Destination weddings combine the elation of a loving union with the thrill of an exotic vacation. With so much to look forward to, it’s easy to get swept up in the magic of a destination ceremony and overlook some key details. Here are a few tips to guide you as you plan your unforgettable destination wedding.
Do: Choose a Wedding Planner and/or a Package
Planning a wedding just around the corner at the local church is a major endeavor, and the logistics become exponentially more complex when you’re planning a ceremony remotely. That’s why it’s so important to work with someone who’s not only physically present at the location, but is also familiar with the area. The simplest way to do this is to choose a wedding package that includes the services of a wedding planner.
Don’t: Pick a Location That’s (Too) Difficult to Get To
Remember, your guests are already going out of their way to travel to your wedding. You don’t want to make it too hard to get to the destination beyond that. Try to pick a place that offers the backdrop you want but is still reasonably near an airport. For example, Coconut Bay is situated in the heart of the tropical paradise of Saint Lucia yet is only five minutes away from a major international airport. And we offer free airport transfers!
Do: Plan Activities beyond Just the Wedding
Good etiquette for destination weddings typically dictates that the bride and groom offer activities for their guests besides the wedding ceremony and dinner. Destination weddings require guests to spend several days at a destination, so it’s only polite for the bride and groom to provide some entertainment. Some destination weddings offer packages that have this feature built in. Coconut Bay’s Pearl wedding package includes a welcome beach party for guests (or a plated rehearsal dinner) and standard bar as well as a group sunset cruise or private island tour, which can take place the day after the wedding festivities.
Don’t: Follow Traditional Time Guidelines on Invitations and RSVPs
Destination weddings require advance planning by the couple and their guests, so toss normal wedding timing etiquette out the window. Sending out ‘Save the Dates’ 6 months to a year in advance is the best way to help your guests plan ahead and save for your big day. Plan to mail your invitations no later than three months in advance. Also request RSVPs at least a month before the date instead of two weeks.
With the right help, destination weddings don’t have to require any more work than a traditional ceremony. The secret is knowing what to do and what not to do.