Destination weddings are so dreamy, right? They’re an adventure, an experience, and an unforgettable delight for you and your guests. And yet, there’s so much planning that goes on behind the scenes so that everything goes off just right.
This week at Magnolia we’ve put together a set of destination wedding tips to get you started on your planning.
While you can always fill out our contact form here to get started with our planning team, these tips will help you explore and dream up the perfect destination wedding.
Tip 1: You Should Tell Your Guests Well Ahead of Time.
It’s your special day but there are probably some special people you really want to be there. So, send out your Save The Dates as soon as you can. Then, send the actual invites 90 days before and the have your RSVP’s due 60 days before the event.
Reserve blocks of rooms at nearby hotels and be sure to tell your guests that you’ve done so. Make sure your guests know what they’re looking at with regard to transportation and weather when they arrive for your event as well.
Some things to consider: Will your guests be flying in? Does it tend to be super warm and tropical where you’ll be? And will there be a hotel shuttle from the airport?
Letting your guests know what to expect will take the stress off their shoulders and will have you fielding fewer texts and calls with questions.
Tip 2: You Should Ship Items Well Ahead of Time Too!
Shipping things that can’t travel or fly with you ahead of time is a great idea. We suggest shipping these things about 3 weeks ahead of time and communicate with the venue before and after you do. Shipping well ahead of time will ensure that you know that the items got there and whether anything is damaged on arrival. You’ll also save on “rush shipping” because you can take standard delivery on most things.
Menu cards, place settings, special pieces, and even custom seating charts are commonly shipped ahead of time.
Tip 3: Avoid Busy Weekends (If You Can) And Plan For The Weather Wherever You Go.
If you’re trying to respect your budget and the budgets of your guests, you’ll probably want to avoid the busiest weekends for your destination. Busy season means more expensive accommodations, flights, and venue prices. Selecting even slightly less busy part of the season may give you more selection with venues and dates.
If you have to (or really want to) go with busier seasons or dates, be sure your guests know about things like traffic and how quickly accommodations might book up so they can plan accordingly as well.
And be sure that you’ve planned for the weather at your destination as well. While busy season and shoulder season can offer beautiful weather, you’ll want to be sure that you, your guests, and your wedding party are all dressed appropriately for the weather, wherever you are!
Tip 4: The Knot Is a Great Resource When Planning A Destination Wedding!
Inspiration matters. There’s no way around it. Whether you’ve always dreamed of that island vista or that European adventure, checking out sites like The Knot will allow you to feel inspired and will help you to craft the most unique and beautiful experience for that big day!
Tip 5: Maybe Add an extra day
Despite all the dream-filled inspiring moments, you still have to deal with the reality of getting to your destination. Things travel delays and time zone changes can leave you and your guests feeling a bit tired by the end of your trip. So, consider adding an extra day to your itinerary. This will help you as you account for rest periods, potential delays, and things like that. It takes the pressure off a bit and allows you to really enjoy the experience a bit more.
Tip 6: Welcome Your Guests To That Dream Destination
While this is your special day, it would be lovely to make your guests feel welcome and appreciated. You may decide to offer them welcome bags filled with things like possible activities lists, a local map, translations of key phrases if you’re in a place that doesn’t use your native language, the event or weekend itineraries, some locally-sourced treats, and a personalized thank you note.
And because not everyone carries around those paper itineraries you place in their welcome bags, make sure you send all the must-have information for the wedding weekend in an email to all guests attending!
Tip 7: Hiring a Planner is a great Idea and it Could Save You Time and Money.
While hiring a planner is an expense will definitely save you time and aggravation. And, if you don’t have to drive yourself crazy figuring out what you really need to make the day an awesome one, you may even save money in places you didn’t expect. A good wedding planner will understand your vision, get to know you well enough to help you make decisions, will know at least something about where you’re having your wedding, and will collaborate with you for all of the details (big and small).
Working with a planner also give you a point person for all of your vendors and a source of answers for all of your most crucial questions. Besides, you’re doing a destination wedding to get away from it all. Hiring a planner will ensure that you don’t take the stress of planning with you when you do!
A Final Tip: We Can Help You Plan Your Destination Wedding!
So, there you have it 7 tips for planning that gorgeous destination wedding!
We covered a lot today, but there are so many considerations (both small and large) when you’re planning a destination wedding. From what to wear, where to stay, and what to ship or pack… It’s an endeavor to get everything right.
So, if you’re ready to get some help with your planning, feel free to reach out using our contact form and we’ll get started with planning your perfect event from start to finish!