1-Give yourself time!
Nothing is more stressful than doing things last minute. VIP Vacations suggests that 12-18months in advance is best to begin the process of finding the perfect destination and getting prices.
Save the dates can be sent once everything is set and this also allows your guests to save money. VIP sends our wedding couples a detailed calendar that has “to do” lists and time frames of what should be taken care of at a specific time prior to the wedding. Many resorts book up early and the most coveted times/dates are often snatched up a year in advance. I find that the happiest wedding couples got the date they wanted early, received an early saver group rate on their hotel rooms and gave their guests plenty of notice so many of them could attend.
2-Enlist the help of a destination wedding travel agent
One of the key reasons VIP has such rave reviews from our wedding clients is because we are truly here to help relieve stress and guide you through the whole process. Having been a destination wedding bride, I can relate to what my couples are going through and give them REAL expectations so their hopes do not turn into disappointments. For the past 15 years, I have been planning and assisting couples in planning destination weddings and though some things have changed, the basic questions are still the same. I also think that finding an agent who is enthusiastic about weddings is key! I am very passionate about weddings that passion continually drives me to look at the new trends, visit the new resorts and keep up to date on everything wedding related! If you are currently looking for an experienced destination wedding agent, make sure you look at their qualifications, reviews and testimonials from other wedding couples.
3-Prepare a back-up plan for bad weather
Getting married in paradise doesn’t always mean that mother nature will be on your side. Having a backup plan just in case bad weather strolls in, simply makes the planning easier. Sudden surprises and rush decisions are never a good thing where weddings are concerned! Before you commit to a specific resort or even destination, check the weather forecasts for the predicted amount of rainfall during the month you are traveling and ask the resort if there is a backup location. Resorts often photographs of their inside location that they can send you so you can prepare a plan B! I also love the website weathertrends360.com which is a techie version of the Father’s Almanac.
4-Know the legalities and deadlines for paperwork
It is easy to get wrapped up in the wedding planning and forget the deadlines for completing the wedding paperwork. Many destinations have fees if you turn these papers in late and sadly some destinations do not allow paperwork after a certain time prior to arrival. If you are planning a legal wedding, it is best to start getting all of your legal paperwork and documents together so you are not rushing around or spending more money to get documentation expedited.
5-Remember your guests
The best destination weddings usually result in happy people sharing fabulous memories. If you keep your guests in mind and plan meeting times, excursions, and group activities, then you not only share memories together but you are also considered a gracious hostess! Welcome bags, welcome letters and being aware of food allergies is another way you can make your guests feel special.