10 Tips For Planning A Destination Wedding

Critical to planning your dream destination wedding is identifying what season best suits to host your vision. If it includes an outdoor ceremony and reception with gardens in bloom and rainbow overhead, then you're looking at late spring through early fall. For summer weddings we advise starting to plan around 18 months out.

Your Planner Is Your Best Friend. There is nothing like local knowledge. A local professional planner will give you unbelievable piece of mind in knowing that nothing is being left to chance.

Be Clear About What You Want.  Saying to your florist "I want purple flowers" is akin to telling a hair stylist "cut off some hair." You need to be specific. Better, use reference points that to explain your style and vision. Saying you want a "Downton Abbey" inspired reception is much clearer than saying "vintage," which could cover any period from Georgian era through the 1960s.

 Research Vendor Strengths and Weaknesses. Pay attention to their style. For example, does the photographer do more posed shots or photojournalistic? If you want pictures in natural elements, how comfortable is your photographer traversing through mud or climbing hills? Match this against what you have planned for your wedding day.

Work with Your Vendors, Don't Micromanage Them. After having an honest and detailed discussion with your vendors, turn around and walk away. Let them become inspired by your vision. Give them the space to be the artists they are.

It's About Time. Destination weddings are complicated by additional details that can't be left for the last minute. Passports (it can take up to 4-6 weeks to process an application), legal paperwork, etc. Also who is going to drive on the other side of the road!

Be A Considerate Host. Your guests are spending money to come to your event, so be mindful of their needs as well. Include a welcome basket of local goodies and a hand-written note thanking them for coming. Put yourself in their shoes. Is it acceptable to have your grandmother stand on a beach for a 45 minute ceremony etc? Make the trip and experience a smooth ride for all.

Start From Home. The best thing you can do to prepare is design a wedding website or blog to keep your guests up to date. Besides the basics, include fun stuff like suggestions for restaurants, sight-seeing, a meal or drink that's a must-try, common phrases or salutations in native language to use, or even a few posts on the area you're planning to spend some time in for your wedding.

Stay On Track. Before you even start planning make a note of your top five priorities -- what you as a couple want on your day more than anything else. Pin that to your fridge so every time someone offers opinions or tries to influence your day, you can remind yourself of what you both hoped for from the onset.

It's About Time.  Destination weddings are complicated by additional details that can't be left for the last minute. Passports (it can take up to 4-6 weeks to process an application), legal paperwork, etc. Also who is going to drive on the other side of the road