Top 5 Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

Is a destination wedding calling your name?

Then you don't wanna miss these tips! We picked the brain of one of our fave destination wedding planners, Michelle Barrionuevo-Mazzini of MB Creative Co. She's got the inside scoop of the top 5 things you'll want to consider when planning your destination wedding.

A destination wedding ceremony arch on a beach

1. Select a destination that works for you—and your guests.

Picking the right location is critical. That private island in the South Pacific you fell in love with looks amazing in photos, but will your guests be able to get there? Before you select a place, take your guests' travel concerns into consideration: How long or complicated will the journey be? Are there any direct flights available to your desired location? If not, how many stops will be involved? And once guests arrive at your destination country, will they need to take an additional form of transportation to your wedding site, like a ferry or water taxi? If the trip to your wedding location is too long, too complicated, too stressful, or too expensive, your friends and family may be less likely to join you…and even if they do, they might be left with some less-than-wonderful memories.

A bride and groom lean against ruins in an exotic destination

2. Check out your wedding destination in advance.

Taking a scouting trip will give you peace of mind. While it is an added expense, visiting venues and meeting local vendors in person is much more likely to result in a wedding that fits your vision than making a decision based on images and info you found online. A scouting trip will also let you experience first hand what it's like to travel to your wedding site, and you'll be able to better decide whether it's something your nearest and dearest will be comfortable doing.

3. Engage the services of a travel agent.

A travel agent can be extremely helpful to those who need assistance with arranging travel to your wedding. Although many of your guests will be internet savvy and love booking a good travel deal online, not everyone has the ability and time to do it. A travel agent can minimize the number and length of stopovers that a guest has to experience when flying to your destination. Also, an agent who specializes in the location/area where you're hosting your wedding can often save you some money, as they may have partnerships with local hotels and tour operators that are willing to provide a group rate or other discount for your guests.

Newlyweds in front of the Eiffel Tower during their Paris destination wedding

4. Create a wedding website.

It will streamline communication with guests and reduce your stress. A wedding website that shares useful information (e.g where to go and how to get there, where to stay, what to wear and pack, etc.) makes life easier for everyone! This is also the perfect place to provide details regarding any pre- or post-wedding events, as well as suggestions for things to do locally before and after the Big Day. If you decide to recommend the services of a travel agent, include his/her information here along with any other travel tips. Your wedding website can also serve as a Save the Date if you're planning a wedding less than 6–8 months in advance and don't have time to mail out a formal save the date card.

5. Hire a wedding planner.

Hiring a planner who specializes in destination weddings can save you time, money and headaches. She or he will advise you on the requirements for getting married at your chosen location, offer guidelines for hiring vendors (local or not), help you negotiate a special room rate for your wedding guests, and more. If you're getting married in a country where English isn't the primary language, hiring a bilingual planner can facilitate the entire process.

Luggage tag favors for a destination wedding

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Tips for Planning Destination Weddings

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Some clients may have paid to be placed in our editorial and some of these links may be affiliate; however, we never include a venue, vendor, or product unless they have a proper place here. This is part of our Core Values. We create our website first and foremost to be good for the couples using it to plan their Big Day. We won't stray from that for a few advertising dollars. #scoutshonor