With the passing of Valentine’s Day and spring being just around the corner, now is the time that cupid really seems to draw his bow at those unsuspecting singles. Soon the wedding season will be upon us and some will be seeking the coveted destination wedding as a means by which to tie the knot. If you’re thinking you may be among those who seek nuptials abroad, here are some handy FYI’s.
Make Sure It’s Not Just “Google Pretty”
The dream resort location you chose may look beautiful on Google, but make sure you’ve seen it first hand; and recently. As always some things look great on paper but fail to endure first contact. Make sure you budget a quick trip to the venue and the site where you are planning on getting married; even if it’s only over a couple of days.
Be Early On The Invite
You’ll want to send your invites early to make sure all guests can make arrangements. Depending on the destination aim for at least three to six months. Also, consider sending out save the date cards/emails on the intended date up to a year early so guests can start planning. This is especially true for guests with kids.
Dress For The Climate
If you’re getting married on a beach in the summer, you’re probably not going to want to select the latest Vera Wang design made of heavy fabric. If it will be hot during the ceremony choose suits and dresses that will be comfortable in the heat. And if you simply must have that Vera Wang, hold the ceremony at night when it’s cooler.
Before you take off to your exotic locale to tie the knot, make sure you research whether your knot tying is actually legal there. Some countries have very strict residency laws and other requirements that must be met before you say “I do” or they may say, “No you didn’t”. If you aren’t able to meet the local requirements of your dream destination, it may be an option to have a civil ceremony here in Canada to make sure you’re legally married before your destination soirée.
To Ship Or Not To Ship
Bring as much as you can with you and if need be, have your wedding party and family bring some of your stuff with them as well. If you need to pay extra baggage fees, do it. Consider the risk you take in shipping anything of importance to the destination. On a good day, packages get lost or rerouted to the wrong address. If you must ship anything make sure it’s not integral to your special day and ensure that there is someone at the venue, hotel or resort who will receive it. And yes, that means requiring a signature. There may be places you can source non-essential items at the destination which will cause you less stress in the end.
You’ll want to be first to arrive to ensure that any last-minute errands or loose ends are completed. This is a good time for things like hair/makeup trails and meeting face to face with local vendors. Make sure you also plan on a little relaxing time with your family and friends ahead of the big day. This will go a long way to keep your stress in check.
You Don’t Have Super Powers
Getting married and planning a wedding is incredibly stressful unto itself, let alone taking this show on the road. Sometimes the things you don’t know (or are not aware of) can be the biggest villains. Enter the destination wedding specialist who has done this a million times, for many couples and often specializes in specific destinations. The FYI’s in this article are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pulling off a successful wedding day abroad. Consider the details I haven’t covered; the music (DJ or band or both), the food, the reception, the flowers, transportation, guest rooms, the officiant, the photographer. Simply put, a destination wedding specialist is like a having a superhero help you plan your wedding.