Your Guide to Destination Weddings and Where to Go
Did you recently get engaged and are now starting that journey to planning the perfect wedding? More and more, couples are looking beyond their hometowns to get married. It’s become a trend for adventurous engaged couples to pack their bags with their closest friends and relatives, book a flight and head to someplace unique and magical to exchange their vows.
Destination weddings are just that: magical. They’re meant to create unique memories together alongside close friends and family. Whether you have a destination wedding planner or you’re going to go at it on your own, here are some tips to make sure you follow proper etiquette, as you would with any wedding.
- Think Small
Destination weddings are not always meant for large groups, unless you’re willing to go beyond your wedding budget and invite 75+ people to spend thousands of dollars to join you in the Caribbean. Typically, destination weddings are kept small because they’re intimate, special occasions. Destination weddings often have itineraries so keeping a large group together will also put more stress on your wedding vacation. Think small and keep the wedding party simple.
- Consider Working With a Travel Agent
Destination weddings sometimes call for specific wedding planners, but in this case, you can also get away with hiring a travel agent to work with you. They’ll help set up the flights, book rooms, and make sure the itinerary is in order.
- Send Invites (Far, Far) in Advance
We’re talking three to four months in advance from the wedding, sometimes even sooner. Destination wedding couples have been known to send their invites almost eight months in advance. If you’re wondering why, the answer is simple. Your wedding guests planning to attend will need time to plan, book their flights or travel time, request off work, and much more. A destination wedding is a vacation to your wedding guests. While some people can plan their vacations in under a few weeks, think of your guests who might need that extra time to think and prepare.
- Plan for Travel
Unlike a hometown or in-state wedding, you will want to plan around travel, meaning, if you’re flying, consider your suitcase room. Are you bringing wedding favors with you? Make sure there is enough room in your car or suitcase or consider shipping the wedding favors to your hotel or resort prior to the wedding if they will hold them for you. The same idea goes for groomsmen tuxedos and of course, the gowns and wedding dress. Plan on how you’ll get them to and from your wedding destination safely.
Destination weddings take a lot time and planning so the biggest thing to remember is to plan ahead. Think about every detail and every aspect to make sure your wedding guests are happy, too.
If you’re in the early stages of planning a destination wedding, then you’re probably thinking about where to go. We’ve thought of some unique destination wedding locations where you can have a truly magical and affordable experience.
Where Should You Go?
- The Outer Banks
The Outer Banks in North Carolina (OBX) are a string of narrow peninsulas off the coast. These barrier islands are perfect for a beach destination wedding without having to travel to Hawaii or some distant paradise island. There’s plenty to do in the OBX and it sets the perfect backdrop for a wedding.
- Mackinac Island, Michigan
First, if you’ve never been to Mackinac Island in Michigan, start planning your trip now. It’s also a spectacular place to exchange vows. You’ll never find a place quite like this unique island. The island is in Lake Huron and open only in the summer season while the ferry can take passengers across the lake to the island. There are several wedding venues on Mackinac Island to choose from. Thinking about planning your wedding here? Check out all the vendors in the area.
- The Poconos
The Poconos of Pennsylvania are a mountainous region that are beautiful and the perfect place to get married. You can all sorts of unique wedding venues in the Poconos, from traditional Poconos resorts to bed and breakfasts like The French Manor Inn & Spa. Think of the Poconos like a fairytale wedding destination–it’s truly magical and unique and perfect in any season.
- Nantucket, Massachusetts
Nantucket, an isolated island off of Cape Cod, is a gorgeous summer wedding location. It’s historical and has that perfect small island touch for an intimate wedding. Beautiful vacation homes and historic lighthouses line the beaches, making the perfect backdrop for your Cape Cod wedding.
- Florida Keys
Want a paradise destination wedding without the hassle of having to use your passport to leave the country? The Florida Keys is the most southern region of the United States with gorgeous, white sandy beaches, a wonderful nightlife and plenty more to do. The ocean water is clear and a beautiful vibrant blue you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re planning a destination wedding to a beach getaway, The Keys might be your answer.