Top 8 Questions to Ask as You Plan Your Destination Wedding
Planning a destination wedding can seem overwhelming. Our Experts have planned thousands of weddings in exotic locations, and have put together some questions that will help you decide on your perfect destination wedding locations.
Surprisingly, many of these questions pertain to your guests, and what experience you want them to have. A destination wedding is as much about your guests’ experience as it is about your wedding day, so be sure to think about how to make sure they have an amazing time.
Here’s our top 8 questions for you to answer to help you decide on your perfect destination wedding location.
- What are the absolute must-have amenities? Planning some luxurious pampering with your bridesmaids? Make sure the location you choose has an amazing spa. Golf, tennis, fitness classes and scuba may also be important. Think about group activities that your wedding party can do together – some resorts offer group events like cooking classes, shopping excursions, sunset cruises or movie nights.
- Kids or no kids? While many resorts are family-friendly, others are either adult or couples only resorts. Consider your guest list, and if it includes children, plan accordingly. Most adult-only resorts will not allow children on the property, even for the wedding event. Also ask for any age restrictions at any restaurants where you are planning wedding events. Even at family-friendly resorts, some restaurants do not allow children. Our Experts will know all of the ins and outs of children wedding guests.
- What type of vibe are you imagining for your guest experience? A mega-resort, with tons of restaurants and activities for everyone? Or, a small, intimate boutique resort with lots of charm but fewer activities – perfect for maximizing time with your guests? It’s important to think about the entire wedding weekend, and what’s the experience you want your guests to have as you choose your destination wedding location. We also highly recommend having all guests stay at the same resort. It simplifies planning, leads to impromptu celebrations and fun, and can save money as many resorts will charge outside guests a fee to attend the wedding. Ask us about resorts which offer multiple sections geared toward different pricing programs – perfect for groups with different budget considerations!
- Is the onsite wedding planner experienced, flexible and a good communicator? At Ever After, we know the best wedding coordinators in the business, and happily recommend those locations to our engaged couples. Here’s some things to think about as you get your plans set:
- Know exactly what is in your wedding package, and ensure the details that are important to you are perfect. Is it imperative that the centerpieces are exactly like you are imagining? Make sure you know the height and type of flowers of each one. More concerned about the cake? Ask for a photo and get the description in writing. Be sure to read and understand the fine print of your contract.
- Will you have the ability to change wedding locations when you arrive, especially if you were not able to visit the venue before your wedding? You may have always dreamed of getting married with your toes in the sand, until you see the charming garden gazebo on the property.
- Is the wedding package not completely perfect? The best wedding coordinators want nothing more than happy couples, so they will often customize a package just for you. Be sure the wedding coordinator provides you with a detailed accounting of all confirmations and costs.
- Are there any restrictions on outside vendors? If you want to bring in your own photographer or officiant, be sure to make that clear early in the planning process, and get it in writing for anything you need to do to make that happen. In some countries, anyone who provides a service at a wedding needs to get an official work permit from the government or the resort could be fined.
- Do your guests have any special needs? Perhaps a flat terrain, smaller resort would be better if you have older or less mobile guests. Also consider a resort’s ability to accommodate any special dietary needs.
- Is privacy during your wedding event important to you? If you decide to hold a ceremony or reception in a public area of the resort (the beach or a restaurant), be prepared to see other resort guests. Additionally, unless the location you choose only hosts one wedding per day, you may be sharing space with other destination wedding couples. Our Experts have visited the wedding venues we recommend to you, and we can give you the ins and outs of each wedding location.
- What are the upcharges for any private events? It’s rare for everything to be included in the wedding package, particularly for events that require additional staff and a custom menu. Add in the photographer, DJ, and fancy draping, and you could be paying considerably more than the base wedding package rate. There are ways to minimize cost – consider a semi-private reception at one of the restaurants, or simplify the wedding decorations. If you are trying to choose between spending more on the wedding package or spending on fun group events, our Experts recommend spending on the group events – your guests will remember the entire weekend with you, not just the few hours of your wedding ceremony and reception.
- What about the honeymoon? It may help your budget to extend your stay for a romantic honeymoon in paradise. Booking a certain number of room nights may earn you perks like spa credits, room upgrades and even a free wedding. Work with one of our Experts to be sure you receive these special perks for wedding groups.
A destination wedding is a unique and special time to have your closest family and friends spend quality time together in a beautiful location, celebrating you! It can be a magical experience, just make sure you are clear on your most important priorities for your wedding day. Our Experts are here to help your wedding dreams come true. Contact an Expert today at RomanceTravel@everafter.com, call us toll-free at 888.734.4787 or visit our website at everafter.com/destination-weddings.
Photography by Laura Grier at Beautiful Day Photography