So you have decided to have a destination wedding. Congratulations !
We know what a hard decision it can be to choose a wedding location, especially when deciding weather to go abroad or stay close to home. So many things to consider.
When planning our wedding details we always become quit challenged by the many voices that seem to come peaking up out of nowhere. We know deep down that this day is all about us and we should be thinking about only what we desire, but that is a very hard thing to do as we are humans and we naturally want to please others. That’s a good thing, you should be proud you are the kind of person that worries about others. However sometimes it’s okay to look past that and realize this is a time that it really is all about YOU( and your other half).
We think that you made a good choice and support you in this decision so we have something for you:
Good news – majority of people that are attending a destination wedding are thrilled to explore a new ( or fav) location.
Better news – those that aren’t excited and decide not to attend (other than for medical or understandable reasons of course) would be a bummer anyway and maybe its better they will not be attending.
We are assuming there are one of three reasons that you chose the location you did for your special day:
- The destination of choice holds memory and sentiment to you.
- You want to get married in a hot, tropical destination or unique terroir where you can have not one day but at least one week of celebration and relaxation abroad.
- You are trying to get as far away from everyone and everything as possible ( mostly joking :))
Any of these three reasons, or any reason for that matter is a good one. Destination Weddings are an incredible way to get married, celebrate and create unique and magical memories for a lifetime to come.
Now that you have done the tough (or not so tough) part and decided to have a destination wedding and where that special destination is going to be, its game on and you start thinking “now what” !?!
Now the fun part begins, planning the wedding and creating a day that is a true version of you and your vision even when in a far away land. How do you do that you ask ?
Well, love bugs we are here to help you answer that question so you can enjoy every moment feeling relaxed and fulfilled.
Tips & Tricks to start planning for your destination wedding so you can relax and enjoy every moment:
1. Pick the Perfect Spot
Your wedding location determines not only the mood, but also the travel, time and budget required to pull it off. Your wedding elements — not just location, but also activities and overall vibe — should say something about your shared style and passions so that your guests head home from your wedding weekend saying, “That was so them!” Did the proposal happen on vacation in Paris?
Then why not host an intimate wedding in the City of Lights? Are you foodies? Think about gathering your crew in a place like Tuscany or California wine country. Was your first vacation somewhere tropical? Invite friends and family to a resort in Mexico, the Caribbean or Hawaii, and consider enlisting the help of a wedding planning service to help make your vision come to life.
2. Time It Right
When planning to head to your destination location factor in all elements like weather ( i.e. storm season) ,how busy that time of year is and what that means for cost for yourself and your guests and the overall availability of all things needed for your destination location.
In the Cayman Islands busy season runs from Christmas to Easter and the temperatures are most moderate, great time to come and celebrate however the prices do go up drastically. June-November are quieter times however consider the high heats in summer months and tropical storms in fall months.
We are here to help you find the perfect balance though as its always a good time to get married in the Caribbean.
3. Give Everyone a Heads-Up
It is a good idea to give your guest list plenty of notice so they can get the best deals on flights and accommodations before prices skyrocket as well as start saving. Send out save the dates at least eight months in advance, but don’t be upset if some of your closest friends or relatives don’t attend. While you are, in a sense, footing some of the food bills, their fees for travel, hotel and car rental can really add up. Although your wedding is a mini-vacation for you, it may not be the one they want to take. Don’t take it personally and remember you need to do what is best for you.
4. Research Local Marriage Requirements
Each country has different and unique requirements to get married. Some place it can involve a lengthy process and time. Make sure that you are fully aware of all the requirements and have provided yourself ample timing to bring it all together.
Cayman Marriage Requirements can be located here. We are always happy to say getting married in Cayman is made to be a stress free and easy process. If you need help in acquiring your marriage certificate you can always contact the local government or a local planner.
5. Get Help
If you’re hosting a wedding in a distant location, you will need to entrust at least part of the planning to someone else’s capable hands.Generally speaking, a local planner connected with your venue is your best bet. You want someone who can be your hands on the ground while you are unable to be in the location. In addition your local planner will be able to advice you best on the local venues and vendors that you are most suiting to your dreams and desires. Having that inside person who can deal with things on location is a blessing and a way to reduce a lot of wrinkle causing stress. And no one needs that right before there big moment.
6. Be Patient
Remember that many tropical islands run on “island time”—things happen when they happen so don’t always mistake a vendor’s laid-back attitude for incompetence. Avoid the temptation to micromanage from afar. Instead, schedule regular check-ins and then trust your vendors to work their magic. This is however another area where hiring a local planner can be of much value. It is nice to have someone who understands how the local vendors work and push them in just the right way if needed. The value of the behind the scenes of a planner 🙂
7. Make Guests Feel Welcome
It is so exciting to have your friends and family come with you on this journey. In order to make them feel as comfortable and happy as you are it is always nice to provide the with any information they may need about the destination. There are many to choose from including favs like Minted.
Creating a wedding website is a great way to do this. This allows a space to let people know – how to get to and from the airport, a list of nearby activities they can do on their own and an itinerary of the weekend’s events. Any special things they may need based on the location i.e.: sunscreen, bug spray, appropriate attire etc. Local tradition or unique things they may need to know ( ex. In Cayman no shops are open on Sundays).
You can find information on this to do around the island on our website if looking for suggestions.
It is also a nice touch to do some small welcome baskets with little items that your guests may need unexpectedly.
These are just a few of the basics to consider when getting married in a destination location.
The key is really to choose somewhere that is special to you for whatever reason and then to understand the location. If you know where you want to go and know what you need to get married there then the rest will come naturally.
Talk to local planners and vendors, find out what your options are and what others have to say, make sure that everything aligns with your overall vision and then share all the details with those closest to you as soon as possible. From there everything else will come together.
We truly feel there is a huge value no matter where you are to connect with a local planner or someone who can give you all the inside scoop.
Make sure when planning in small , busy locations to be decisive as things book up quickly and make sure you research who you are working with and the local weather and laws.
Don’t be to attached to the details but more to the whole experience that you desire. Sometimes with destination weddings you have to make compromise but as long as its true to the vibe your strive for as a whole and you are with the one you love it will be perfect.
If you have any questions about planning a destination wedding weather it be Cayman or another location please feel free to send us a note. We love to support all brides and will do anything we can for you to achieve what you need.
Reach out to planners , ask questions. You never know where you end up.
Until next time Love Bugs
Sending happy wedding planning vibes from our home to yours.
About the Author
Amanda Jane has been in the Wedding Industry for over 10 years and is an expert in creating events that are both memorable and magical. Amanda is a passionate lover of all things wedding, believer that every event no matter how big or small should be special and the little things really are the big things.