Destination weddings have been romanticized and glamourized as the trend has grown, but destination weddings aren’t appropriate for everyone. How do you know if a destination wedding is the right match for you?
Here are 4 factors to consider in determining whether to opt for a destination wedding:
1. How big of a wedding do you envision? Generally, it seems that destination weddings/special events are more of an intimate gathering…unless of course money isn’t really the in your “top 3″ priorities. If you’re really expecting 150+ guests for your destination wedding, know that the price tag, stress and details all follow accordingly. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying it’s bad to have that many guests! Just keep in mind that you’ve really got to stay focused and keep your guests updated.
Advice: While hunting for a destination spot to say “I do,” find a place that is not only gorgeous and speaks to you both, but one with a wedding coordinator or maître d’ that you feel comfortable with. Are they giving you more than just 1 way of contacting them? Is your gut telling you something doesn’t seem right? Also, start an email list for your guests. Remind them to have their flights reserved by a certain date, passports are up to date, etc., and be sure to block out rooms at your venue (if applic) or nearby resorts/hotels.
2. Are most of your guests willing to travel? I know I don’t have to be the one to tell you that money is tight for most people right now. While yes, your wedding/event is extremely important and special, there are going to be people who will have to carefully evaluate that against cash.
Advice: Go through your guest list with 2 color pens. Make 1 color for those who will DEFINITELY be there (you know who they are) and make the other color for those who will POSSIBLY be there. Now evaluate. Are there more under the “Possibly” color than under the “Definitely” one? If yes and you still want to invite them to your wedding, be prepared for the chance that all do show up and adjust accordingly.
3. Can you deal with “long-distance” planning? One thing you need to keep in mind is that the service you are used to dealing with at home (especially the NY area) is not always the same in your destination wedding area. Many brides are surprised to learn that dealing with a wedding coordinator through the resort or hotel abroad requires a lot of patience and constant communication. Remember, they don’t necessarily operate in the “New York minute” you may be used to. In fact, they may take such a lackadaisical approach it can be nerve-racking for the brides who need that total sense of control.
Advice: Set up weekly reminders for yourself and always follow up with emails confirming everything. If you’re the type that needs to be there to see things through, this may be difficult for you. By keeping good lists and keeping it all in one spot (not some on your desk, some in a folder on your couch, etc) you can do it though! Check out what our friends at Martha Stewart suggest when planning a long-distance wedding.
4. Are you a procrastinator? If you are and you really, really want a destination wedding… make sure you have the support you’ll need to do it right. There are too many details and things to remember that you simply cannot procrastinate or push off until “things get closer.”
Advice: Have a sister, close friend who’s in your bridal party, or your maid of honor (or all of the above!) help keep you stay on track and organized. The MOH & BM should both be helping you and your significant other with these details. Delegate them some key responsibilities so that you’re not left with having to remember everything for everyone. It’s too overwhelming and can quickly take away the fun and relaxing experience a destination wedding should be! I’m sure many brides deliberate this, especially in the beginning of the engagement/planning process.