Are you currently planning for a destination wedding? We know just how complicated it is. For sure, you’re thinking about a mountain-high pile of stuff. There’s the language barrier, marriage requirements, and weather on your wedding day. Plus, your guests’ availability, vendors (source locally or bring along vendors from your hometown), and the costs of just getting there. Don’t stress out! We’ve answered five important destination wedding questions to help you plan your dream wedding.
1. What should we include in our destination wedding checklist?
Here are the items that you should include in your destination wedding checklist:
- Determine your budget. Aside from the usual wedding elements, you should include airfare, accommodations, and a budget for additional wedding events/activities.
- Decide on a destination/country to get married.
- Find out the marriage requirements of that country by visiting their official tourism website.
- Apply for passports and visas.
- Choose the date, bearing in mind the best time and season for that specific location.
- Book your wedding venue. Pay a deposit to secure your date and sign a contract. If you’re having your honeymoon in the same place, you better book your honeymoon suite too.
- Create your guest list.
- Hire a planner. It’s better to hire a local planner to help you with the vendors and your wedding day itinerary. Most of all, they know the language.
- Book a travel agent to help you and your guests get the best pricing for airfare and accommodations. They can also help negotiate with your venue for the best deal!
- Ask your venue if they have wedding insurance. If none, this is something to consider availing.
2. How far in advance should we book?
If you decide on a popular wedding destination spot, it’s wise to book 12-18 months in advance. You wouldn’t want to be left out blaming yourself for not booking sooner, especially if it’s a dream place. After booking your venue, it’s about time to inform your guests. The more time they have, the higher the chances of blocking their schedules, and the more they can save up!
3. What are the wedding requirements needed
First of all, if you’re not up to having a legal destination wedding, you won’t even have to worry about the wedding requirements of that country. Some couples have a simple city hall wedding in their hometown before their destination wedding. That’s one option for you if you want to make it easier. Otherwise, here are the typical wedding requirements of most countries:
- Eligibility to Marry with an apostille from the couple’s home country
- Certified Copies of Birth Certificates (some countries, such as Mexico, requires the Birth Certificates to be translated to their language)
- Certified Copies of Passports
- Copy of Tourist Card or Visa
- The age should be 18, but some countries allow marriage for couples under 18, with parents’ written consent.
- Proof of Divorce (if applicable)
- Certified Copy of Death Certificate (for widow or widower)
- Residency Period
- Blood Test
- Religious Requirements
4. Who pays for guests’ accommodation and transportation?
It’s traditional for wedding guests to cover their accommodation and transportation expenses. However, it’s a nice gesture to help them book airfare and hotel rooms. A travel agent can make it easier for everybody by organizing group reservations and maybe getting group discounts. Sometimes, there are family members or friends who you want to be there but cannot afford. You can pay for their transportation and accommodation expenses if they’re willing to. But do it in secret so that other guests won’t be jealous.
5. Should we hire local vendors or fly them in?
Well, you really don’t have to choose. There are vendors who you can hire locally for ease and convenience. At the same time, there are some vendors (whose work you love, like a wedding photographer you admire so much!) you can bring with you to your wedding location. Here are some examples:
Wedding Cake designer
Band/ Local Musicians
From Your Hometown: