettable day.