Yay! He finally put a ring on it! Congratulations and welcome to the exciting world of the newly engaged! The two of you have talked it over, and agreed that a destination wedding feels like your kind of style.
But now what?
You’re new to this destination wedding planning thing, obviously, so let’s keep this simple. It really all boils down to asking yourselves: Who, What, When, Where, Why. (Though not necessarily in that order) Here is the simple guide for how to plan a destination wedding.
Before getting overwhelmed by all the details that make up a wedding day, it helps to be clear about your vision. Ask yourselves WHY you want to have a destination wedding in the first place? That answer should create a scene in your mind. For some this might look like getting married on the beach at sunset, while for others it’s a massive party in a vineyard with everybody they know and love. Your wedding vision will be as unique as the two of you. Once you eliminate the noise of the endless options, then you can move onto all the other pieces with a clear purpose.
With a clear idea of what you want, the next question becomes WHERE can you make this a reality? With an big old world of possibilities out there, this can often feel like the most daunting part of planning a destination wedding! But the decision is really very simple. Ask yourselves:
1. How far can you reasonably stray from home?
If you and your loved ones do not have much vacation time to spare, or much money, then stay closer to home to minimize travel. Whereas, if you have been banking your holiday days, and your guests will not hate you for choosing a location far from home, then the world is your oyster!
2. Where have you already been that you absolutely loved, or felt a connection to?
You’re learning how to plan a destination wedding, so choosing somewhere that you have never been is not something we would recommend. Your vacation of a lifetime is not the most ideal time to test the waters of a new country, or an unfamiliar location. And if you do want to go somewhere new, then allow some room in your wedding budget to do a site visit beforehand.
3. Do you want an all-inclusive vacation for your guests, or are you after a more personalized experience? Your wedding venue should be one of the first things you settle on. (Want some help with destination wedding venues in the Riviera Maya? Here is our ultimate list of resorts, and here are our off resort faves!)
The next step in destination wedding planning is WHEN. You will need to choose a wedding date! If you are not already set on a particular day, like say your anniversary, then consider the following:
1. When is high vs. low season?
You may be able to score some great deals when planning to travel in the chosen destination’s off season. But then also weigh that against the fact that the weather may not be ideal.
2. When can you get away?
Is there a good time of year when you can both take the time off work? When can your friends and family get away? These are important factors when choosing when you should get married.
3. And most importantly, WHEN is the right time to book?
The answer is NOW! Never procrastinate when it comes to destination wedding planning. It’s the early bird who gets the honeymoon suite!
There’s a lot to consider when deciding WHO will be there on your wedding day.
1. How big?
Do you picture an intimate affair, or are you hoping for a huge party with all of your family and friends? Once you establish your guest list, get your Save The Date cards out. Your friends and family will need time to book vacation days with work, and to budget for this ‘holiday’.
2. Kid friendly?
Will you be inviting children or will this be an adult only celebration?
3. Who do you want to hire as wedding vendors?
Some vendors need to be booked quickly, to avoid disappointment. Especially photographers. If you have a preferred destination wedding photographer, then book them as soon as you can, as they are often booking at least a year out from today. Here’s what you need to know about finding the best wedding photographer.
Now you have the bones for a destination wedding! It is only the details that remain. The many ‘WHATs’!
– What time of day will you have your ceremony? For help with beach wedding timelines read this.
– What kind of wedding dress should you wear? For advice on beach wedding dresses, read this.
– What kind of ceremony will you have? Legal or symbolic? If you’re getting married in Mexico,here’s what you need to know.
There’s definitely a lot of moving parts when it comes to destination wedding planning. Start with our tips above, and you will have a solid framework to work with.
And if you are looking for a professional wedding photographer in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, then contact us here today. We are Fun In The Sun Weddings, your #1 choice for wedding photography in the Mayan Riviera.