12 Things to Consider Before Planning a Destination Wedding

Who doesn’t love the idea of getting married on the beach or on top of a mountain? No matter how beautiful the event, planning a destination wedding can carry along some unexpected difficulties. Here are 12 things about planning a destination wedding you should think about.

Top Featured Image: Julie Lim Photography

1. Legalizing the marriage. Marriage laws vary internationally, so do your research! Find out who is an acceptable officiant, if there is a residency or blood test requirement, and what the marriage license process looks like. You may discover that you need to have a small courthouse ceremony in your hometown first and make your destination wedding mostly symbolic.

2. Booking the hair & makeup appointment from afar. It’s likely impossible to fly your hair stylist to the destination wedding, so you’ll want to contact your stylist at home first (your stylist might have a suggestion for someone who lives at your destination). Just be sure to read reviews for any vendors you have to book long distance, then schedule hair and makeup trials for the day after you arrive at your destination.

3. Assembling and shipping the welcome bags for your guests. These items can be a fortune to ship and might just get caught up in customs. Ask your relatives and bridal party to each pack a few welcome bags in their checked luggage.

4. Dealing with the “no” RSVPs. Yes, it’s a bummer to live in the reality that many people will decline to attend your destination wedding for various reasons (mainly affordability). Just remember that it’s nothing personal.

5. Giving up your top vendor picks. If you decided to go with an all-in-one resort wedding package, your may have to forgo the bouquet or the wedding cake your really want. But if you know you want a certain look for your wedding, it might be best to hire a wedding planner who can find the best vendors for you.

6. Not seeing your venue in person before the big day. If you are planning long distance, you may have to book your venue without seeing it first, which can be difficult.

7. Packing your luggage. Begin packing as early as possible, and make detailed packing lists that include everything you and your partner will need, who is packing it, and what suitcase in which it will be packed.

8. Making sure your guests arrive. Make a request that all VIP guests book their travel by a certain date (about four weeks before the wedding date), and create a spreadsheet that includes guests flights and cell numbers.

9. Anticipating nearby events that will affect your wedding. Just be aware that there can be major events planned at nearby venus the same day as your wedding. It’s a great idea to be prepared for that.

10. Managing a destination wedding celebration that often lasts longer than a traditional wedding. Expect to be “on-call” for several days entertaining your guests or dealing with last-minute details.

11. Expecting bridal  attendants to balk at the high cost of travel and hotel rooms for the wedding. If at all possible,  make sure everyone is comfortable with the costs before committing to be in the bridal party.

12. Understanding that not all resorts have complete destination wedding packages. You may have to make your own arrangements for music, flowers, the wedding cake, hairdresser, photographer and officiant.


 Photographer: Julie Lim Photography


Photography: Julie Lim Photography