Planning the Perfect Destination Wedding

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Planning the Perfect Destination Wedding

By Carrie K., Travel Specialist

Here are seven important things to know about planning the perfect destination wedding, if you value your sanity.

1. Forewarn your friends

Tell your bridal party about the destination before you ask them to stand by your side so that they can gracefully decline if finances are tight. Don’t be upset if some of your closest friends or relatives don’t attend.

2. Research local marriage requirements

The legal side of tying the knot in a different country can be complicated. Many countries have a “residency requirement” (for example, 24 hours in Turks and Caicos and 7 days in England).

3. Time it right

If you choose to marry during high season, you’ll want to reserve hotel blocks and venues immediately. You'll also want to send out save-the-dates 10 to 12 months in advance so guests can book their flights and accommodations before prices skyrocket.

4. Pick a great spot

The location of your wedding determines not only the mood (rustic, sophisticated, beachy), but also the travel, time and budget required to pull it off. You want your guests to walk away from your wedding weekend saying, “That was so them!”

5. Don’t stress out

Wedding planners say destination weddings are less stressful than traditional hometown hooplas, since many of the details are simply out of the couple’s control.

6. Go with the flow

Like all nuptials, destination weddings often hit snags along the way. These sticking points can be compounded thanks to language barriers, currency exchange issues and general unfamiliarity with the area and its residents. When problems arise, take a deep breath, evaluate the issue and correct the problem with help from the bridal party or other guests.

7. Consult with a travel agent

Control freaks, beware: If you’re planning to host a destination wedding, you’ll need to entrust at least part of the planning to your travel agent.

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