With destination weddings becoming more and more of a popular choice, and my calendar chock full of some fabulous future spots- I thought today's Wedding Wednesday post would be great to share a few tips with my 2017 & 2018 couples!   Having been married at a destination myself ( Longboat Key, Florida ) - I feel like I have a few personal tips to share, and they come from a very special place in my heart!

1. Location, location, location.

So you and your fiancé are elbow deep in the threads of planning a wedding, and you've landed on the decision that you would like to get away?  AWESOME!   So how the heck do you go about picking the right place that fits your style?  Well, you can start by answering a few of these questions…

  • Are you adventurous?
  • Do you mind flying? 
  • Do you picture yourself saying vows barefoot on a beach?  
  • In the mountains? 
  • In the desert? 
  • In the woods?  
  • On a vineyard?

Picking something that you're both comfortable with is key.  There WILL be family and friends trying to talk you out of it, because of a plethora of reasons… but in the end, the ones who are important to you and truly want to be there will make it work!!!  (unless it's grammy/grandpa in which case, only you can make that decision!  But keep in mind sometimes they're more than happy to attend a local reception/small dinner/get together once you get back.)  

Just make sure to give everyone enough time to plan and save for it by sending out save the dates as soon as you can, at least 8 months prior to your wedding date.

2. Carry on, Carry on!

Make sure you and your wedding party pack your dresses and grooms attire in a carry on- they may be wrinkled but that’s definitely a way better option to getting lost, right?   Also, it’s important to tailor your attire to the destination.  Although a guy in a suit always looks sharp,  your groom sweating bullets as you walk down the aisle and all day long is a different story.   Choosing breathable fabrics is also something to consider for beach or warm weather weddings.  Same goes for the cold.  There are so many adorable options to keep warm as well!

3. Bring a photographer with you

I can’t stress this one enough. (hellerrrrr!)  The day you get married will be one of the most important days of your life.  The photos you receive will be all you have from that day, so it’s imperative to choose a photographer that you LOVE!  And no, that doesn’t mean just hiring a buddy with a  “nice camera.”  I can’t tell you how many inquiries I receive regularly to “fix” photos in photoshop from a bride who's friend did it for free to break into the industry.  Yikes.  Choose someone that is experienced and who you can communicate with long after the wedding.    Also think about this question:  Would you rather have a photographer that does the same job at the same resort every weekend? OR would you rather hire a photographer who owns his/her own business that’s going to bend over backwards to create the best photos humanly possible because they are ridiculously excited to be at a new, beautiful destination? ding ding ding!

4. All in the Details

When planning a destination from afar, you’re often required to pick out certain things online -like your bouquet, ceremony and reception decorations, cake,  chairs to be used etc.   Make SURE you don’t overlook this… what you see may not be what you are getting.  For example, if you order a bouquet, make sure you know how big it will be (seriously, size does matter) and what the exact colors are.  Same goes for decorations.  Sometimes these things are not included and you'll have to pay extra for them.  Get specific details in writing to ensure that you're not disappointed come the day of your wedding.  Also, the most important detail?  Make sure you check with local customs to see what the requirements are for a marriage license well into the beginning stages of planning.

5. Relax! 

No matter how hard we try, it is absolutely impossible to make everyone happy.  This day is really about you and the person you're about to marry.   If you spend your time making sure everyone else is happy, there’s a huge chance you won’t be.  Once you get to your spot, plan a day or 2 to give yourself enough time getting settled in.  Factor in finalizing the last of the details, getting acclimated to the weather, and having at least a day before the ceremony to relax.  And if you plan to be in the sun, make sure you use sunscreen!  (oompa loompa is never a good look, and orange isn't the new black)  That goes for your man, too.  Got a stubborn one?  Have your bridesmaids intervene with that SPF... how can a guy say no to pretty ladies insisting on slathering lotion on his nose and forehead? 

So good luck, happy planning, and if you want to check out of this winter momentarily, hop on over to glance at a few of my favorite destination spots, including my most recent with Stacey and Jim on the sunny shores of Jamaica HERE!