Destination Weddings 101
What’s not to love about a destination wedding? Here’s how to combine your dream vacation spot with your “I Dos.”
Take a vacation from wedding planning—seriously—by arranging to say your “I dos” far from home in a destination wedding. Part holiday, part nuptials, exchanging your vows at a faraway locale with guests isn’t as expensive or difficult as you may think. Read on to find out everything you ever wanted to know about planning a long-distance event.
Set Your Site High
Location, location, location is everything when you’re having a destination wedding. Consider it the most important question when you’re asking all your guests to hop on a plane to see you get hitched. Sometimes, this is easy. You may be returning to the beach where he proposed or the mountains where you first skied together. (Marry anywhere more than 100 miles from home and you’re having a “destination wedding.”)
But more often, couples aim to marry at an exotic locale they’ve always dreamed of visiting. In this scenario, it is crucial to do your research. Most important: find out how much paperwork you’ll need to marry legitimately as a visitor. A general overview is laid out by the U.S. Department of State but you’ll have to investigate the rules for each country on your list of possibilities. Some are more complicated. Italy, for example, requires visitors to send paperwork translated into the native language. Other places, like Mexico, requires visitors to show “pre-marital health certificates” from a physician in Mexico before marrying. But other places, like the Cayman Islands, make it simple. They have no requirements beyond what you’d need to bring to your local City Hall.
Visit Your Location
If you were to marry at your local five-star hotel, you’d visit your location site at least once before the Big Day. For the same reason, before you commit to a particular country and its property, make sure to visit.
Meet the on-site coordinator, go through all the wedding details from food to flowers, visit the rooms your guests will be set up in and even track exactly how long it takes to get from the airport to your property. Those roads to the most blissful remote locations are often the bumpiest.