Destination Wedding Tips and Planning.
Among the most romantic party planners are brides and grooms eager to begin life together in a special setting they'll always remember. That's why destination weddings are so appealing, whether it's a beach resort where they've always wanted to stay or that quaint village where they met while trekking through Europe.
But it's important to realize that getting hitched away from your hometown, or even country, requires a lot of homework, well in advance, so a dream destination wedding won't turn into a dismal matrimonial start.
Before selecting a destination, it's important to know something about the locale, besides beautiful pictures seen on the web, brochures or co-worker's vacation scrapbook.
By the time a wedding is booked, a couple should be so familiar with the destination that they speak about it as though it were their home. Among details to know are the transportation choices and costs to travel from the airport to the hotel, local customs to observe, and what kind of weather to expect.
Likewise, a couple should know the legal requirements and deadlines for obtaining a valid marriage certificate, as well as rules regarding whom can officiate at the ceremony. In some foreign jurisdictions, a civil wedding ceremony is required even if a private wedding is planned.
Other things to keep in mind while planning a destination wedding:
- Give as much notice as possible to guests by sending save the date cards as much as six months before the wedding. This starts the process of guests making travel plans and will give a couple an early headcount of who will make the trip.
- Destination wedding invitations often include additional pieces containing information about organized activities, transportation and hotel information.
- Guests may be unsure what type of clothing is appropriate for your destination wedding, so whether you prefer formal or casual attire, be sure to let them know.
- Aside from requirements for wedding licenses, check to see if passports, visas or immunizations are needed.
- Make a local contact at the destination to help arrange wedding details as an intermediary and who can suggest such things as a dry cleaner to steam wrinkles out of a wedding dress or driver for the bridal party. A hotel concierge might fill this role.
- Include every detail of the wedding ceremony and reception in a signed contract so there's no question about what's going to transpire on the wedding day. Put a deposit down, with the balance due after the reception.
- Knowing illness and accidents can happen, become aware of health services at the wedding destination in terms of hotel doctors and local hospitals.
- Keep a master list of guests with their cell phones for easy contact, and in case someone gets lost.
- If you're anticipating gifts, ask your family members and wedding party to spread the word that gifts not be given at the wedding, but rather once the couple returns home.
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