Guide to Planning Your Destination Wedding

Congratulations on your engagement! We know this must be an exciting time. There is a lot to do – from picking your attire to sending invitations – it surely can get overwhelming. But with these tips, you'll be a wedding planning expert in no time!

Set a Budget

A budget can determine a lot of the wedding decisions, so it's best to start here. Your wedding budget should account for all significant needs, from invitations to the reception. Plus, you will want to cushion your budget about 10 percent to ensure you have extra coverage for those unexpected costs or must have purchases. A small budget doesn't mean your dream wedding is unattainable. There is a lot you can do to stretch those dollars. Destination weddings are extremely popular for jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind experiences without the scary price tags.

Take Dreams Resorts & Spas for an example. With locations across Mexico and the Caribbean, beachfront, breathtaking ceremonies are a given. Couples can relax and let their on-site wedding coordinators handle all the details, eliminating stress before the big day. Dreams even has a complimentary wedding package, offering you and your beloved a free celebration for simply booking specific room categories.

Keeping the guest list exclusive? Consider an intimate wedding package – invite your closest friends and families and enjoy socially-distant setups, hand sanitizers and masks. Plus, Dreams' safety, cleanliness and security protocols are considered best-in-class, being backed by Cristal International Standards®.

Determine the Location

When planning a destination wedding, you want to take into account flights, guest costs and style to help determine the best location.

Flights: Nothing is worse than receiving more "regrets" than anticipated. One of the most common reasons guests decline a destination wedding is a flight. Take into account where the bulk of your guests are located and whether the flight options from that region are cost-effective and direct. It’s not likely guests will want to endure a 9-hour flight.

Guest Costs: Keep in mind that a guest typically will be spending more money going to a destination wedding than a local wedding. How can you support them without footing the bill? All-inclusive resorts are a great option – food, beverage, fun and accommodations all at one reasonable price. Plus, they often run great promotions.

Now Resorts & Spas, for example, is offering free stays for kids plus savings up to 40% off through March 22, 2021. Suddenly, your guests will see your wedding as an opportunity to celebrate and take the family on a fun and luxurious vacation without breaking the bank.

Style: Once you have a general idea of flights and guest costs, you can dig a little deeper into the destinations and align a wedding venue with your style. Maybe you want something near the mountains because you and your soon-to-be spouse are outdoor fanatics. Perhaps you want a romantic and tropical location that is for adults only. It's essential to establish your vision for the big day and picture a venue that reflects you as a couple.

Don't be shy to ask for help. Secrets Resorts & Spas offers a wedding chat specialist who can help narrow down options based on your style. Just share a few of your wedding goals, and they can match the right all-inclusive resort from their portfolio to your exact destination wedding need.

Use Your Resources

Destination weddings are different from hometown nuptials, so it's important to know what to expect. When reaching out to venues, it's essential to ask them about their process. We offer a handy wedding planning checklist to give couples a good idea of the timeline and key milestone in the planning process.

For example, most destination weddings are symbolic – meaning the couple marries legally at home, but the ceremony and reception are out-of-state. However, if you wish to marry legally in another country, there are requirements that need to be done ahead of time. The checklist suggests couples start preparing all legal wedding paperwork 6-11 months before the big day, so there is plenty of buffer.

Planning a destination wedding is not as complicated as you may think. Many venues offer plenty of tips and tools to streamline the path to your special day. With the resources above, and good friends and family there to support you, you will be a destination wedding planning guru in no time!

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