If you are an OG around here, you know July is love month on the blog. It’s love month for many reasons but the main one is it’s the month I tied the knot. I share everything related to love, marriage, wedding planning, etc. during this time. And even though July is a few months away, I am still going to share a wedding-related blog post because I recently had a lovely bride-to-be ask for advice on planning for a destination wedding. And I figured, why not share my response with you as well…
Here are my top tips on planning for a destination wedding:
- Create the guest list – the total number of guests will drive all of the decisions.
- Visit the desired destination, especially if you have never been to that specific location.
- Research the destination and get familiar with local events, religious holidays, etc. Be mindful of limited resources if you decide to get married near a big event, holiday, etc.
- Research the weather. Unless you love the rain…ok, you know where this is going.
- Tour several venues to ensure you know exactly what you’re paying for.
- Meet and interview 2 – 4 vendors for each wedding category. (This, of course, means you’ve already vetted the vendors over the phone. Don’t waste precious time.)
- Schedule vendor appointments ahead of time. Meet with each one at a local coffee shop (or your hotel) to be efficient with your time. (Remember you want to hang out by the beach and have a little fun!)
- Create a backup list of vendors in case it doesn’t work out with the ones you selected. Trust me when I say this…we almost didn’t have a destination wedding.
- Hire a wedding coordinator (if you find a wedding planner you love, and the budget allows it, go for it). I actually wrote an entire blog post dedicated to this topic here.
- Consider paying for hair and makeup trial sessions. It’s worth the money. Don’t wait to be surprised by their work on the day of.
- Create a booklet/guide for your photographer with pictures and names of the people you want him/her to capture on the day of. (Seems obvious to know who’s who but with a big ass family like mine….ya never truly know!)
- Create a timeline of events for all of the wedding-related festivities: rehearsal dinner, wedding, etc. This will help keep everyone on check and (hopefully) avoid answering the same question(s).
- Encourage everyone to take screenshots of the documents provided (signal or wifi may not always be available).
- Assign at least one main point of contact you (and your partner) trust, with their permission of course, and ask the guests to contact them for any questions or concerns. This is in case you don’t have signal, wifi connection, or simply unavailable to answer your phone.
- Create a schedule for the big day and add notes of certain things that need to occur. For example, move the party inside at 8 p.m. due to community policy. It is critical for the vendors to have this schedule and stick to it. Trust me, you’ll lose track of time. Everyone will lose track of time, especially with an open bar. Just saying.
- Create a guide for your guests listing favorite restaurants, things to do, safety tips, etc.
- Arrive a few days before the big day to meet with vendors one last time.
- Stick to your guns and stick to your guest list. You’ll be surprised how many people will actually go to your destination wedding. (That’s right, don’t wing it and think it’s okay to invite more people than you should.)
- Marry wherever the hell you want to marry, whether it’s on the beach, or at a church, do what makes YOU (and your partner) happy. Everyone thought we were having the ceremony on the beach but we felt strong about marrying at the local church. The venue and the church were a few minutes from each other so we booked transportation for the guests and a limo for the bridal party. Easy peasy.
- Last but not least, ignore the gossip. People are going to be hurt they are unable to go or were not invited…oh well. Life goes on.
For additional blog posts related to wedding planning or marriage –> Start on the Homepage, click on Home, hover over Lifestyle, and click on either/or Married Life or Wedding Stuff.
If you are getting married in beautiful Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S., feel free to reach out for our vendor list and more details. I would be more than happy to share!