Many weddings start from a daydream imagined years ago. It might have been giggled about in the upstairs attic of the bride’s childhood home, or even just begun when the bride met her groom. Either way, the wedding has to start somewhere and who said that dream wedding couldn’t also be a dream vacation?
Destination weddings often scare couples away with all the never-ending questions, hoops to jump through, and unpredictable events, but we are here to tell you that there is no need to worry (you can spend that time worrying about where to seat Uncle Jack)!
The main challenge for destination weddings is timing. If you are planning your dream wedding far from home, remember the motto, “The earlier, the better.” This will prevent any day-of mishaps and unneeded stress. Casa Romantica frequently books destination weddings and we have learned that booking your venue, lodging, vendors, and activities as soon as possible is key to a smooth planning process. Checking things off the list now allows room for leeway later if there are any last minute problems that need fixing.
Couples can do most of their research from home, but not necessarily ALL of it. If you can plan a trip out to your venue before the wedding, you definitely should. When we book weddings at Casa Romantica, we want to make sure our couples fall in love with the property almost as much as they fell in love with each other — and you simply cannot get the full experience until you are actually standing on our grounds. During that trip, it is helpful to visit your vendors as well and plan any food tastings or rental showroom visits.
When you don’t live nearby, you have to account for lodging expenses for you and your guests. If you do not know your destination well, we suggest checking with your venue to see if they have recommendations or relationships with nearby hotels. Asking your venue questions about the surrounding area may also help you stay within budget, because they often have exclusive deals with local lodging or activities providers.
Keep your guests in mind at all times. At most destination weddings, the guest list is restricted to a small group of friends and family who have taken time off work or other responsibilities to travel with you on your special day. Brides and grooms beware — this list is not 100% guaranteed to stay small! Remember that a vacation will always sound fun to your guests and this may lead to having way more RSVPs than you anticipated.
Once you achieve the guest list you want, it’s time to start planning for them. It is hospitable to plan activities just for them throughout your wedding weekend. Whether it is scheduling daily sightseeing field trips for your guests to learn about the destination or creating the perfect welcome basket, your guests will love it when you go above and beyond for them.
“Keeping them happy” does not have to break the bank either. With the right planning, a destination wedding can cost even less than one in your hometown. The place where most couples go wrong is trying to bring all of the trendiest vendors they’ve found in their hometown to their wedding destination — this can be both difficult and costly. We suggest taking advantage of your location as much as possible. Trust the natives! Every place has local gems which communities are proud to recommend. Choose food that is known in your particular destination. It will not only taste amazing, but also save money.
Another great way to incorporate your guests is through décor. Past Casa Romantica couples have used the traveling theme to their advantage by giving their dining tables a name of a place rather than just a number. The table names can include all of the places your guests have travelled from to get to your special day.
These are just a few of the tips and tricks we have learned along the way. We hope they help to keep your anxiety at ease and inspire creativity. We know how difficult it is to even begin thinking of where to start, but we are here to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to helping you plan your dream destination wedding!