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Destination Wedding Ceremony Location

How to plan the perfect destination wedding

No longer just the realm of a romantic eloping, a destination wedding involves taking your entire wedding – guests included – to an exotic locale. It combines an amazing backdrop with a honeymoon and a great vacation for your guests.

Here are some tips to make your dream wedding a dream vacation for everyone.

Consider your budget

When money is no object, a destination wedding can take you to the farthest corners of the Earth. However, if you are restricted by budgetary considerations, that doesn’t mean a destination wedding is out of the question. Much like a trip to Las Vegas, many popular wedding destinations will give deep discounts knowing they will have a large portion of their rooms and services occupied.

Also, destination wedding etiquette states that whoever pays for the wedding also pays for all of the wedding party’s travel expenses. Make sure you take this into consideration when budgeting for a destination wedding.

Consider your guests’ budgets

It is not customary for whoever’s paying for the wedding to pay for any other guests to travel. Although many destination weddings only cost $500 to $1,200 for each guest, that can be a huge burden for some people. With this in mind, it’s a good idea either to inform your guests that “their presence is their present” for your special wedding. Remember to never hold hard feelings against people who just can’t make it to your event because they can’t afford to go.

Wait for a wedding reception

Knowing that some guests will not be able to attend a destination wedding, it’s a good idea to plan a reception for your return. This way, your special day can be celebrated by everyone. If you wish to have a wedding registry, this also gives your guests an opportunity to bring a gift without having to pack it on a vacation (especially with airport security rules).

Send out invitations early

Your guests – especially your wedding party – will need to know six months or more in advance to coordinate their schedules. “Save the Date” cards are a great way to get the word out. Instead of just a wedding date, make sure you give important information on these cards, including the travel agency contact information and reminders to have updated passports if necessary.

Use a reliable agency

Like the old saying goes: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure you use a trusted travel agency that specializes in destination weddings. Reputable companies will offer all-inclusive weddings with money-back guarantees. Check with your local chamber of commerce or Better Business Bureau to make sure the company you choose keeps its promises.

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