Deciding where to hold the most important day of your life is one of the most exciting aspects of wedding planning. Orlando destination wedding packages have become increasingly popular for many reasons, but perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of having your wedding in a remote location is that it’s more intimate.

Everything you need to know about smart destination wedding planning is outlined below:

  • Plan a destination trip:  Before you choose your wedding packages at your dream destination, it’s important to actually visit the location at least twice. The visits will allow time for you to secure important venues, such as hotels for your guests, ceremony and reception venues, and a rehearsal dinner venue if needed. It will also be a good time for you to meet with your wedding planner, source local wedding vendors including florists, caterers, photographers, and your destination DJ. You may also want to consider another trip to finalize details and contracts, or arrange for tastings with caterers.


  • Plan expenses carefully:  With the right planning, destination weddings don’t have to cost more than having your wedding reception right at home although of course this would depend on where you live. But even with thoughtful financial planning, it is necessary to set aside extra funds to accommodate expenses typically incurred in destination weddings such as the travel costs of your immediate family, accommodations, souvenirs for guests, and arranging activities for key invitees to your wedding.


  • Hire a wedding planner:  A wedding planner based on your destination of choice can dramatically reduce the stresses involved with planning a wedding in another city or country. They are already well connected and can help narrow down the professional vendors, from a wedding DJ, and other people who will help put your wedding together. Best of all, a planner already has good rates in their location and can provide you with good rates to help you save money.


  • Study the local marriage requirements:  Each city or county has its own corresponding laws for weddings and marriages. Invest time in researching these laws ahead of time so that you and your fiancé are prepared well in advance. Ask for help locally if you need it, but it’s necessary to be familiar with the documentation needed for marriage licenses, proof of immunization for travel, blood tests, witnesses, and more. Before you leave for your wedding, ensure that you and your fiancé are equipped to travel with everything that’s needed for your trip.


  • Help your guests:  While etiquette dictates that couples don’t necessarily have to pay for flights and accommodations of their guests in destination weddings, your guests will truly appreciate information that will help them plan their trip better. For example, listing low budget, mid-range, and luxury hotels that are located near your wedding venue will help guests narrow down choices based on their budget and preference. You can also save time around the wedding by inviting all your guests to a welcome lunch or dinner were your wedding planner can brief them with essential travel information.


  • Send invitations early:  Your guests will have to do a lot of planning from their end, such as securing vacation days from work, arrange for babysitting, look for good deals on airfare, and budgeting for your destination wedding. As soon as you have ironed out all the necessary details, send your invitations out as early as possible to give your guests enough leeway to take care of their responsibilities.


  • Pace yourself:  It’s almost too easy to get caught up with all the details during your destination wedding that you actually forget to spend time with those nearest and dearest to you. To avoid this, plan activities around your guests’ stay that will enable you to spend time with them before and/or after the wedding, while being mindful to give them enough time to explore the local area on their own and give yourself some time to rest as well.


  • Prepare backups:  Even if you are having your wedding in sunny Florida, don’t assume that nothing can go wrong with the weather. Mother Nature can be unpredictable, and hurricanes or rain can happen in the least expected moments. If you are having an outdoor wedding, make sure that you are prepared with emergency tents or canopies that can be used to protect your guests from the rain.


Engaging in a long-distance affair means that you have to be twice as organized as planning a wedding in your hometown. But by following these tips you can still have an unforgettable wedding that will have your guests talking about for months to come!


Cliff Bell – Director of Entertainment