Paradise Wedding

Planning your wedding involves a lot of variables - money, location, guest list, and so on. In order to make things easier and more cost effective, many brides and their grooms are ditching the traditional and opting for a destination wedding instead.


According to the nuptial gurus at The Knot, weddings can cost roughly $20,000 and up, depending on where you live. Instead of spending that money on just one day, many people are looking to stretch their special moment into a special vacation. But this requires some destination wedding planning.

Destination weddings are a great idea, but they do require some planning. Below are several things to keeping mind when organizing your wedding in paradise.

keep it affordable

Only those closest to you will probably attend, so do them a favor and get them the best deal possible. Don't choose the most expensive resort available (unless everyone you know is filthy rich) and ask your hotel for group discounts. Some airlines will also provide discounts if tickets are bought in bulk. Most importantly, don't expect presents. Tell your guests that the money they are spending on the flight and hotel stay are gift enough.

give proper notice

You already know the date works for you, because you picked it! However, you should make sure your guests have enough advanced time to take off work, arrange for child care and obtain the cheapest airfare possible. It's been suggested that eight months is the appropriate amount of notice.

This is also important if your destination wedding is out of the country and some of your guests don't have passports. Give them plenty of time to obtain one, which is currently four weeks from the time of application.

do your research

If you are getting married outside of the country, do some research and find out if there are any special foreign requirements you need to fulfill. Planning your wedding as early as possible will help relieve any anxiety associated with red tape.

don't stress out

One of the perks of having a wedding out of town is that you don't have to make all the preparations yourself. Many resorts offer the services of a wedding planner to take care of the details, like procuring the services of local vendors. If your destination does not provide one for you, you might want to look into hiring a wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings. This will alleviate much of your stress and allow you to worry about more important things, like picking your wedding day music

keep your guests needs in mind

Since they are spending a lot of money to attend your wedding, you should make their experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. Provide your guests with as much information as you can on accommodations and the area; if needed, provide them with information on how to obtain a passport; if it's in your budget, The Knot suggests placing a welcome gift representing the local flavor in each of their rooms; and procure transportation, or at least detailed information on the best way to get to and from the airport.

arrive early

You should fly in a day or two before your wedding date to ensure everything is in order and there are no surprises.  If you're crossing time zones, it may also help you bounce back from jet lag.

have fun

Above everything else, have fun! Destination weddings are designed to be memorable, relaxing and enjoyable. Appreciate every moment you can with your friends, family and future spouse and don't sweat the small stuff.    

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