words Alexa Wang
Planning a wedding is stressful and challenging at the best of times, but add in a global pandemic and deciding to say “I do” somewhere different from where you live, and it can be even harder.
If you’re planning a destination wedding right now for next year or even the year after, there are many different aspects to consider. Here are some of the top ones to prioritize.
Legal Factors and Key Documents
If you want your vows to become binding when you marry outside of your home location, it’s imperative to investigate legal matters. Find out what’s required to get a license to wed in the destination spot because just hiring an officiant isn’t enough. Different nations and states have different requirements to issue marriage licenses. You may have to provide a raft of documentation, including birth and medical certificates, proof of residency, letters of intent, etc.
You’ll want to organize other documents if you get married overseas, too. For instance, you, your partner, and all your guests will require a valid passport and, most likely, proof of COVID-19 vaccinations and negative results of tests for the coronavirus.
Budget is another top priority when planning a wedding of any kind, but especially one for which you travel. Before you get too far down the path of organizing your special day, work out a final, total amount you can afford to spend on your wedding and feel comfortable outlaying.
From there, work backward to see how much you can feasibly put into the different elements of your wedding, including the venue, accommodation, meals and drinks, outfits, and the honeymoon. If you want to get married at a resort or another venue where you and your guests will be staying and dining, it’s worth asking about packages, especially if you are choosing an elopement in Gatlinburg, TN. Many businesses have all-inclusive offers that include a celebrant, flowers, food and alcohol, rooms, music, and the like for a lower price than it would cost you to organize everything separately yourself.
Location and Vibe
It’s vital to select a destination wedding location that both you and your spouse-to-be will feel good about. Hopefully, you’ll both be on the same page regarding the type of vibe you’re looking for, such as laid-back and beachy, cultural, historic, geeky, etc. The clearer you can be on the tone you want to set at your wedding and what it is about going elsewhere to get hitched that appeals to you, the more smoothly planning should go.
Regardless of your interests, keep your budget in mind and remember that most places have peak and mid or low seasons, which can make a big difference in costs. Think about how much competition you’ll have for services and resources from other occasions held in the destination spot and the likely fees for traveling to the area. If you can say “I do” at a time of year that’s not so busy, you’ll save yourself money. However, this may mean that the weather isn’t exactly what you’d prefer or that it’s trickier for you and your guests to get away for the event.
Advance Notice for Guests
Another critical part of planning a destination wedding is giving your loved ones plenty of advance notice. Send out “Save the Date” cards or emails as soon as you can with mention of the country or city location so people can start considering taking time off work, if needed, and investigating flights and accommodation. If you want all the people you care about most to make it to your wedding, you’re going to have to give them as much time as possible to sort out arrangements.
There are many other practicalities to focus on as you pull your big day together. For instance, think about the length of travel times and accessibility for those in your life who are less mobile, and work out whether you want to get married in the same area as where you honeymoon.
If you do, you might see some of your guests during your honeymoon. Many people stick around after a wedding to make the trip a complete holiday since they’re already on site. If you don’t want to see family members or friends when you’re trying to have a loved-up vacation, select a honeymoon spot in a different area.
Also, take out insurance for the event and all the elements related to it, just in case something happens and you can’t travel at the time. Plus, if you’re going to get married in a location that’s not the safest, or if you’ll have high-profile guests attending, it’s a good idea to hire some professional security guard services to work at the event and keep potential risks as low as possible. You might also hire a wedding planner to be on the ground to research and organize elements of your wedding.
A destination wedding can give you everything you dream of for this special day. However, you do need to plan such occasions carefully and well in advance since they’re much more complicated than local events.