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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. Unfortunately, the best weather in popular vacation destinations tends to correlate with tourist season, when there are typically more crowds, fewer hotel and venue availabilities, and higher rates all around.
If you opt for the shoulder season, you may be able to save yourself and your guests some money and still enjoy great weather. 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. Although your wedding is a mini-vacation for you, it may not be the one they want to take! We seriously can't recommend this enough: Take at least one planning trip and if you can swing it, two or three is ideal.
What to Know When Planning a Destination Wedding
On the first trip, you'll need to scout and secure your key venues—ceremony and reception spaces, hotels for guests, a rehearsal dinner venue—and local suppliers such as caterers, florists and photographers. After you've made your selections perhaps during a second trip , you may want to schedule "tastings" with your caterer, see sample bouquets from the florist, plan a hair and makeup session with a local salon, and organize activities golf, tennis, walking tours, museums for your guests.
If done right, a destination wedding can cost no more—and maybe even less—than hosting the same party at home depending on where you live, of course. For example, if you live in a US metropolitan city where event facilities are in high demand, like New York City, then holding your wedding in Mexico will likely be less expensive than doing it at home, even when you factor in airfare, hotel expenses and planning trips. The legal side of tying the knot in a different country can be complicated. Many countries have a "residency requirement" for example, 24 hours in Turks and Caicos and 7 days in England , which means you must reside in the country for a certain length of time before your ceremony.
How to Plan A Destination Wedding: 11 Tips to Consider
Although this is usually just a few days, it can be longer. France, for example, requires you to arrive at least 40 days before you marry! If it's next to impossible to do it at your chosen destination and have it legally recognized, consider making it official by government standards before you travel.
That way your wedding day will be in front of your guests, but there's no doubt it's the real deal. Control freaks, beware: If you're hosting a wedding in a distant locale, you will need to entrust at least part of the planning to someone else's capable hands. By Helen Pye. Is your heart set on walking down a white-sand aisle and exchanging vows with the love of your life against a backdrop of dazzling azure waters? Sandals Resorts can make this and more a reality for you at one of its idyllic Caribbean destinations in Saint Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica, Antigua, the Bahamas or Grenada.
- Avenging Dragon;
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- 10 Tips for Planning your Destination Wedding?
- All-Inclusive Resort Wedding Packages.
Do you want an intimate celebration on the beach? What about a stunning over-water chapel? Or all your friends and family at a party in lush tropical gardens? Now for the fun bit!
Before your meeting with a wedding planner, check out the wedding styler tool at sandals.
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