Getting married is a special occasion. If you say “I do,” wouldn’t it be better to do it in a beautiful place to capture the essence of the moment?
This is why destination weddings are becoming a thing!
Couples can combine an exciting wedding trip with the ceremony itself.
Mexico, Bahamas, and Costa Rica are among the top picks for destination weddings. But India has much to offer for couples looking forward to a wedded bliss.
Goa has sweeping sunset views, there’s the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, and the tree-covered hills in Doon Valley makes an impressive backdrop.
And to help you plan for that big destination wedding, here’s 9 reality checks so that you are well prepared for your wedding.
- There’s a Big Probability That Someone in the Wedding Entourage Won’t Be Able to Make It
Even when you have been meticulous in informing the wedding party about the details of your nuptials, someone might not make it in the last minute. This is especially true when you are holding the ceremony in a far off place.
A delayed flight or a sudden issue with the road conditions could make it impossible for someone important to make it to your wedding.
Always account for this possibility.
- Your Guest Count Will Be Smaller
Destination weddings are intimate affairs. In most cases, only the immediate family and a few close friends can make it to the ceremony.
When you invite guests to a place where they need a passport, there are only a few people who can confirm their appearance.
Most destination weddings have a head count of 28 people according to one survey. Although the head count is low, destination weddings often last longer, on average, it’s four days.
- Dealing with Local Suppliers May Be More Cost-Effective
When you are holding your wedding in another country or in a different locality, you need to compromise. Even if you have a favorite local florist or pastry chef, it might be better to find someone local to do the job.
Shipping items or people from one place to another can be expensive. If you do, there might still be issues unless the person you hire knows the locality quite well.
The more practical option and almost always the one with the better price is to hire someone local.
- Don’t Expect Prices to Be Cheaper
Just because your guests will be half your expected size doesn’t mean you can slash your budget down by 50 percent.
Destination weddings can be expensive too! This is especially true for weddings held on popular island destinations.
So do your homework diligently before you settle on the destination…
Work out the cost for hotel, wedding venue, transportation, guest expenses and food. Remember to cater for cost overrun by adding a 10 – 15 percent to your budget.
There are also ways to make your destination wedding more affordable, you just need to get creative.
- Shipping is Never Dependable Unless You Hire A Dependable Company
One drawback in holding your wedding abroad is the fact that you need to carry a lot of stuff. You might find yourself folding your wedding gown and throwing everything inside your luggage.
When you are off to your wedding destination, you can never leave anything to chance. It is always better to bring what you need yourself.
You always have the choice to ship some things to the venue but this can be dangerous.
The best rule to avoid disappointments is this –never trust shipping companies, unless they have a proven track record. Don’t save on the insurance.
- You Need to Give Your Guests Some Free Time
When you invite guests over to a new place for your destination wedding, you have to expect that they may not be able to abide to a strict schedule. Since they want to make the most out of the trip, they probably want to explore the place by themselves too.
Rather than scheduling meetings and wedding picnics to fill up the time, allow your guests to roam around on their own. This would also allow you to focus more on the wedding preparations.
Always cater for free time to allow your guest to roam about.
- Account for “Island Time” When Communicating with Vendors and Suppliers
Dealing with local suppliers especially in island destinations and other rural areas can be tricky. Unless you personally deal with these people, you should be prepared not to get a reply right away.
Life happens at a slower place in islands. So, you should make arrangements ahead of time.
It can be frustrating to deal with suppliers who can’t get back to you right away. But you need to anticipate delays and make up for this by being two steps ahead.
- Visit the Location in Advance
We did mention island time and how it can be challenging to deal with vendors who seem to take forever to get back to you.
Aside from making advance arrangements, if you can, visit the venue yourself before the ceremony.
Destination weddings are dreamy but the preparations will require you to travel at least once to make sure everything is in place.
Make a checklist of the things you need to check while you are there, so that you can make the best use of time and don’t leave things hanging.
A visit would also help you assess the road situation, the actual venue, and talk directly to your suppliers and service providers.
If you have more time, it might be good to do a route rehearsal.
For example, visit the places that your intend to be during your wedding, if you are going to be at different venues throughout the day of your wedding. Check out the route from place to place on a taxi.
If you can, take a ride at the time and day of your wedding to learn about the typical traffic conditions of your planned route. It’ll allow you to gauge the time needed on your actual day of wedding.
- Things Will Not Go as Planned
When you are the one getting married, you want everything to be perfect. This never happens in real life.
Destination weddings are even trickier since it might be hard to find things at the last minute. There can be some issues with the local suppliers.
There are 101 things that could go wrong on the day itself but the same thing could happen even if you were at home.
Always expect the unexpected during your wedding day. More so when you are off to a destination wedding.
It is always good to call on your best friends to standby during your wedding, so that they could help you if something goes wrong (touchwood!).
No matter how stressful or difficult things become, remember this –weddings don’t need to be flawless to be perfect.
And enjoy yourself on the big day.
Getting married is all about you and your partner’s celebration of love with the people who matter most.
Hi, my name is Jade Hong, founder of HiGlamour.com. Having worked for a large nutraceutical company in Canada for years, I became well-versed on the relevant subjects and have produced many articles on health, beauty and Relationship since. Visit http://higlamour.com/sp/Love/ for more information.