Before boarding a plane with your closest friends and family and jetting far away to get married, find out if a destination wedding is right for you. There are many things to consider before opting for vows via vacation.
Who is paying for your wedding?
Most of the time, destination weddings will cost less than at-home weddings.
What will you pay for?
A large part of total costs will be determined on how generous you are to your guests. You need to decide if and how much you will pay for their accommodations, transportation and activities.
How big will the wedding party be?
When you factor in accommodations, travel and entertainment, the size of your wedding party can be impacted by the size of your budget.
Will children be traveling with you?
Ensure your location is child-friendly. Consider special transportation needs, baby sitting and child activities.
Where are most of your friends and family located?
If friends and family are scattered throughout the country, a destination wedding in a central location can make traveling less of a burden. A qualified travel agent can help you. “We take care of all of your guests’ needs (travel, air etc.) and, take the pressure off you,” says Raman Mullick of travel Lifestyles, an agency specializing in destination weddings.
Who will actually be able to join you?
There may be important people to invite, but they cannot always attend when your wedding is far, far away. Consider who will actually be able to afford and attend the event, and the importance of the ones who won’t make it.
How picky are you?
Destination weddings are typically planned and managed by the resort’s staff, you won’t be on hand for every little decision. You must be flexible when it comes to details, especially if your wedding is out of the country. usually you get just one on-site visit before your date, so make sure you can take the laid back attitude of a far away wedding.
Destination weddings are popular for many reasons. They are usually less… less stress, less cash. Wedding pictures at resort locations can be absolutely beautiful and everyone gets a mini vacation. On the downside you will have to compromise on many of your selections and you won’t be able to have as many guests. You just have to decide if it’s right for you.
Time with the ones You Love destination Photographer Chris Wineinger says, “I love destination weddings because you get to spend three full days with family and close friends instead of six hours. When I arrive at a wedding, I can tell folks are having a great time hanging out and getting to spend real quality time together.”
He offers these tips:
> have hair and make-up done early so you can utilize the location and take pre wedding photos.
> have your ceremony two hours before sunset so you don’t run out of light for pictures. Plan a couple’s photo shoot the day after the event.
By Erin Cavey
Photography by Chris Wineinger & Jillian Mitchell