In part 1, we talked about establishing your vision, now it’s time to focus on the details and plan it out. As someone who has done many destination weddings the one thing I will tell you is you cannot do this without a wedding planer. It’s nearly impossible to plan a local wedding without a planner, but a destination wedding leaves so much room for error that it is not worth the risk. Luckily for you, there’s many wedding planners who specialize in destination weddings! (Two of my favorite are Vision Events and Wildly In Love)
A destination wedding planner is a little different from a traditional wedding planner in that they are experts at dealing with travel and know the ins and outs of how to work with resort wedding packages and Air BnBs. They can help you book hotel blocks for your guests, find suitable Air BnBs that allow events, and vet local vendors from afar. Their connections are unmatched! Once you’ve picked your location, your planner is the next item on your to-do list.
So now that you’ve got your planner it’s time to let your friends and family know! Everyone will be so excited and honored to be invited to your wedding, but don’t be disappointed if not everyone can attend. Attending destination weddings can be difficult financially, difficult to take time off work, difficult to find childcare, or to bring children to. Expect 30% of you guest list to attend and give plenty of notice for travel – one year is standard. This may sound like a bummer, but there’s lots of ways you can involve guests who can’t attend! One of my favorite ways is to have video coverage of the day and play your film during a mini-reception back home after the fact. We can also live stream in locations where we have internet!
Your final order of business on the guest front is to book a hotel block or air bnb for guests and send them their official invitation with travel details. Include the air port they need to fly into and give any shuttle, taxi, or uber options to get to the hotel. Let them know when and where your welcome party will be then provide your typical wedding details. I love these invitations with a map from Wide Eye Paper Co.
With your guests sorted and your planner in tow, it’s time to start booking vendors. Some of your vendors will be included if you’re getting married at a resort of any kind. They typically cover food, flowers, an officiant, and seating. If you’re DIYi-ng it, you will need to book these vendors separately and close to the location of your wedding. Other vendors you can book that don’t need to be physically based in your wedding location are your:
These vendors can all fly to the location just fine so don’t limit yourself to only local vendors for these rolls. Find a planner whose personality jives with your own and pick a photographer and videographer whose style you love! After-all these are the products that last forever after everyone has gone home. These vendors may have travel fees (our travel fees are included in our multi day destination wedding collections – booya!) and you should ask if they would like to be put up on location with you and your guests or they may opt for a separate hotel. Either way, these vendors will book their own travel and work it out with you planner so don’t worry about them! (P.S. Depending on where you’re getting married, flying in vendors from cheaper parts of the world can save you money, too!)
Now that your wedding is planned, check out part 3 to read my favorite wedding day tips and tricks!