Some couples may find the idea of a destination wedding intimidating, but it is a great option for those of you who want to think of your wedding as a vacation. A Destination wedding can also be a lifesaver if you are looking to keep your big day on the smaller side. When I first got engaged, my fiancée and I began to tally up our friends and family. We had both grown up in and around New York City and the majority of our friends and family lived in the area. If we were to host the event on our home turf we could not find a way to get the guest list below 200 – even if we were to heartlessly hack away at the list. It quickly became apparent that we could not afford to have the wedding we wanted anywhere near home.
Then, from the most unexpected place imaginable (my soon-to-be mother-in-law!) came the level-headed suggestion that we move the party down South to New Orleans, a city we love dearly. A destination wedding would allow us to cut list down dramatically since we knew many of our guests couldn’t make the trip. People also tend to be more understanding of not being included in a destination wedding as opposed to one right down the street.
Ideally you should pick a destination that has great meaning to you (as music and food lovers, New Orleans fit the bill for us). When in doubt, if no particular place is jumping out at you, consider the beach. There is something undeniably romantic about saying “I do” while standing in the sand with the ocean in front of you. If the beach isn’t for you, head for the country. Maybe a certain vacation spot from your childhood still has a special place in your heart – this could be perfect location to tie the knot.
A common misconception about planning a destination wedding is the idea that you surrender control when you plan from a distance. The truth of the matter is that long-distance planning is easier than ever these days thanks to the web. You may not be able to smell the florist’s flowers through the computer but you can still make informed decisions when hiring wedding vendors thanks to websites like GigMasters and OneWed.com. Between the two sites you can find your wedding band, DJ, dress, officiant, limo, photographer, flowers and more. Detailed photos, videos, client reviews and other feedback tools make the process easy and stress-free – at least as stress-free as anything wedding related can be.
If you are hesitant to do all the planning for your destination wedding from a distance then you can always take a quick trip to your chosen location. It can help to check in on things first hand and you can treat the trip like a working vacation. Just be sure to make time between meetings, fittings and site visits for a little down time at the beach, spa or, in my case, the jazz clubs on Frenchman Street.