Five Things To Consider When Planning A Destination Wedding
What do you think of when you hear the words “destination wedding”? Are you automatically transported to a beach in Hawaii or an all-inclusive resort in Mexico? Those are definitely beautiful destination options to consider if you want you are willing to travel farther for your wedding weekend vacation, but those are not the only options. Simply put, a destination wedding is a wedding that takes place outside of the city or town that you currently live in.
Here in the Inland Northwest, our area has quickly become one of those destination areas seeing people from all over the country come to get married with our beautiful lake and lush forest backdrops. But we aren’t the only place in US that attracts couples from all over the country. If you are considering a destination wedding, here are 5 things to keep in mind as you move through your planning process.
1. Location Accessibility. By this I mean, how easy is it to get to the city or town where you want to have your nuptials? How close will it be to the nearest airport? Are there taxis, Ubers, Lyfts readily available? In order to best advise your guests on what is going to be available to them in the area, it is important to have all these details listed on your website.
2. Hotel Room Block. Keeping to a similar topic, if you are planning a destination wedding it is important to have at least one room block set up for your guests to easily book their stay. Ideally it is a hotel that is relatively close in proximity to your wedding venue. Again, very important that this information is listed on your website with a link or number to call.
3. Transportation. Do you have a vision for how your guests are going to make it from the hotel to your ceremony and reception venue(s)? With destination weddings, it can be extremely valuable for those out-of-towners to have pre-arranged transportation available to them. This removes a lot of stress for them, and for you as want all your guests to be able to show up in time for the start of the ceremony. If providing transportation is in your budget, that is a really good option. Whether it is a bus or another type of conveyance, it will be beneficial to have your guests RSVP whether they will be needing said transportation, to give you an idea of how big or how many buses will be necessary. Make sure to map out the travel route with the transportation company with plenty of lead time, especially if they will need to go between more than 1 destination.
4. Entertainment. Most of the time your guests are not going to come into town the same day as the wedding and leave the next morning. There will likely be 1-2 days where they will have some free time and would love ideas of things to do in the area. Sometimes this can be by way of a group event – like a welcome party. But this can also just be a list of fun things to do or see while they are visiting. Depending on the demographic of your guests, it can be beneficial to include ideas for families traveling with kiddos and things that are adult only.
5. Décor. As you shop (or Pinterest) ideas & items for your design plan, make sure you keep in mind that with a destination wedding, anything you have your heart set on for your big day you will either need to, 1. ship the item(s) to someone who already lives in that area or 2. you will need to travel with these things. If you are close enough & planning to drive to your destination usually this isn’t a huge concern, but if you are in a situation where you will be flying, make sure you take a little extra thought and preparation when searching for décor to buy. Anything you don’t plan to donate to one of your local vendors will also have to travel home with you.
Planning a wedding in a city/town that is new, or maybe has a special meaning to you and your future spouse can be super fun. But it can also require a bit more logistical planning than if you were preparing to get married in the city/town where you currently live. Beyond these 5 considerations, my number one piece of advice would be to hire a wedding planner local to your destination. They will be able to be your “feet on the ground” if you will. They will have much better knowledge about the vendors in the area, what timeline is going to work best, and if there are any little nuances that you may not be able to find on Google (i.e. the of day that is super windy no matter where you are, the venue that is very specific on certain policies, the area that are not going to have any cell phone reception, etc.). Don’t take this kind of expertise for granted!
If you found this article helpful and are planning to get married in the Inland Northwest, let’s chat! Head over to my services and/or contact pages to see how I can assist in your wedding planning process.