If you are considering tying the knot abroad, or you’ve dreamed of a white sandy beach
wedding since you were little, then a destination wedding is what you need to book. But it isn’t quite as easy as you might first think. How do you choose the best destination for your dream wedding?
Whether you want a beach wedding, a countryside wedding, or to get married under the bright lights of a city, this guide will help you to decide on the best destination wedding for you and give you a checklist of everything you need to organise for your special day.
What Is A Destination Wedding?
A destination wedding is a wedding that happens abroad, i.e. at least 100 miles away from your home country. So for anyone in the UK a destination wedding could be Italy, Hawai, Portugal, or even Disneyworld (which is becoming a very popular choice among brides in particular).
The trend of destination weddings has been at a peak for many years now where couples choose exotic and far-flung locations for saying their vows. In the early days, the dream couples had of getting married abroad mainly meant a beach wedding. But these days getting married abroad isn’t just about sandy beaches and sea breezes.
There is also a misconception about a destination wedding that has hung around for quite sometimes. A lot of people think that a destination wedding is a stress-free or easier choice. But anyone who has had one or is booking one will tell you otherwise. Even choosing the best destination for your wedding can be a challenge.
What Should I Look At When Choosing A Destination Wedding Location?
There are lots of factors to consider and lots of plans to be made when it comes to organising your destination wedding. Sometimes there are actually more things to plan than a wedding at home. But that doesn’t mean your destination wedding needs to be stressful!
There are just a few things that you need to consider when you choose the best destination for your wedding to make it as stress free as possible. Our planning experts have come up with a destination wedding checklist for you to have a look at before you start booking:
Type Of Location
The first thing you should consider is the type of destination you want for your wedding. Have you always dreamed of getting married on a sandy beach or have you always wanted to say your vows over a crystal clear lake? The answer to this will go a long way to narrowing down your options.
But make sure you consider practicality here too. Think about both dress choices and seasons when you choose your type of location. Are you going to want a long flowing veil on a windy beach? Will you need to prepare for monsoons or unpredictable weather if you get married in Spring?
You need to think about accommodation not just for you but for your guests. If you have narrowed your search to the type of location, you’ll need to narrow it further by making sure there are hotels, hostels, B&Bs, or other accommodation within easy travelling distance to your venue. For example, you wouldn’t want a beach wedding on a remote island that requires a taxi, boat ferry, and horse ride to your ceremony.
This decision may also limit the number of guests you can invite to your wedding too. You may only want a handful of guests but if you are inviting a lot of people, make sure you choose a location with enough accommodation to cater to them. Once you’ve narrowed down locations to include enough accommodation, make sure that you also consider:
● Cost estimate of the accommodation
● Distance from the wedding venue
● Reservation Details
● Payment Procedures
Now you have a location that is the right type and has enough accommodation, you need to consider the exact venue for your wedding. It could be indoor or outdoor, but you’ll need to make sure it has facilities that you’ll need, like toilets, electricity, and space. You also need to make sure you have permission to use the venue, especially if it’s outdoors, so you won’t be undisturbed by landowners or law enforcement.
If you are having an indoor ceremony, you need to consider:
● Capacity according to the number of guests
● Parking space
● Disabled access
● Wedding coordinator
● Permission for fireworks
● Band or DJ
● Permission for evening noise
● Room for gifts
Now you have limited your options by type of location, availability of accommodation, and finding the right venue, you will need to consider transport. That not only means how guests get from the hotel to the wedding venue but also how they get to the country and how they get from the airport to the hotel.
From flights to local transport, make sure it is easy and affordable for you and your guests to get everywhere they need to go. If you choose a remote place that requires a 2-hour ferry ride after a 2-hour drive and 12 hours of flight, chances are half of your guests are going to make an excuse not to go to the wedding. The same goes for choosing a wedding in a place that is expensive to fly to, like a long haul flight to Australia.
How Much Does A Destination Wedding Cost?
There are many factors that decide how much a destination wedding is going to cost like location, exchange rate, number of days, time of the year, length of the guest list, and so on. But as a guide, we average a destination wedding to cost you around £30,000. That’s because, just like a local wedding, you are still likely to want everything from the ring to
The main difference is getting things there – yourselves, your dress, the ring – which tends to cost more. Look for tips from experts, like My Ideal Wedding, and you can save a lot of money.
Do you Pay for Guests at a Destination Wedding?
The big factor in the cost of a destination wedding is guests. Do your guests pay for themselves if you get married abroad? Usually, guests pay for themselves at a destination wedding. The bride and groom don’t usually foot the bill for things like airfare, hotels, food, and sightseeing, but often they do show some considerate gestures like arranging group transportation, a welcome dinner, or a cocktail party.
Some even contribute to the cost of the flight as it can put a lot of family and friends off coming to your wedding. Ultimately the choice of whether to pay for your guests to attend your wedding abroad is yours.
The 9 Best Destination Wedding Locations
Now you have narrowed your list of destinations for your wedding down by type, accommodation, venue, and transport, you might still have a difficult decision of where is best for your wedding. There are also some watch-outs to plan for.
For inspiration and thought, take a look at the 9 best destination wedding locations that are picturesque and very popular.