So it is official… you and your significant other have decided to take your relationship to the next level…MARRIAGE! And your big day is looming over the horizon.
You want it to be the MOST MEMORABLE experience of your life. Not only for the two of you, but for your family, friends, and loved ones as well.
What better way to do this than to have a ‘DESTINATION WEDDING”. Celebrating weddings at an exotic destination is a fun way to create those fantastic memories which you both will cherish eternally.
So just dive in to know how to plan an utterly memorable event.
But first the basics…
What exactly is a destination wedding?
Simply put, a destination wedding is one where you have all your wedding ceremonies at a location that is relatively far away from where you, your spouse-to-be, and your respective families reside.
Picture SHARING THRILLS in an exotic location instead of BORING BANTER (er well, maybe not boring) at a large gathering, where undoubtedly one-half of the guests are not well acquainted with the other half!
The location itself puts a completely different spin on the situation.
Think ROMANCE, think CRAZY FUN, think EXOTIC…there, you got it!
The aim here is to have an action-packed, exciting, and memorable experience that the WHOLE wedding party enjoys and cherishes for (hopefully) the rest of their lives!
So, why should you plan on having a destination wedding?
Here I would like to point out that you will be a small close-knit group consisting of the wedding couple, your immediate families, friends, and closest acquaintances going to the destination carefully chosen by you.
(Ofcourse, you could surely go with a higher group count if your budget permits, AND if you want to include more folks in your ‘unconventional’ wedding).
Now, compare this with the cost of having a much MUCH larger gathering.
Easy to execute (really!)
Just follow all the steps in the destination wedding planning guide given below, and you should be able to do it…easy peasy!
The lower head count is a MAJOR advantage. Plus, the fact that they are all very close members of the family or your dearest friends, means there’s less formality.
Everyone’s focused on just having a blast! And no one is going to stress about doing things ‘perfectly’. You will be able to let your hair down and enjoy as much as everyone else.
You will be able to customize the details of your wedding to suit a family theme or the wedding couple’s expectations from life.
You could also adapt your theme to suit your (and your partner’s) own value systems. I know of a couple who organized a “zero-wastage-wedding” in order to show their concern for the environment!
The theme of your wedding could be fun n frolic…or it could be adding value to society or anything else that you and your partner truly believe in. I bet, you will never ever forget how great you felt while living true to your values on your wedding day!
Check out this basic destination wedding planner guide
Hey, maybe you and your partner should do this together. Well, here goes…
Step 1 – Put down a basic budget
Do this in terms of minimum and maximum amounts you would like to spend.
Step 2 – Draw up a guest list
Initially, you may want to stick to the ‘must-haves’ …the list of your closest folks who you absolutely want to include. You could always increase the number of people you want to include, later.
Step 3 – Scout for locations
Aah, NOW we’re talking! Think creatively. Initially, let your imagination run wild.
A beach? A mountain top with a stunning view? A paradise island?
A religious location (for the more religious-minded)?
Or, how about ancient castles or palaces?
And how about one of the ‘Wonders of the world’?
A theme park? Awesome gardens? Bird paradise parks?
Err, casinos (you guys could gamble your hearts out, heh heh)
DO I see you rubbing your palms together in glee?
Go ahead, put down AS MANY TYPES OF LOCATIONS as possible.
Consider locations within your country as well as abroad. And I hope you’ll keep in mind any constraints, if any, of your wedding party too.
Step 4 – Decide on the ceremonies or events you would like to have
For the most part, the location you choose would have an influence on the choice of the ceremonies you could have – or vice versa!
Also remember, the number of ceremonies will decide the duration of your stay.
Step 5 – Make a cost spreadsheet
Here is where you will start to weed out the more unfavorable options.
You need to make a per person and total cost. Do include travel, stay, food, cost of the venue for various ceremonies, and miscellaneous costs.
Do keep a buffer for each option.
At this stage, also frankly consider what costs you could pass on to the members of the entourage. Be reasonable about your decisions and, if possible, take their opinions into account.
Step 6 – Adjust your plans
Feel free to add or subtract people, events, ceremonies, duration, and so on, to stay close to your budget.
Finalize your preferred options as well as one or two backup options.
Step 7 – Start the implementation
Check the availability of locations, accommodations, flight tickets, and their costs. If possible, you could push around the dates a little bit.
Do ask your accommodation owners whether they also provide assistance in organizing the functions that you wish to have (and re-input the costs for the same in your own cost planner)
So there you have it – the basic steps to plan your destination wedding. Sounds easy enough right?
But hey, listen up
You might also decide that you need a professional wedding planner to take care of the entire process for you.
Perhaps you are too busy with other commitments (like your job, or certain pressing family issues).
Or, you might be overwhelmed by the whole process.
Or, you might just want to ensure it is all done extremely professionally.
In that case, you could simply outsource the job to a wedding planner.
A wedding planner will definitely involve you in every single step of the process to ensure that you and your entourage get EXACTLY what you want.
Some benefits of hiring a wedding planner
You save your precious time
You get valuable advice
You are able to control your budget more effectively
You get the benefit of their experience
Someone will be responsible for maintaining timelines
There is no confusion on ‘who handles what’
Most importantly, there is someone to take care of last-minute glitches, so you end up being calm and looking happy and fresh on your BIG DAY!
How much does a wedding planner cost
Wedding planners usually charge either on a fixed amount basis or as a percentage of your wedding budget (say, for example, 10 percent of your budget).
Also, it would depend on the extent to which you will utilize their services. Usually, they offer three levels of services – consultation, planning, and implementation in increasing order of cost.
So, go ahead and turn your dreams into reality. You have my best wishes for a successful planning and impeccable implementation of your dream destination wedding. And yes, wishing you and your partner a fantastic life together!!!