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7 Simple Steps to Start Planning Your Destination Wedding

7 Simple Steps to Start Planning Your Destination Wedding
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Is destination wedding planning getting you worried? Here are 7 simple steps to help you start planning your destination wedding.

Saying the vows at the ceremony

Destination wedding is an increasingly popular choice with many couples.

Having your wedding celebrations in a different location than your hometown can present additional logistical challenges.

But the wedding of your dreams may not be as difficult to organize as you might think.

Destination weddings are becoming more popular and affordable, especially if you chose an all-inclusive resort.

Your package may include a wedding coordinator, a fabulous reception venue, and all-inclusive packages for your guests.

These numerous benefits of destination weddings can simplify the wedding preparation process. With a clear vision, a set destination wedding budget, and assistance from a wedding planner, you can accomplish all of your wedding goals.

1. Determine Your Budget  

Resorts that offer all-inclusive affordable wedding packages will quote you the base price at first. Always search the Internet for better deals so you have some reliable information to negotiate with. Most often the wedding planning services are also a part of the package. Once you connect with your wedding planner the upsell begins. There will be an entire catalog of personalized upgrades offered to you to add a personal touch to any of their destination wedding packages. Make sure that you clearly understand what is included in the basic quote.

The good news is that most offers will include a wedding cake, an open bar, and food costs. It may also include a sound system, possibly the rehearsal dinner, and flowers. Discuss all details with your destination wedding specialist.

Stick to Your Plan

Be clear that yours is a budget wedding, and do not get carried away with unnecessary upgrades. Inform yourself beforehand what is the average cost of a wedding at your selected location. Ask about the size of your party included in the offered package and if there is an additional cost for each additional guest.

 Don’t be afraid to ask about the little details as well, such as will be decorations used for the wedding ceremony be transferred to your private reception, or if is there an experienced staff person who can help you with freshening up your wedding dress once you unpack it from your garment bag.

Do they offer free spa treatments for the bride? Feel free to ask if the resort offers free anniversary nights. Arm yourself with a list of questions. This will help you to make sure that your dream wedding will stay on your pre-determined budget.

Do not forget to include a wedding dress and a wedding suit cost into your budget.

Cake topper of bride and groom with coins tacked up

2. Destination Wedding Guest List

A destination wedding is a great option not only to include your immediate family but also your second cousins and close friends.

Not only will they be a part of your big day, but also enjoy a fabulous vacation.

Determine how many people you want to invite and consider the cost of travel and accommodations for each person.

A spreadsheet is a great tool to keep track of guests’ confirmation, travel arrangements, and room reservations. A personalized wedding website is a great hub to share all relevant information and also prevents your guest from asking the same questions. We have included a registry page as well; in case our guests are considering a wedding gift.

Think of the best ways of communication while your guests are at the destination. Will you have several wedding groups? Can you use one of the free apps to communicate? Could you ask your best friend to help monitor the communications as you focus on your wedding date?

Greenhouse wedding table

3. Book Your Travel and Accommodations

In our case, we have arranged with the reservation office directly at the resort and chose one designated person to handle all our reservations.

Our guests can use a credit card to directly book their room at Riviera Maya.

We are also negotiating a group flight booking with an airline that offers chartered flights to our preferred beach destinations. This will reduce the travel cost for our friends and offer perks to the happy couple. It will also allow us to arrange for group transportation from the airport to our beach wedding.

Many resorts will allow you to make the initial booking via their website. Once you fill out the standard form, the resort’s wedding planner should contact you within a couple of days. You can, alternatively, use a travel agent, but you may not get the best deal, as they do work on commission.

Bride's shoes and wedding bands with flowers

4. Send Out Invitations Early

Once you have a wedding contract in place, your dates are confirmed, the block of rooms reserved, and your flights negotiated, it is time to send out the invitations.

It is perfectly acceptable to send an e-mail invitation. This will significantly reduce your cost, as custom design, printing, and postage can run into hundreds of dollars.

The easiest way to create them is to set up a free Canva account. You will love this intuitive graphic design platform.

Let your guests know all the important details, such as the date, location, and any travel and accommodation information they need. Include all the above information on your website. It is a great way for your guests to read up about your wedding destination, travel costs, and your dream resort.

Do this at least 12 months in advance as most of your wedding guests will need to arrange for time off work. (This is also a good time to set up your wedding registry). Clarify the payment options as well. More about your wedding website in a later post.

Wedding invitation and rings

5. Plan Events at Your Destination Wedding

This includes your ceremony, may it be a traditional, non-traditional, or symbolic wedding ceremony, it is best if you know exactly what you want and create a timeline.

Similarly, plan out your reception, and any other events you want to have during your trip. Ask the resort to provide you with an event space, should you choose to organize a welcome party, or cocktail hour, craft your wedding favors, or place cards.

There should be no issue with a complimentary room that will offer a laid-back atmosphere for your family members to participate in these activities without adding to the cost of your wedding.

The resort offers a choice of three free excursions to our guests. We will determine the perfect place to bring our wedding guests, based on their interests and ages.

Additional Perks of a Destination Wedding

There are additional entertainment venues, such as a cabaret show. If you would like to participate in regular resort entertainment activities. Inform your wedding planner so they can reserve the appropriate number of seats to accommodate all your interested guests.

Also politely inform your guest that the night before your wedding day should be an early one, so everyone is in the best shape to enjoy your special day.

Make sure that all your guests know how to access medical help while at the resort. We are preparing a small informational card for your guests listing all the necessary information. Add it to the welcome gift, as they arrive at the resort.

Don’t forget to set aside some quiet time to talk about, and most importantly to write your wedding vows.

Bride and groom kissing

Each destination has different requirements for getting married. Make sure you understand what you need to do to legally wed. This goes without saying.

You and your fiancé need to satisfy the legal requirements stipulated by your place of residence.

You may opt for a courthouse or city hall nuptials, it may not be your ideal place, but a necessary legal requirement. Make sure that you bring your document to your dream destination wedding.

7. Do Not Forget to Have Fun

Planning a destination wedding can be stressful but try to enjoy the experience and make it a memorable trip for you and your guests.

Take in the breathtaking scenery of your chosen destination, the white sand beaches, fabulous food, and the amenities of your chosen dream resort. Enjoy the company of your family and closest friends. Make it fun. Ask people for help.

Our resort offers concierge services, which will allow us to assign staff members to our family and friends.

A destination wedding is not only about great deals, inclusive wedding venues, awesome wedding locations, the best resorts, and how much money you can save.

At the end of the day, it is foremost about making the dreams of each member of the wedding couple a reality, about creating the best wedding, where the only regret is that you and your wedding guests need to catch a plane.

Bride and groom hugging, hands forming a heart


As you start planning your destination wedding do your homework. Compare the services offered by these all-inclusive resorts, and don’t forget to negotiate based on the number of guests.

Ask for additional options that might not be listed on the standard wedding contract.

This is your day, and it should be all that you and your fiancé had dreamed of.