While they're undoubtedly dreamy, destination weddings often involve more planning, more coordination, and more money than tying the knot in your hometown. Because of this, it's extra important that you ask the right questions and really think through your locale before signing on the dotted line.
Destination Wedding Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before You Book
1. Will this destination be easy to travel to?
All destination weddings involve some amount of travel, but make sure that you aren't committing to a destination that you and your guests can't reasonably get to.
Think about the guests who will be traveling the farthest, then determine what it would take for them to get to your big day. If it involves some combination of planes, trains, cars and boats, you might want to rethink your spot.
2. How much do you care about the destination?
According to Saraí Flores, Founder and Creative Director of SIGNATURE Event Consulting & Design, the main question a couple should ask themselves is about their own love for a particular destination.
She says, “The couple must be avid travelers, curious about different cultures, and open to many possibilities. As a couple, they should determine their major wedding goals and concerns, like budget, size, location, time of year, and the general mood or ambiance before committing to a location.”
3. How much will this wedding cost for guests to attend?
Unless you're planning to pay for travel and accommodations for each of your guests, you'll need to consider how much it would cost for them to attend. If the travel expenses are outrageous, don't be surprised if guests forgo gifts or have to skip your nuptials for financial reasons.
4. How will travel affect your guest list?
Based on expenses and travel time, how many of your friends and family would be able to attend your big day? If the number is smaller than you'd like, you'll need to pick a destination closer to home or accept your current guest count.
5. What will the weather be like in this location?
Don't forget to factor in seasonality in other countries and climates. Don't assume that since it's summer here, it will also be summer somewhere else. Do your research!
6. What is the currency exchange rate?
How does the currency compare in your country and in the country of your destination wedding? If their currency is worth way more than yours, remember that you'll be paying higher prices on everything...
7. Will it be hard to find and secure vendors in this location?
Is this destination remote? Will it be easy for you to find the things you need while there, or will you have to fly in vendors and materials for your big day?
8. Will there be any issues with customs while sending wedding items to this location?
If you're going international, don't forget to consider what the process will be for shipping items to that country. Most likely, you'll want to try to send decor and welcome gifts to the venue before the big day.
9. How will this country's marriage laws affect you?
Some countries have residency policies that don't allow you to legally get married in their country. If that's the case, you'll need to get married in your home country before heading to your destination I dos.
10. How much will this wedding cost?
When planning a destination wedding, there are always surprise expenses. Do you research and really try to determine exactly how much it would cost for you to get married in the destination of your dreams. Does that cost seem realistic? If the answer is no, then it's back to square one.
11. What other types of events will you need to host?
According to Michelle Fage, a wedding and event planner with Paradise Planning USVI, “When considering a destination wedding, ask yourself if there are other events, such as a welcome party, boat ride, or beach day, that you would want to offer your guests and make sure you incorporate that into your planned budget.”
Morgan Childs, Founder and Creative Director of Moana Events & Modern Elopement, says you’ll need to plan events for your guests to spend time with you and your partner. Your guests will definitely appreciate the extra opportunities to see you after they’ve traveled so far!