Destination Weddings Basics: 4 Things to Know
If you’re tired of the same old hotel banquet room that has hosted some of your family and friends’ weddings, then you may want to consider holding your dream wedding elsewhere
A destination wedding is one of the more romantic wedding ideas which take you and your guests to an exotic locale away from home. It provides an exciting location for you and your guests to celebrate your memorable day, and can even be looked at as a mini-vacation.
However, a destination wedding is still a wedding that needs to be planned. Here are some important things that you need to know before you start planning.
Destination weddings are legal
If this is the first time you’ve ever heard of the term “destination weddings”, then you may be wondering if they are even legal. Yes, they are legal – but only if you fulfill all the requirements necessary, which leads us to the next item.
Destination wedding requirements
It’s important to note that while getting married in a different country is definitely possible, it does come with its own responsibilities in terms of requirements that need to be met before the big day.
There’s no universal list as these vary per country, so prior research must be done even before the planning starts. Take note of the length of time that you are required to be in the country before the wedding takes place. Called the period of residency, this is usually a few days to a couple of weeks, but there are countries that require a longer period of residency than others, such as France’s 40 days, so it’s imperative that these not be overlooked, especially in booking flights.
Other things that you may be required to procure include, but are not limited to, the following: a valid ID or passport, certificate of residency, a medical certificate, and the residence of witnesses.
Budget and expenses
While having your wedding in a far off location may seem to be expensive, it may not always be the case. With the proper planning, you may even find yourself spending less than what you normally would have had you held your wedding ceremony and reception at home.
This is where the question of hiring a local wedding planner comes in. A local wedding planner is oftentimes seen as an expenditure that a bride can do without, but they can be your access to big discounts and reliable on-island vendors without all the hassle. Plus, they take away the headache of having to do everything yourself, leaving you to enjoy your wedding slash vacation to the fullest with those closest to you.
Should you decide to do it yourself, though, include scheduled trips to your destination in order to scour for the venue and vendors that most suit your personality and taste.
Wedding program and activities
You may be all set to enjoy your time in your chosen destination leading up to your wedding day, but your guests may not be feeling the place at all or may not have chosen it as a vacation option had you not invited them to celebrate with you. Hence, it’s important that you care for them by providing fun activities that everyone can enjoy. Start by preparing a welcome bag or basket of essentials, like flip flops or sunblock lotion for your beach wedding, and maps or tickets to local attractions.
Pay for whatever your budget can accommodate, and make their lives easier by reserving group lodgings in advance to provide your guests with lower rates.
Planning a destination wedding can be a taxing experience, especially if you do it yourself. However, with the proper planning and timeline, it makes for a memorable wedding not just for you and your partner, but also for your family and friends who painstakingly made time and effort to see you tie the knot.
About the author: An avid writer and traveler, Melissa Page loves everything about weddings and plans to make her fairytale wedding come true at Couples Resorts, Jamaica.