Getting Hitched Without a Hitch: Tips for Destination Weddings

Maybe it’s the romance or adventure of getting married in a far off place, but there’s a certain attraction to destination weddings. However, when you don’t live in the area where you’re getting married, things can get tricky fast. Here are our tips on getting hitched without a hitch when having a destination wedding.

Photo courtesy of JonMonFish Imagery

1. Research your dates.
Depending on the location, different times of year can mean a drastically different wedding. Be sure to research rates and availabilities for your chosen venue. For example, “tourist season” is in the summer for Navarre Beach, so a crisp fall wedding might save you money while still allowing you and guests to enjoy the weather.On a side note, make sure you plan your destination wedding and invite guests well in advance; Guests may need to save for travel expenses and adjust work schedules. Without enough notice, you may lose out on having all the guests you want in attendance.

2. Get a (good) wedding planner.
Granted, a wedding planner isn’t a necessity, but a good one will make a destination wedding much easier to plan. An on-site destination planner will be familiar with local vendors and can give you insider tips on the best places to work with. Plus, they can be your boots on the ground to scout and even negotiate with locations. That means you can rest easy knowing your wedding will be just as you imagined it.

3. Visit in advance.
It is always advisable to visit your destination at least once before the wedding. A picture may say a thousand words, but there’s nothing quite like seeing something in person. What might look like a cute barn in a website photo might be quite rundown in person. Or, what may seem like an unassuming beach could actually have spectacular views. Seeing something with your own eyes can make all the difference.Plus, visiting a destination is the perfect opportunity to meet your vendors. Everyone loves food and cake tastings, and just because it’s a destination wedding doesn’t mean you should miss out! Meeting vendors beforehand can help eliminate any personality clashes that might prove disastrous come wedding day.

4. Be inspired by your destination.
There’s a reason that you choose your destination for your wedding, so don’t try to fight with the atmosphere and environment. For example, if you’re having a beach wedding in Navarre Beach, consider using shells and airy details in your décor. Woodsy weddings like at Coldwater Gardens should embrace charming rustic touches like local flowers and wood elements.The same goes for the menu. It’ll be more economical and sustainable to use local foods and caterers, and you’ll give your guests a taste of why you love this destination enough to get married there!Lastly, make sure you (and your wedding party) are dressing for the locale. You don’t want everyone to be sweating in all their pictures because you asked for the groomsmen to wear wool suits on the beach, right? Again, you’ve chosen this destination for a reason, so embrace it and match your vision to the environment around you.

Photo courtesy of alenabakutis

5. Research local marriage requirements.
Marriage laws differ from country to country, and in America they can even differ from state to state. Be sure to check with the local government of your wedding destination to what is required of you and your spouse to be lawfully wed.Check out what is required to get a marriage license in Navarre Beach here: Santa Rosa Clerk

6. Save money in your budget for unexpected expenses.
This is just solid advice for anyone getting married. You never know when an unexpected expense will pop up. Maybe your parents forgot to tell you Aunt Irma and her three sons will be there. Maybe you lose your hairpin the day before and need a replacement. Whatever it may be, it doesn’t need to turn into a crisis. With a little extra planning and monetary padding, you can keep cruising blissfully towards your nuptials.
7. Relax, it’s your day.
There will be a lot going on, and not everything will go exactly as planned. That’s just the nature of life. But what you’ll remember most is marrying your soul mate, and no matter what other tips we give, the most important one we can give is to just enjoy your happily ever after.