Deciding to have a destination wedding is a big step, but choosing exactly where to get married is just as important. From arriving at the number of guests and the accessibility of the location itself to the amount of rooms you’ll need, the logistics can be exhausting.
But no need to fret, here’s a list of tried and true details for consideration on how to put all the pieces together without losing your mind along the way. The world is your oyster, but let’s pick your wedding location first!
Once you decide on a budget for the wedding weekend, you’ll be able to pick a venue that meets your needs. That’s where all-inclusive resorts come in. A common misconception is that they’re not as luxurious as other types of resorts, but there are so many amazing properties that cater to high-end luxury – and getting a flat rate across the board means not having to worry about penny-pinching once you arrive. The Kempinski Seychelles Resort, is a great example of this. Think about adding a wedding planner to your budget too, that way you’re able to get someone to focus on making your dreams come true, while staying well within your budget!
Your wedding should be a reflection of you and your spouse. Whether your “couple vibe” is lowkey, extra or somewhere in between, your wedding location should marry (hehe) your personalities so the location truly feels like an accurate reflection of you and your partner.
The number of guests you expect to have will dictate your wedding location, especially if a number of them have to get visas to travel.
Islands like Seychelles and Mauritius are perfect, visa-free options. Also, depending on how many people you’re inviting, you might want to avoid destinations that require long-haul travel for the majority. Pick destinations that are easy to get to without requiring guests to take more time off work, or incur additional expenses. Keep the kids in mind too – is this an adults-only affair or are the kids welcome too? This will help you narrow down choices accordingly.
Depending on where in the world you’re getting hitched, weather and climate could impact your wedding day plans. For example, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November and could affect venues in the Caribbean and along the East Coast. While in Hawaii, November through March is considered the rainy season. So, before making your final decision about where to host your destination wedding, read up on the annual climate and weather patterns for each location to see how they align with your wedding date. To avoid weather issues altogether, choose a location that’s known to have sunny, enjoyable weather year-round — Barbados, the Canary Islands, Seychelles and Greece are just a few.
While most couples wouldn’t willfully choose an unsafe location, if your guests are less adventurous or well-travelled, consider how they might perceive the location in terms of safety and be sure to look at the potential dangers from their perspective (for example, Zika is less worrisome to a single man than a pregnant woman). If the area has a less-than-stellar reputation, you may want to proactively reassure them that there’s little to worry about.
Depending on how remote your location is, there may not be a hospital that’s all that close by. While it’s unlikely any of your guests would need emergency care, you may want to consider whether or not you have any elderly visitors and what would happen if emergency care is required.
Some destinations make it easy for out-of-towners to get legally married there. In some cases, you can get a marriage license on the spot or shortly before the ceremony or you may even be able to handle the process by mail. However, some destinations require a more lengthy lead time, so check into the rules of your destination and make sure you can meet the timeline (or consider getting legally married at home before or after the destination celebration).