If you have a serious case of wanderlust, you probably love destination weddings, and may even be planning your own. And who can blame you?Whether on Instagram or IRL, destination weddings transport us to the most picturesque and romantic places on Earth. That said, planning a destination wedding isn’t always easy. When you factor in budgeting, traveling and figuring out the guest list, there’s a lot of preparation leading up to the Big Day. No worries — we’ve gathered up our favorite advice straight from the professionals, so you can relax and enjoy every minute leading up to your wedding day. Now, grab your passport and get ready for the journey of a lifetime!
1. Make it Fun: “This is an adventure for your guests, so make it both fun and informative,” says Melissa of Whimsique. “Include helpful information for them, including things to do while, places to eat, fun info about the location they’re visiting. Also be sure to include important accompanying information, like phone numbers, addresses and websites. Hand drawn or painted maps of the wedding location are a great way to keep things fun and personal.” (via The Youngrens)
2. Give Some TLC to Your Skin: Sam of Mobile Bridal Salon says, “Traveling can be especially hard on the skin. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and using a face mist throughout the day for a boost of moisture. Rose water and lavender are the best.”
3. Keep Your Travelers in the Know: A list of activities is just the first step in ensuring your guests have a good time. “Give them ideas of places to stay and helpful information regarding attire that’s appropriate for your destination. Well-informed guests are happy guests!” says Virginia of Bluebird Productions.
4. Make Your Wedding Dress Unique: Danielle of Mon Amie Bridal Salon says, “A destination wedding calls for a non-traditional wedding dress. Soft lace and simple silhouettes are perfect for beachside fetes.” (via John Schnack Photography / Nicole George Event Planning & Design)
5. Spoil Your Guests: Elizabeth of WINK! Weddings says to “make it a holiday for everyone! Remember, you are removing your guests from their element as well. Be sure to have some sweet essentials ready for them upon arrival to set the tone for the whole celebration. Welcome bags with sweet treats, a schedule of events and a list of fun places to explore will help your guests feel like you’ve thought of everything! Better yet, have your planner do it for you!”
6. Invest in a Comfy, Cute Dress: Charlotte of Plum Pretty Sugar tells us “a perfect little multipurpose dress is a great *must-have* for any destination wedding. This little beauty from Plum Pretty Sugar goes from pre-wedding festivities to honeymoon to everyday in a snap.”
7. Take Care of Your Gown: “Before tucking into your bag, carefully fold your dress into the size of your carry-on rolling suitcase, then wrapping it in a plastic dry cleaner’s bag. To fold it, just lay it flat across a bed and fold with as few ‘crease points’ as possible. If your gown has beading, especially the type with prongs, make sure that area of the dress is wrapped separately with tissue paper, so it doesn’t snag any silk or tulle!” says Rebecca of Rebecca Schoneveld.
8. Make the Most of Your Destination: Carina of Love Me Do Photography says to “It could work out really well to do a ‘day before’ or ‘day after’ shoot, giving you the time to go around your locale and really get some great images outside of the wedding day itself.”
9. Book Ahead: Chelsea and Kate of Gold Leaf Event Design & Production say “send your guests lodging options with the save the date since hotels book up quickly in popular destinations. List room blocks on your wedding website, and list the link on your save the date.” (via Gold Leaf Event Design & Production / Ashley Sawtelle Photography)
10. Small Fees Add Up: “When budgeting for your destination wedding, be sure to ask about line items such as customs fees, shipping charges, porterage fees, gratuities and storage fees. They can add up quickly and no one likes these last-minute surprises,” says Danielle of Magnolia Bluebird Design & Events.
11. Find Out the Local Marriage License Regulations: “Research marriage laws! Every country/destination has their own rules on obtaining a marriage license. Consider getting married in your hometown and hosting a symbolic union at your destination wedding,” says Liz of Dapper Events.
12. Utilize Famous Sights: Sara of Fete Nashville says “One of the most exciting parts of having a destination wedding is being able to use iconic landmarks as part of your wedding theme on the invitation, and in decor sprinkled among the weekend’s festivities.” (via Fete Nashville / Abigail Bobo Photography)
13. Hire a Wedding Planner: Lena of Belle Destination Weddings & Events says, “Hire a professional wedding planner! Having peace of mind that all of the details are taken care of is truly priceless. Once your wedding day comes, you can relax and enjoy your time with friends and family, and feel like a guest at your own wedding!”
15. Draw on the Expertise of Local Vendors: “Use local vendors when possible. They will be familiar with your venue and can give you good ideas,” says Kelli of Country Bouquets Floral.
13. Capture the Moments: “Don’t compromise on photography. Many couples think they have to hire a wedding photographer who is local to the destination in order to cut down on costs, but that might not always be the case. Couples who choose a photographer whose work and personality they LOVE, regardless of travel expenses, are happier in the long run, and the travel expenses might not be as high as you think,” says Anna of Anna Delores Photography. (via Anna Delores Photography)
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