Research your chosen location thoroughly
Find out everything there is to know about your destination wedding location including the general laws and regulations as well as how marriage licenses are processed. Make sure you are set on the location before you inform any guests.
Tell your guests on your Save the Dates that there’ll be travel
This is useful for two reasons: firstly, you can gauge an idea of your guest numbers straight away before you even begin planning. Secondly you are giving your guests a heads-up that there will be travel expenses involved well before your invites are sent out giving them time to plan leave and save for the trip.
Don’t be offended if guests say ‘no’
It’s important to remember that while you are stoked at the idea of going away for your wedding doesn’t mean all of your guests will be and its certainly nothing to do with you or your partner. Some people may not have the money to travel or may not have any annual leave accumulated at work or they could have a fear of flying. These are just a few reasons why they might say no and have no reflection on you or your marriage.
Book accommodation for you and your guests through a travel agent
Once you have an idea of how many guests are interested in attending you can send a shout out and see if they would like to be included in a group rate on travel. All larger travel agencies have a corporate department that deal with group bookings of 10 or more travellers. With a group booking comes group rates on flights, accommodation, airport transfers and even tours. You will find a lot of your nervous travellers will opt to join the group booking to take the hassle out of preparing to travel.
Find a venue that has ceremony and reception facilities
This is helpful for two reasons: firstly, you save money on transportation for guests between the ceremony and reception locations and if you choose a venue that is close to the accommodation booked, then guests could even walk. Secondly, you often save money when you book a venue for both the ceremony and reception and they often have cocktail hour packages for guests while you’re having photographs taken.
Research what flowers are in season
It can be very expensive to have your floral designer ship in flowers that are out of season. If you create a mood board of bouquets that you like and share this with your floral designer, they will be able to use local seasonal flowers that compliment your style without the added cost of internationally shipping the flowers.
Research some tours and activities for your guests
Remember that your guests have paid to travel to your destination wedding location so make it worth their while. Provide them with some tour information and a list of activities that they might be interested in partaking in. Include the list in with your wedding invitation.
Compile a list of entry requirements for your guests
When it comes time to send out the invitations to your guests make sure you include a list of the documentation that they will need to enter the country. Certain countries have visa requirements that need to be applied for before the date of travel. If there are specific entry requirements include detailed instructions for your guests. Also be aware some guests might not have a passport if one is required and may need assistance in applying for one.
Consider the best way to transport the wedding day gear
Once you have everything booked you need to think about how you will ship the wedding day gear. You can have the gear couriered over in advance but it’s very pricey and you have to be aware not all hotels hold luggage for more than 3-4 days before you are scheduled to check in. The other option is to carry it with you in your luggage. The dresses will need to be checked in as carry-on luggage, but the remainder of the gear needs to be packed into suitcases so make sure you keep in mind your baggage allowance given by your airline.
Enjoy your honeymoon
Remember that you have brought your guests along to celebrate with you but make sure you book a few days of seclusion after your wedding day to just be together!