How to plan the perfect destination wedding

Get organized

The first step to planning a successful destination wedding is organization. It is helpful to hire a professional wedding planner; however, if this luxury is not within your budget, enlist a good friend or your parents to help you with all your wedding planning tasks. Ask your wedding vendors for suggestions and helpful hints. Organization eliminates unwanted stress and allows you to enjoy your wedding planning adventures.

Choose a destination location 

When choosing your destination wedding location, consider the following: your favorite romantic places as a couple, the best time to travel to certain locations, your budget, your guests needs and your guest list size. There are many romantic choices available; for example: caribbean weddings, cruise weddings, hawaiian and tropical beach weddings by the ocean, lakeside weddings, bay side weddings, mountain weddings, and european weddings abroad.


Begin researching your destination wedding location thoroughly to avoid any unexpected surprises. A good place to start -- read what other brides and grooms have written about their recent wedding events. You can do this by joining various web rings which are devoted to destination weddings. You may wish to post any questions you may have on wedding message boards; thus, you may receive great advice from brides and board moderators. Subscribe to and read destination wedding magazines and web sites. Request travel and chamber of commerce brochures from the states and locations of your choice. And for information on cruises, surf the web and then visit different cruise and cruise line web sites. Most importantly, visit your local travel agency to pick up brochures. Your travel agency can play a major role in your destination wedding. So make sure the agency you choose will meet all of your travel concerns. For example, your agency will organize and book yours and your guests air and ground transportation, and your lodging. Interview several agents, get everything in writing, learn about their reputation. Ask if you can customize your wedding package with flowers, live music, photography/videography, and other services.

Create a personal website

Creating a personal wedding web site or blog is a great way to journal your wedding journey. And for destination weddings, it is a fantastic way to keep family and friends informed. You can include all of your wedding details such as your engagement photos, gift registry, travel arrangement details, directions, wedding itinerary and more. It is a wonderful way to keep family and friends current on your wedding information. You can even have your family RSVP via e-mail, saving you dollars on reply card sets and postage.

Learn the latest

Make your own destination wedding unique and custom by checking out the latest wedding trends. Once you have your wedding theme chosen, find additional inspiration by reading magazines and surfing the net. Incorporate these creative wedding ideas into your own wedding and add your own personal touch.

Your wedding stationary and favors

Keep it chic. Keep it sophisticated. Keep it simply a reflection of good personal taste. There are a lot of wedding stationery choices available now. Our advice is not to skimp on your wedding invitations and not to go with anything that is too trendy. We suggest having fun with your save the dates; bring a creative spirit and fun first impression of your destination wedding with a whimsical save the date. 

When it comes to the wedding invitations; however, remember that classic is better than trendy. This element of your stationery wardrobe will become your heirloom keepsake. Ask yourself, I like this invitation now, but will I love it 50 years from now? Spend the bulk of your stationery budget on your wedding invitations. For reception favors, less is definitely better than more. Consider one small exceptional wedding favor (like handwritten calligraphy place cards, personalized beverage napkins, small gift bags) that won’t compete with your wedding guest table landscapes and centerpiece flowers.

One more detail: Passports

United States citizens are required to have a passport for all overseas travel. Be sure everyone gets their passports well in advance. The wait could be long for its arrival. You may even wish to post this on your wedding website or e-mail your guests with this advice.

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