It started with someone going down on one knee and popping the question. Days, weeks or even months go by and it’s finally that time to seriously prepare for that walk down the aisle. The preparation process will all start with deciding what kind of a wedding you wish for.
As the latest wedding planners in town, Unicorn Events are here to sell you on destination weddings which are trending in Kerala now. The folks here enjoy tying their knots in the big fat boisterous way, thus setting new #weddingoals.
Why choose a Destination Wedding?
- Wedding wrapped up in a Vacation-You get a four in one deal when it comes to destination weddings. You get a wonderful location to hold your wedding ceremony and reception, the location could also double as your honeymoon destination and it ends up being a well deserved vacation for you and your loved ones.
- Saving up on Cost- As destination wedding planners we often get asked about the cost associated with planning a destination wedding and we have a hard time making our clients believe that destination weddings are much more cost effective compared to have ‘at-home weddings.’
- You are in Control of the Wedding – Let’s face it, having a wedding back home can rake quite the bill owing to the dear ones attending. Consequently, only family and very close friends attend these weddings. Destination weddings also give you a bulk of control over the planning process, meaning that you’ll have the wedding precisely how you want it.
Settling on a Destination
Once you are sold on the WHY, the next obvious step will be to select the perfect destination for your wedding. You could have a destination wedding within the country or cross the borders for an exotic wedding experience.You have to keep these points in mind when selecting a venue
- Your budget to create a destination wedding
- Theme of your wedding
- Customs restrictions in case of shipping wedding gowns and other items
- Don’t forget about exchange rates, because they end up playing into costs.
- Legal requirements
Budgeting for a Destination Wedding
When budgeting for a destination wedding, you will have to keep your guests in mind.
Unless you are generous enough to cover some of these costs, usually your guests will have to cater for their own travel and accommodation costs. Therefore, when choosing a resort, have your guests’ budget in mind. A good compromise is to choose destinations within your country or search for affordable oversees wedding destinations.
Set aside a reasonable budget to cater for transport, accommodation and per diem costs for vendors, if you choose to fly some with you for the wedding. The obvious cost effective route would be to forego flying vendors with you for the wedding.
Always have a contingency budget for unexpected costs. There might be activities that you want your guests to take part leading to the wedding as well as planning trips
Legal and Other Considerations
Having a chat with your legal counsel before embarking on a destination wedding is very important.
Your legal counsel should help you look into state requirements or the legal requirements of having a wedding at your intended oversees destination. Usually you will require valid passports and or birth certificates, affidavit stating eligibility of the couple to marry and sometimes blood tests as legal requirements to get a marriage license abroad.
It is also important to take the time to learn the laws of the country where you intend to have your wedding.
Other important considerations for destination weddings include:
- Look into visa requirements and start the application process early enough. It is important to let your guests know early enough about this.
- Start planning as soon as you can and most importantly start engaging vendors as early as possible.
- Choose the time wisely and this refers to the time of the year when you intend to have your wedding. This will be driven by many factors including availability of family and friends, also weather and the corresponding effect on costs.
Choosing a Destination Wedding Theme
When it comes to destination weddings, you will undoubtedly be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a wedding theme.
Your choice in a wedding theme will largely be driven by the destination itself as well as your budget. If you are traveling to a beach destination, more than likely you will settle for a beach wedding theme. Goa and other islands are often great locations for tropical themed weddings.
If you end up choosing a resort location, they often offer diverse packages and it will all come down to your budget. Resorts provide an opportunity to save on cost when having receptions at the same venue.
The great thing about destination weddings is that you can keep it simple and still end up with an exquisitely beautiful wedding. The memories will stay with you long after you leave the place.
Inviting Guests to your Destination Wedding
It is likely that you’ll start preparing for a destination wedding many months prior. This is precisely when you should send out save-the-dates and let your guests know where the wedding will be. Also have guests RSVP to know what numbers you are working with for planning purposes.
Early invites will be quite important for the bridal party and groomsmen, so that you know whether or not they will be able to be part of the wedding.
Early invites also helps your guests book flights and their accommodation early enough, which can also help with taking advantage of early booking rates. If possible, you will also be able to negotiate for group discounts on flights and accommodation with early planning and bookings.
Destination Wedding Favors Ideas
Destination specific favors and goody bags will definitely leave a lasting impression. These are small touches to increase guest comfort
To begin with, go the extra mile in leaving personalized welcome notes in your guests’ rooms. Other destination wedding guest favor ideas include:
- Totes or beach bags for beach weddings
- Pashmina shawls
- Customized shot glasses
- First Aid or ‘Hangover’ kits
There you have it, planning a destination wedding shouldn’t have to be a daunting task as long as you start early enough and leave nothing to chance.
Share some of your favorite destinations to tie the knot in the comments section below