September 24, 2020

10 Tips for Planning a Perfect Destination Wedding

Kacey Bradley is back with another awesome guest post. Today she’s sharing 10 tips for planning a perfect destination wedding.

Every year, brides around the world dream of traveling to their destination wedding. It’s always exciting to see a new place with your significant other, especially if it’s because you’re celebrating your big day.

Although destination weddings are a romantic way to tie the knot, they require a bit of extra planning. It may surprise brides how much work goes into setting up a wedding in your dream location, but it’s all worth it in the end.

Check out these 10 tips for planning a perfect destination wedding, so everything falls into place. Once you know what to think about, your dream wedding will be right around the corner.

10 Tips for Planning a Perfect Destination Wedding 

1. Review Multiple Destinations

Couples who dream about having a destination wedding might have one particular location in mind, but don’t get stuck on one place. Review multiple destinations and research them as you go. Figure out which destinations have the resources you need, like various hotels, catering companies, and venues. Smaller, remote locations might look pretty in pictures, but you won’t enjoy them as much if they limit your options.

Renaissance garden at David Austin Roses in England. Film by Cavin Elizabeth on the Flutter Mag Retreat 

2. Work With Local Vendors

Once you’ve decided on a location or two, try to work with local vendors. You’ll save money when your supplies are just around the corner and don’t require a shipping fee.

Family style wedding reception dish: Musk melon and cucumber salad with tarragon and mint. Full Belly Farm reception by film photographer Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

3. Send Save the Dates Early

You usually want to send save-the-date cards six months before your wedding, but some of your guests may need more time to officially RSVP. It costs everyone more money to travel to and stay in a destination location, so send out save the dates even earlier to give everyone time to plan their finances.

Colorful save the dates and color palette, Custom Save the Date Cards Twinkle and Toast with white paper and grey text and a floral border with pink peach and yellow paired with yellow envelopes, Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

4. Consider Hiring a Planner

Wedding planners take away the stress of planning a wedding, so hire one if you can find room in your budget. They’ll know what to expect from your venue and caterers, especially if they live in the destination where your wedding will occur.

Dinner tablescape styled by Joy Proctor and Bows and Arrows Flowers. Blue chinoiserie tea cups, grey linen, taupe tall candles, and centerpieces with mauve, ivory, yellow, and green. Flutter Magazine Retreat in the Cotswolds at Norton Hall in Mickleton, England. Photo by Cavin Elizabeth Photography on film 

5. Travel There First

Before you lock down your venue, travel to your chosen destination. Seeing it in person may be a different experience than seeing it online. You might not enjoy it as much and end up changing your location.

Flutter Magazine Retreat in the Cotswolds at Norton Hall in Mickleton, England. Photo by Cavin Elizabeth Photography on film 

6. Provide Personalized Maps

If most of your guests haven’t been to your destination before, draw them personalized maps to make it easier for everyone to get around. It’s an easy way to welcome them to your wedding and communicate everything they need to know in their invitation.

Custom wedding weekend map of Palm Springs surrounded by cut fruit, pink champagne, and confetti pink chocolate. Pink box with white dots for wedding welcome gift for guests tied in a white ribbon with pink flamingos and another palm leaf print ribbon on marble surface. Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

7. Remember Your Dress

What is the typical weather at your destination? Remember your wedding dress, and consider different fabrics based on where you’ll get married. Light lace for a summer wedding and heavier white velvet for a winter wedding will make a considerable difference in how much you enjoy your big day.

Mikaella Bridal scoop neck wedding dress hanging from a tree on film. Full Belly Farm on Martha Stewart Weddings by Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

8. Plan a Bigger Budget

Traditional hometown weddings are easy to plan on a limited budget, but destination weddings cost a bit more. The travel alone could cost up to $4,000, not including the hotel stay or venue price tag. Do your research on traveling to your chosen destination to figure out how much travel will cost and if you can find a few discounts.

Black pink and gold wedding inspiration or rehearsal dinner inspiration, Cavin Elizabeth and Amorology 

9. Visit the U.S. Embassy

Plenty of brides dream of getting married outside the U.S., but you still need to legalize your marriage back home. Save yourself some time by visiting the U.S. embassy at your wedding location to sign the required paperwork, so your marriage is legal when you get back from your honeymoon.


10. Arrive a Few Days Early

It might be tempting to get to your wedding destination the day before the ceremony, but it’s better to arrive a few days early. Coordinate your arrival with your friends and family, so they get there ahead of time too. It’s fun to experience a mini-vacation just before your wedding, especially when it happens with those closest to you.

Bride and groom walking down a tree grove road with mountains in the background. Full Belly Farm Wedding on Martha Stewart Weddings by Cavin Elizabeth Photography&nbsp

About the Author

Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more!

Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!