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4 Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

planning-destination-weddingThere is a certain allure to saying, “I do” in a romantic and exotic location far from home. A destination wedding lets you realize the fairy tale of saying your vows and exchanging wedding band sets in a place like Aspen or St. Bart’s or Siena.

It’s hard to know where to begin when you’re organizing a wedding that is nowhere near where you live. Here are five tips for getting started on pulling off the perfect destination wedding.

1. Find a location that feels right.

When you are planning a destination wedding, you have the opportunity to choose a location that is just the right fit for you as a couple. Do you love the great outdoors? Find a rustic lodge in the middle of the woods. Do you dream of a relaxed tropical ceremony? Find a low-key beach resort where you can celebrate with sand between your toes. Weigh the different factors that are important to you - budget, mood, views, nearby activities, etc. - before you make your decision. Give preference to places where you have meaningful memories.

2. Take a research trip.

Planning a destination wedding can be very challenging if you are doing everything long distance. Do as much detailed research as you can from your hometown to narrow down options, then plan a trip to the location to meet with vendors, scout out venues, do food tastings and hair trials. If you batch these meetings in one trip, you can make final decisions and leave with signed contracts.

3. Let people know in advance.

With a destination event, it’s likely that only your nearest and dearest will make the trip. Embrace this as a positive thing, and pare your guest list down to be a small and personal affair. Tell the people you absolutely want to be there - especially those in the wedding party - well in advance, and give them an idea of what the expenses will be. Let them know that you will understand if they aren’t able to make it but that it would mean a lot to you if they can. 

4. Go the extra mile for your guests.

Do everything you can to make the trip easy and enjoyable for friends and family who attend your wedding. Research flight and airport information, block rooms at special group rates at hotels, organize sightseeing outings. Offer to defray some costs for wedding party members - such as attire or hotel rooms - if you can afford to.

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