After announcing an engagement, the first step of wedding planning is usually to figure out what type of event you want to have. For some, this is a hometown celebration with a large guest list, while others prefer to host intimate nuptials. If the latter describes you and your sweetheart, you may want to consider a destination wedding. For most affianced pairs, deciding on the location of their celebration is based on either of their hometowns or the city where they currently live, if that differs. On the other hand, deciding on a destination means the whole world is available for you to choose from. While this offers a lot of options, it can also be incredibly overwhelming. With so many stunning places to tie the knot, the idea of just picking one may feel impossible.
Here are some factors to keep in mind while selecting a location for your destination wedding:
- Safety. This could be in terms of a high crime rate, political turmoil, or risk of natural disaster. For example, you might want to avoid the Caribbean during hurricane season. If you or many of your guests are planning to start a family, staying away from areas with Zika outbreaks may be a higher priority.
- Guest list. Will kids be involved, or is it an adults-only affair? This could affect your choice of resorts. Or perhaps you will only have immediate family there, making a charming villa in Italy a feasible option.
- Logistics. Saying your “I dos” in another country can be legally complicated. Many couples, such as John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, have a basic courthouse wedding first, with the overseas ceremony serving symbolic or religious purposes. If that’s not your style, choosing a stateside destination, such as Hawaii, California, or Florida, may be a better option.
- Activities. Destination weddings usually feature multiple days of events, such as welcome parties and excursions. Many newlyweds also decide to have their honeymoon at the same place (or nearby) where they tied the knot. Keep in mind what kind of week you picture while searching for a location.