Destination Wedding Cost Breakdown
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Destination Wedding Cost Breakdown

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Destination Wedding Cost Breakdown

Planning a wedding in the town where you live in or grew up in can be nerve-wracking. But planning a wedding somewhere you’ve never been (or only visited briefly) can cause a total breakdown! Our clients often ask what they need to remember when they plan a destination wedding, especially one on an island. Below are some of our top tips for planning a destination wedding.

  1. Budget – this is probably the first thing for any wedding to start with when planning. If you get realistic about your budget, then you can consider the most important things for your ceremony: is it having all of your friends and family? Is it having the wedding in a specific place? Is it having the dress of your dreams? Knowing what you want to invest in as your top priority helps you to evaluate where to pour most of your money. Then you can figure out where you can compromise if needed after that.
  2. Airfare – whether traveling as a group or just you and your partner, contact the airlines before you book your trip. Ask about rates on different locations and/or group rates. It might also help to contact a travel agent to help with coordinating flights and hotels., and other airline websites often have deals on hotels to compliment flights as well. It’s good to make some calls and evaluate options. You can also contact the wedding planners in the destination location, as they can often tell you the best airline to use and offer suggestions for best deals for accommodations.
  3. Dress – pick up a few bridal magazines and look at what features appeal to you most. Take them with you to dress stores. Look at the length of sleeves (or no sleeves), the type of material and trim, the length, the accessories and then the availability. Some dresses need altering, and some take months to arrive. Plan on another month after the arrival to try on the dress, get it fitted and altered and then shipped back to you. Also, if you’re traveling by plane for your destination wedding, be sure to bring your dress as a carry on. We have had several clients arrive before their dresses do when they had checked their dresses in with the main luggage.
  4. Flowers – check with your local florists in the destination location or your wedding planner to find out what types of flowers are available locally. You can spend a lot of money shipping in a specific type of flower if you have your heart set on a certain kind. If your wedding is on an island and on the beach, you might consider eliminating buying flowers and letting the natural setting decorate your ceremony instead.
  5. Wedding Insurance – especially for outdoor weddings and destination weddings, it is a good idea to purchase wedding insurance to protect your investment. This can save you a lot of stress in the event of cancellations or delays. Check with your wedding planner for several different insurance options so you can see if there is one that suits you at a low cost.
  6. Legalities – in the cases of weddings out of your country, check with local laws to see what the rules are for marriage licenses. Sometimes you can only get a license a certain amount of time after you have purchased it. It can be a better idea to obtain a license before you leave for your destination wedding ceremony.
  7. Photography – good wedding photographers can be worth every penny of the investment. They are often booked well in advance if they are known for their excellence. Shop around to the local photographers at your destination, as they are often more experienced with photographs in that specific location (i.e. they know special places for the best sunset shots, they know how to photograph in bright sunlight next to the ocean waters, etc.). Different photographers have different styles, too. Ask to see their portfolios to get a sense of the style you like.
  8. Day of the week – many vendors are less expensive when you pick a day other than Saturday, especially in off-peak seasons. See if you can play with your date to save money.
  9. Afterward – plan to allow a couple days to unwind after your wedding. Planning the event, traveling to the venue and going through the ceremony can be exhausting. Having a few days with no plans to share quiet time with your new spouse can be a great gift.
  10. Extras – especially when traveling for your wedding, pack extras of items in case of emergencies: tissues, makeup, bandaids, scissors, sunblock, hairspray, earrings, pantyhose or any other items you might need. Ask your wedding planner if they have an emergency kit with items (like scissors) so you won’t need to pack them.

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