When you hear the words “Destination Wedding”, you might think romantic, affordable, tropical, and vacation. What most couples don’t realize is that planning a destination wedding can be time consuming, stressful, and more expensive for your wedding guests. Although you might be excited to have a wedding in paradise, your guests may not be able to afford all the expenses that come with attending your wedding. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to guests’ expectations, and how to figure out your guest list for destination wedding.

Destination Wedding Guide | Save the Date and Wedding InvitationsPhoto via: Atheneum Creative

Who’s Onboard?

So, you are thinking about a destination wedding instead of getting hitched in your hometown. The first thing you will need to do, is figure out who is willing to travel to your wedding location.

Here are some questions to consider:

1. Are you ok with having less people attend your wedding?

2. Can the most important people make it out to your wedding?

3. Can your guests afford to pay for their airfare and resort stay?

If you aren’t 100% sure how to answer to these questions, then you need to communicate to your guests, before planning a destination wedding.


Destination Wedding Guide | Beach Wedding ReceptionLocation. Location. Location.

Your guests are onboard, and they can’t wait for your big day. Now that you know that you will be traveling for the wedding of your dreams — you will need to pick a location that fits your wants and needs (while making it affordable for your guests).

If you don’t know what is feasible for your guests, make sure to ask them. You don’t want to pick an upscale location, and later find out they can’t afford it.


Destination Wedding Guide | All-inclusive ResortAn All-Inclusive Vacation

Most destination wedding resorts will be on an all-inclusive property. There are many differences you will need to educate your guests about an all-inclusive vacation.

1. All-inclusive hotel stay will charge by each person in the room AND by room type.

For example: If you have 2 guests staying in a garden suite, it might be $250 per person per night. So that one night in the garden suite with 2 people would be $500 total. Say the 2 guests want to add 1 extra person to the room, the same room would be $750 total for the night, because you are getting charged per person per night. In most cases, you will not save money by adding more guests to a room.

2.  Why does all-inclusive charge per person? The resorts charge a per person rate, because you are getting all your food, drinks, and resort activities included in the hotel stay. Unlike when you book a hotel that doesn’t have all-inclusive, you are only paying for the room.

3. Most resorts require a room block for destination weddings. You will set this up with your travel agent, and they will go through all the details and what to expect with a room block. Guests will need to book within the room block to ensure they don’t get bummed from the property if the resort does over-book, and to make sure they are receiving your group rate.

If this is already sounding stressful to you, the best option is to find a destination wedding planner to assist you with all your travel needs. Ever After specializes in destination weddings, and can make this process as efficient as possible for you and your guests.


Destination Wedding Guide | Tropical Save the DatesPhoto via: Martha Stewart Weddings

Timing is Everything

Now that you know more about who can come, and how much they can spend on their resort stay; you can now reserve the all-inclusive resort with your travel agent.

Planning a destination wedding takes time. Consider sending out a “Save the Date” to let your guests know a date, location, and that specific travel information will soon follow. This will create a buzz with your loved ones and give them time to save for your big day!

FACT: On average, destination weddings take between 1 and 2 years to plan.


Destination Wedding Guide | RSVP to Room BlockRSVP

Understanding your room block contract will be key to knowing when your guests need to RSVP by. Ever After’s destination wedding specialist are experts at room blocks, and will give you advice on which date you should expect  to receive your RSVPs. Each room agreement is different, you will want to make sure you know the dates that you can drop rooms to avoid penalties.

If your guests plan on attending, make sure they have contacted the travel agent to start paying for their room accommodations by the RSVP date. This will act as their RSVP to your wedding.

If you are planning a wedding with Ever After, they can even set up a payment plan option to make paying off the resort stay easy.


Destination Wedding Guide | Online Booking for Hotel ReservationsPersonalized Website

 Having a destination wedding website with resort and wedding information is the best way to get all your friends and family to see the details of your special day.

Ever After’s destination wedding planner will set up a website specifically for your wedding, and will even include an easy online booking agent for your guests to reserve their stay. Along with resort information, and your travel agent contact information (in case they have any additional questions).

Destination Wedding Guide | Guest List for a Destination WeddingThe key to the perfect destination wedding is to have fun with your loved ones! If you are interested in planning a destination wedding of your own, Ever After will design a wedding to fit your budget, size and wedding needs. Contact them today to book your dream wedding!

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