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Tips for bringing destination wedding plans to life

Last Updated on January 1, 2016

For a pair of globetrotters, destination weddings seem like the ultimate, dream – why wouldn’t you want to pledge your love for each other in the most romantic setting possible? When you really think about it, however, it can be extremely complicated to plan. From choosing a destination to the logistics of flying your non-traveler friends and family to attend, there are plenty of added stressors.

Only when you start planning your own destination wedding do you start to realize how hard wedding companies try to push the big sell. But no matter what, you can’t buy fun. With the right planning, the ceremony and celebrations will be a big hit with your guests.

Ask yourself, before you begin, what are your top priorities for the wedding? Start here, and work your way outwards.

Beach Wedding!

Beach Wedding! by Elizabeth Sullivan on

Cultivate Expectations

Don’t leave your guests in the dark. For many this will be a extraordinary event, and could even be their first trip abroad. Provide them with as much information as possible: the climate, terrain, and the dress code for the bash. No one is going to have fun if they feel trapped in the glaring sun or freezing cold or if they are over or under-dressed throughout the week. Ensure that your guests are prepared, so they remain comfortable.

Feed People

People become grumpy and dissatisfied when they haven’t been fed and watered. No matter where the destination, make sure to have familiar food on hand. Provide a refreshment stall near the ceremony and keep nibbles and drinks circulating. Allow people to discover the local cuisine, which can also serve as a conversation piece throughout the trip.

Table decorations, Wedding at Barefoot Resort

Table decorations, Wedding at Barefoot Resort via Ryan Smith on

Fun, Fun, Fun

You can’t please everyone. The best thing to do is to stick to your idea of fun and be creative. Have plenty of excursion ideas for your friends and family to visit the destination, but plan plenty for those who want to kick around closer to the hotel. To ensure that the adults have a good time, it’s a great idea to provide some entertainment activities to keep the kids busy as well.

Emotional Investment

Don’t let the destination overtake the wedding side of things. Make sure to tug on those heartstrings, focus on your marriage and the fact that so many friends and family gathered so far away to be together for such a special time. If your ceremony and celebration is touching, everyone will be on an emotional high.

Beach wedding

Beach wedding arch by Lindsay Clark on

In addition to taking a trip abroad, take a trip down memory lane. Although many of your relatives are well acquainted with your partner, they may not know a lot about him or her – or the other side of the family! Create ways for people on both sides to mingle, play games or go on excursions to get to know each other better.

Seating Arrangements

This can be a hair-pulling exercise: seating politics at your wedding venue. Don’t overthink it, but it’s worth a little delicate planning. Sit guests with friends and family that they know and like. This way, everyone is more likely to enjoy themselves. It’s nice to go half-and-half on each table, so the two families can meet. You can provide fun name badges with a little caption about their interests or peculiarities. It’s a great conversation-starter.


Beach-Wedding by Roger Bruce on