A Bridal Checklist for Destination Weddings: Ten “Must-Have” Items
The sand is in your toes, the blue water is in eye view and the Wedding March is beautifully playing as you nervously walk down the beach to meet your husband to be. Sounds pretty fabulous, right? Many people dream of destination weddings and its popularity is increasing.
According to wedding statistics from The Knot, the number of destination weddings has grown to 24 percent of all wedding ceremonies. Among the most popular locales are the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii.
A destination wedding often combines two dreams of a lifetime: your wedding day and a trip to a location that is special to you. If you are among that 24 percent
who are planning a destination wedding, then you definitely want it to go off as smoothly as possible. We have compiled ten “must-have” items to include on the bridal checklist for your destination wedding:
- Budgets: If your wedding is going to take place at a faraway location, then one guiding factor will be not only your budget, but the budgets of everyone involved. This includes parents, grandparents, important family members and members of the bridal party, including your officiant. Discuss the budget with your wedding party, parents, and anyone else who is expected to pay wedding expenses. There may be some people whose budgets won’t stretch to accommodate the cost. If there is a person or two who you absolutely must have at your wedding, then determine how you will handle individual situations.
- Wedding Planner: Hire an experienced, capable destination wedding planner who has knowledge about the specific locale and venues in your desired location. A multitude of extra details come along with having a faraway wedding. Having a good wedding planner who can arrange all those extra details will help you avoid troublesome situations and is well worth the price.
- Research: While your wedding planner will help you a lot, be sure to do thorough research on the locations you’re considering including the marriage requirements and legal codes. Double check the requirements of your final choice and get those demands met as soon as possible. This means passports, visas, blood tests, licenses, proof of identity and any other items that may be requested or required.
- Season: Even tropical locations have times when it is warmer, hotter and yes, cooler than at other times. Consider the seasons of the year in your location of choice and the type of weather to expect around your desired wedding date. Be sure to factor this in when finalizing the date.
- Efficient Communication. Communication among your entire wedding entourage is vital. Prepare a contact list, complete with names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of everyone involved in the wedding. Update this list as you get nearer to the wedding date. Preparing a calling chain chart to reach a larger number of people quickly is also a good idea, as is keeping the information updated in a private place you can access online. Google Drive can be a good resource for this and other information you need to keep readily available.
- Money: Become familiar with any currency requirements. Make sure you will be able to use credit cards, access cash, make deposits, and pay vendors and service providers. Know how much money you are really spending in your own currency without having to guess at it. There are handy currency-converting apps that you can easily access on your mobile device.
- Transportation: As you’re finalizing hotels and room rentals, check to see that there are nearby eating places within walking distance or easy access for you and your guests. Some resorts are all-inclusive and guests won’t have to travel far for any of the food or amenities they need, but other locations may require costly taxi rides or car rentals. Inform your guests so that they can plan accordingly. It’s always a nice touch to arrange for transportation to and from all of your venues, including the airport, for your guests.
- Culture: Research customs and traditions specific to your wedding locale. Decide if and how you might incorporate some of these elements into your wedding. Such cultural touches might include food decorations, favors, music, and entertainment choices.
- Back-Up Plan: Provide a back-up plan for almost everything. Items get lost on airplanes, weather happens, people get sick, and hurricanes invite themselves along for the ride. Work with your wedding planner to come up with some alternative arrangements should the unthinkable happen.
- Relaxation: We know you have a wedding to put on, but be sure to build in plenty of breathing and relaxation time. Get as much done ahead of time as possible, and delegate the details. Write things down and keep that list available in various places. Leave nothing to memory. When your wedding day arrives, take a deep breath, relax and let everything fall into place.
Did you have a destination wedding? Tell us where you went and what your experience was like.