A destination wedding is a wedding like no other! Not only do you have the wedding day itself but you have the surrounding days of the nuptials and the excitement of the trip for both you and your guests! It’s an exciting and memorable experience for all and the lead-up to your big day should be both exciting and fun. Planning a destination wedding generally takes a little longer than planning a wedding at home, however, if you’re organised and have the right advice it can be a stress-free and wonderful experience. We’ve hosted plenty of beautiful weddings here at Château Saint Georges, and you could say we’re now experts in the wedding planning process. Considering the important details and choosing the right options for the location and weather is a must. Here are our 10 expert tips when planning a destination wedding.
Consider The Ease of Travel
One of the first things to think about when choosing your wedding venue is how easy it is to get to! A great way to do this is to think about the guest(s) that are travelling the furthest and then the guest(s) that are travelling the least. How do they get to your venue? How many modes of transport do they have to use from home to location? What length of time will it take them? The easier the travel to the venue the better for you and your guests!
Give Your Guests Plenty of Notice
The more notice the better! Once you’ve secured your venue and worked out the skeletal details then it’s time to tell your guests. The more notice you give them, the more likely they are to be able to come. We would advise giving 18 months’ notice (if possible) and at the very least 12 months’ notice. Unlike an at-home wedding guests are unlikely to be able to come to your wedding for just one day so giving them notice will mean they can plan for a few days out of their schedule. Be at ease with the fact that everyone you would like may not be able to attend for various reasons. Weddings abroad can be expensive and you have the added cost of flights and accommodation too, or some of your guests may not be as mobile as others and/or be able to get the time off work.
Give Accommodation Options
Whilst wedding day etiquette doesn’t require you to pay for your guest’s accommodation the more you can help with this the better! If you need more accommodation than your venue can host then speak to local hotels to see if you can get a block booking discount. It’s useful and thoughtful to also have a selection of hotels and accommodations that will suit a range of budgets.
See more about wedding day etiquette here >> ADVICE AND ETIQUETTE FOR PLANNING YOUR DESTINATION WEDDING
Think About Your Wedding Day LOOKS
Whether you are used to a hot climate or not, your wedding day looks need to be considered. If you are planning on staying in the same outfit all day then it needs to be something that suits the weather conditions of your chosen location. This goes for any hair and makeup too! If it’s going to be hot on your wedding day then consider having a dress with fewer layers or choosing a lighter-weight suit, Speak to your hair and makeup artist about choices to complete your look too!
Check The Legalities
The legalities are one of the most important parts of course! It’s not always possible to get married legally in your chosen destination, so check the legal requirements of your country and make sure it’s from an official site. Lots of our couples choose to do the legal bit before their wedding day in their own country and then have a wedding blessing by a celebrant here at the Château. This can make your day super personalised and unique to you and is a beautiful way to share your love with your family and friends.
Prepare For the Hot Weather
There are lots of things to consider when it comes to the hot weather for you and your guests. Making sure you keep everyone cool with mouth-watering treats, lots of water, fans and shaded areas is a must. Here at Château Saint Georges, we are used to the heat and we will always advise our couples on the best ways to keep their guests cool.
You can see more ways to prepare for hot weather here >> 7 TIPS FOR HOT WEATHER AT YOUR SUMMER DESTINATION WEDDING
Consider Your Timings and locations
We advise our couples to choose a later time to get married in the height of summer. This makes it slightly cooler for guests and can help with other areas of the wedding day too. Always explore the different locations where you can host the different parts of your wedding day. Think about where you want to host each part and whether it’s suitable, speak with your venue about this as they will know best! For most destination wedding venues there will be some form of air conditioning if the weather gets too hot, but bear in mind that for this to work the doors have to be closed. For example at the Château most of our couples want the doors open to enjoy the sunshine throughout the day, however, in the evening, they want a cooler reception venue. For the AC to work correctly this means the doors need to be closed and it can take a while for it to work so make sure you bear this in mind when you’re planning your timings for the day.
Choose An Appropriate Wedding Cake
You may not be able to have a fully iced or buttercream cake if you want to display or cut your cake in sunlight hours. Speak with your supplier about options for this and if you choose a traditional wedding cake then think about where you can place it inside to keep it cool and melt-free! Embracing the local cuisine and cake traditions of the location is a lovely nod to the culture of your destination wedding venue.
Communicate Effectively with your venue
Communication is key when you are planning anything! So make sure you work with your venue and listen to your venue about timings and locations. Consider their recommended suppliers too. If these people have worked at the venue before they will know what works and what doesn’t work and their experience may be key to creating your dream wedding vision.
Plan Your Luggage
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Planning your luggage is a must! Your most essential items and the things you need for your actual wedding day should be with you at all times ie; packed in your hand luggage, and remind your guests to do the same! When it comes to your wedding day outfits ask your bridal boutique to fold it for you and put it in your case. Please make sure you check with your venue that they have a steamer so you can sort out any creases when you arrive at your destination. If you are travelling as a group and have too much hand luggage you can ask friends and family to take some items for you too!