The newly engaged couple's guide to destination weddings

Congratulations, you're engaged! The first few weeks after taking this momentous step together tend to be filled with questions. "Do I book the venue before the dress?" "How do I compile the guest list?" "How much should I spend on flowers?" It's understandable that many brides and grooms don't know where to start. So, if you're considering a destination wedding but you're not sure where to start, read one. We've compiled a guide on how to kick-start that wedding planning for your dream day in paradise!

Jar of money with a label that says "Wedding"
Set your budget

The most important step in planning any wedding is setting a budget. Determining how much you’re willing to spend on your big day will help determine what destinations and resorts would be most suitable. Assess the amount you have set aside for the wedding, and if there are members of your family who will be contributing, discuss their contributions with them well and advance. It’s also good to discuss budgets with family and friends to get an idea of how much they’ll be willing to spend on travel.

Engagement ring sitting on top of a boarding pass
Research, research, research

The next step in planning your destination wedding is to do your research on potential destinations. Different destinations have different legal requirements– for example, in Mexico a blood test is required to be legally married and other destinations may require you be in the country for a specified amount of time before you can get married. Be sure to also pick a destination that reflects you as a couple or a place that is special to you both – perhaps somewhere you previously visited together!

Wedding ceremony on a lawn overlooking the ocean
Pick your place

Once you have narrowed down your dream destination, it’s time to pick your resort. We recommend reading through our blogs or searching Pinterest for various destination wedding spots, whether you’re looking for a family-friendly resort or an adults only oasis. Make sure to research what sort of wedding packages are offered by each resort – many resorts offer free wedding packages in addition to upgraded options with added benefits.

Wedding invitations and flowers Photo: Photography by Elvira
Save the date

We recommend picking your wedding date a minimum of eight to ten months in advance of the big day. This gives your friends and family enough time to book time off work, make childcare arrangements and so on. It also ensures your resort will have the space available for your group and that your preferred venue for your ceremony and reception is available. Also, the more flexible you are with your dates, the more affordable packages may be – especially if you get married in the off-season.

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