Destination Weddings That Wow

What exactly is a destination wedding? It's any wedding which occurs 100 miles or more away from the bride and groom's hometown. It can be something as simple as the couple traveling to Niagara Falls to elope or it can be as elaborate as the entire bridal party flying to a tropical island.

Many times destination weddings combine the wedding venue with the honeymoon locale. The most common place for destination weddings is the beach.

Is a destination wedding right for you?

Destination weddings aren't for everyone, but they do make you stand apart from the crowd. Here are some things to consider should help you make a decision.

Many resorts make it easy to plan a destination wedding. All you need to do is pick a wedding package. You also need little, if any, wedding decorations.

It's a way to limit your guest list. Feeling like your obligated to invite distant relatives and co-workers to your wedding even though you may not want to do so? Not all guests will have the finances or vacation time to be able to attend your wedding.

You can cut costs by booking your wedding in a resort's off season or by marrying on a weekday when vendor's prices tend to be lower.

How to plan?

Once you've decided you want a destination wedding you need to begin planning. Destination weddings have a different set of requirements than a wedding held in your hometown. You'll want to start as early as possible in order to book your venue and ensure you do everything you need to do in order to have a legal wedding.

Ask plenty of questions and make certain you get all vendor agreements in writing. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the planning, you may want to hire a wedding consultant to help you out.

Consider your budget and your guests. It is customary for guests to pay for their own travel expenses and accommodations so you may not want to ask for wedding gifts. See if you can get a group discount for your airfare and hotel.

Be flexible on the day of the week you marry, the formality of the ceremony and your officiate. These things will be determined by the venue or resort.

Final thoughts

Whether you're marrying on the other side of the country or across the world, you'll have paperwork to fill out. Make sure you're aware of all the local laws and residency requirements.

Finally, if you would like to ask questions and seek advice from other couples planning destination weddings as well as venders, consider joining an online forum.

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