For all of you who have ever planned a wedding, I bet 99.9% of you all have considered throwing caution to the wind and deliberated a destination wedding. After the romantic idea of sweeping all of your guests off to the destination of your dreams has taken the backseat to reality, you may realize planning an out-of-state, or out-of-country, wedding can be a lot more work than you anticipated. So with the help of our friends at the Caribbean Shopping Channel we’ve developed some pointers on how to get started planning a destination wedding, outside of general wedding planning tips. Caribbean Shopping Channel is a televised and online shopping network that caters to the US, Canada, and the Caribbean, and they have an amazing destination wedding curated shop, so who better than them to help us?!
1. Research whether guests will need any shots or travel documents (passports, visas, vaccinations) in order to go where you’re planning your wedding. The more barriers of entry there are to get to your wedding, the more likely guests will RSVP no. Make it as easy as possible for them.
2. Consider the date and location compared to the seasonal weather during that time (unless you don’t mind walking around during a rainy season in your beautiful wedding dress).
3. Know the currency exchange rate so when you are talking to vendors, you are able to knowingly convert their currency into USD. And with the power of the internet, research local vendors who have high customer satisfaction ratings. You can also turn to your venue contact to make recommendations on all the other wedding vendors available. Of course I make a pretty amazing wedding photographer myself (hint, hint).
4. Find a local wedding coordinator. You may think you can do it alone because you’re master organizer,
and I’m sure you can, but it really, really, really helps to have someone onsite at the location who knows his/her way around the area. Even if it’s just the venue coordinator who is willing to help make recommendations for you and take over day-of duties, every little bit helps, especially when you’re in an area you’re not familiar with.
5. Research marriage license requirements and confirm with the local tourism board.
6. Consider the attire of your bridal party. Don’t make them wear heavy material if they’ll be standing at the wedding sweating in muggy temperatures, and vice versa at colder locations.
7. Create a destination wedding website for your guests that lists all pertinent information such as any travel documents they’ll need to obtain, the currency exchange rate, hotel blocks, transportation to and from the airport, transportation to and from the wedding, and things to do in the area.
Good luck! I had a destination wedding and loved every moment of it. Trust me, it’s do-able with the right planning. For further destination wedding product needs, check out the Caribbean Shopping Channel’s Destination Wedding curated marketplace!
Photo by Amanda Blythe
Photo by Caribbean Wedding Channel
About the Photographer: Angelica Criscuolo is an international destination wedding photographer that shoots weddings, boudoir, portraits and events. She has been published in many publications including The New York Times, Style Me Pretty, Engagement 101 Magazine, Merci New York, Lela New York Weddings, Pretty Pear Bride, The Urban Style NY, Un-Jersey Bride, Engaged Wedding Blog UK, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Brides.com and more! She has recently been awarded The Knot’s Best of Weddings 2013 and is Wedding Wire rated three years in a row. Angelica specializes in capturing various vital memories and her goal is to provide the best images for all couples and clients. Taking photographs to commemorate memories is what she does best and Angelica is very passionate about her work. She continues to mentor with the industry’s finest in wedding and commercial photography so her clients only gets the best images. Angelica is also a proud member of Professional Photographer of America (PPA) and Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI). She is married to her husband Matthew and they live in Sunnyside/Woodside Queens, NYC.