Planning Your Destination Wedding: A Checklist

Feb 5, 2018 2 min read

Shortly after your relationship status changes from “in a relationship” to “engaged,” the wedding planning fun begins. You know weddings take planning, but where do you start? For many, it begins with choosing the location or destination. There are many factors to consider when you begin to plan your destination wedding, our guide walks you through the basics.

Tips for Planning your Destination Wedding:

Start Saving Now

The happiest day of your life may come with a hefty price tag. It’s a good idea to start saving as early as possible. You may think a destination wedding will be less expensive than if you had a larger wedding back home, but keep in mind airfare, hotel/resort accommodations and various expenses can add up fast. According to The Knot 2016 survey, the average cost of an international destination wedding was $25,800. And the average cost of a domestic destination wedding was a bit higher at $27,840. These estimates reflect the cost of the wedding, but you’ll also need to factor in the cost of your travel. You’ll want to decide if you’ll be covering any or all of your guests’ expenses, which could add to this price tag.

Choosing the Perfect Destination Wedding Location

Whether you’ve dreamed about where you’d tie the knot since you were 10, or you’ve done numerous Google and Pinterest searches, choosing that perfect destination is a big decision. Popular destination wedding locations often include sandy beaches, sunshine, warm weather and all-inclusive resorts. Or you might consider a spot more meaningful to you, like a family cabin or a destination you and your significant other have traveled to before. No matter the destination, be sure it’ll be memorable.

Weather or climate may also play a significant role in picking a destination. For tropical destinations, research when the rainy or hurricane season begins and ends. The overall climate will impact your wedding attire, a full ball gown and three piece suits might make you sweat if your ceremony is on a beach under the hot sun.

Give Your Guests a Heads Up

Destination weddings not only take planning on your part, but your guests may need extra time to save up enough cash for travel, lodging and food. The advance notice gives them time to request time off work and make arrangements for children who may not make the trip.

Consider Hiring Help

Destination wedding planner: You might have a smaller guest list for your destination wedding, but there are still many parts to your wedding to plan. Hiring a wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings or a planner located in your destination of choice is a good idea. Because you’re not on-site to find vendors and ensure every detail is just right, a wedding planner can tackle the research and details.

Travel agent: Because weddings can become stressful quickly, sharing some of the planning responsibilities can take away some of the stress. A travel agent can help coordinate travel for both you and your guests — handling bookings, flight changes and cancellations.

Vet Vendors

If you’re planning your wedding from afar, this is especially important. If you can’t meet the vendors in person, do your research. Read as many reviews as you can online. If you’re planning to bring vendors like a photographer, videographer and hair/make up stylists with you, keep in mind you’ll likely need to cover their airfare, food and hotel accommodations.

Know the Legal Requirements

Before you hit the skies or set sail, look into any local marriage requirements for international destinations. Some countries have specific requirements you must meet (residency, paperwork, etc.) before you can officially say “I do.” For instance, Turks and Caicos require visitors and tourists are in the country for 48 hours before submitting an application.

Get Your Paperwork in Order

If you’re planning to travel to another country, be sure your passport won’t expire soon. If you need to obtain or renew a passport be sure to start the process early. The passport processing time can vary, but you’ll want to allow yourself extra time to receive your passport.

Start Thinking About the Future

Your big day takes a lot of planning, and so does preparing for your future together. After you’ve said “I do,” connect with your local Farm Bureau agent to ensure your forever is protected. Your local Farm Bureau agent can help walk you through our life, auto and home coverages.  

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.