Destination Wedding Planning TipsWords by Kisha Barner
Photos courtesy of Nadya Furnari Photography
Planning a wedding in itself can be challenging and hosting a destination wedding comes with its own unique set of potential hiccups. Taking it one step further, what if you’re planning your dream wedding in under a year? We’ve asked industry expert Kisha Barner, Founder of K. Barner Events, to share her top tips for planning a destination wedding in under a year’s time.
- Hire Help
It may sound cliché, but hire a planner and/or travel agent! Planning a wedding locally is complicated enough. Throw several hundred miles, time differences, less than a year, possible language barriers and everything else in the mix, and you’re bound to have a few sleepless nights without some help. Between your planner (local and/or abroad) and your travel agent, figuring out the best date, location, vendors, décor and much more will be a lot less complicated.
- Give Notice
In some instances, it’s best to wait until you have all of the details ironed out before you let people know your plans, but this is NOT one of those instances. Time is of the essence! As soon as you determine you’re having a destination wedding and you have a month nailed down, notify your guests with a simple, cute save the date. You can indicate they should save the date to “jet off” to somewhere warm and sunny (for example) and let them know that additional travel details will follow. The point of this is to give your guests as much notice as possible that your special day is coming up. After all, this is going to require time off and money. Once you have all of the details send out a great invite that sets the tone and provides all the info they’ll need.
- Prepare for Generosity
Sometimes with destination weddings, you may offer to pay or contribute towards the cost for relatives to travel. If this ends up being true for you, be sure to factor this into your overall budget, so you’re working with real numbers.
- Scout It Out
Make arrangements for a getaway to your selected location; two to four days is usually enough time. Be prepared to get stuff done and not do a ton of relaxing. Meetings, appointments, decision-making and more. If this isn’t something you can do because of timing or cost, then conference calls, video calls and emails will be your saving grace!
- Two Birds, One Stone
When picking a destination location, make sure it’s a place you wouldn’t mind also having your honeymoon. If you want to feel like you’re in a different place, explore the option of staying at a different resort once your wedding is over. Or, research if there is a quick, inexpensive way to get to another island/city (i.e. boat or train). Picking one place to have your wedding and honeymoon will save you on travel time and extra flight costs.
- Consider Mother Nature
Consider the time year when selecting your destination, because you may have to factor in hurricane and/or rainy season. You don’t want to get there and then have to evacuate because of a hurricane. For the Caribbean, hurricane season is technically June 1-November 30, so plan accordingly. Your travel agent or planner can get more specific on the months to stay away from your selected location.
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