When someone refers to a destination wedding, people usually picture a beach ceremony on the sand on some tropical island in a far-off land. Now, that certainly is what many brides and grooms have in mind, but a wedding in any foreign country is a destination. Perhaps one half of the couple has a connection to the nation where the celebration will be held, but even then you will have at least half of the guest list committing to heavy travel. When sweethearts decide to host their nuptials abroad, they should know that the rules are a little different from a hometown wedding.
To help, we have put together a list of what you must do if you decide to hold your celebration overseas.
- While you can forgo save the dates for a local affair, they are a must for destination weddings. They should be sent at least nine months in advance, but we recommend aiming for closer to a year before your date if possible.
- On a similar note, invitations should be sent at least three months in advance. Remember, travel will be more complicated for your guests to organize.
- Give a generous gift to your bridal party and help them out with accommodations and flights if possible. They’re likely spending much more than they did for other weddings they were in, or what you may have spent to be in their wedding.
- Check the laws of the country where you wish to host your nuptials. It may end up making more sense to have a simple courthouse ceremony before jetting off to your destination. That's what John Legend and Chrissy Teigen did before their Italian wedding!
- Look into selecting a package to ease the stress and complications of planning far from home.
- Definitely hire a coordinator, preferably either someone local or someone who has planned events in the region before.
- Check the weather patterns to figure out the best time of year for the wedding; remember – different parts of the world have different climates.
- Pay extra attention to your guests. There are probably fewer of them than if you had a hometown ceremony, you may have saved money on an overseas celebration, and your loved ones probably spent quite a bit to be there for your special day. They deserve to have a truly grand experience.
- Consider hosting a full wedding weekend to increase the party atmosphere with your loved ones.
- Spend your honeymoon near your destination, for a more relaxing travel experience and an immediate getaway.