Congratulations, you’ve found the one! The person you want to spend the rest of your life with, who makes you happy and fills your world with love “ but that’s the easy part. Now you have to plan a wedding.
If a destination wedding is on your radar, it’s important to understand what makes it different from a more traditional wedding close to home. The approach to planning and the execution can be quite different, but well worth it for the right couples!
Here are five questions you should ask yourselves if you’re considering tying the knot away from home:
1. Can all of the most important people on your guest list attend? Think about grandparents and elderly family members who may not be able to travel, as well as friends or family who may be pregnant. If someone cannot join you on your trip, would you still go?
2. What kind of budget are you working with? Many people believe destination weddings are far less expensive than weddings in churches and halls at home, but this is not always the case (although it can be). Look into your dream destination and crunch the numbers before you make any decisions. Compare different destinations, locations and packages, too. Also consider everyone else’s finances. Planning a destination wedding means asking your friends and family to make a substantial financial commitment.
3. Does everyone get along? Your families and friends will be spending plenty of time together over the course of your wedding trip. If you’re considering an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, for example, they’ll be seeing each other at the pool, on the beach, at supper and at any other gatherings you may plan. If there are any conflicts, consider how you might deal with them.
4. Are you tied to a particular church or religion? And can you book an officiant to suit your needs? What accommodations need to be made for your ceremony, if any?
5. Are you willing to do the extra paperwork? Translations, applications and, in some cases, even blood samples “ you sometimes have to jump through a few extra hoops to get married abroad. But you’re only doing it once, right?
The most important thing you can do before choosing a destination wedding is lots of research and talking it through. Make sure you’re both on the same page. Then the planning can begin and before you know it, you’ll be sinking those toes into sand or saying I do in an exotic location.