The World’s Top Places For Destination Weddings

Planning a wedding is hard enough in your own home town, but pulling off an event out of town is a true challenge. You barely know your own way around, and now you have dozens if not hundreds of people to account for. But the perks of a destination wedding (and planning one) truly outweigh the negative elements – you experience the romance and mystique of another location while having a wedding/honeymoon/getaway all at the same time.

Many couples choose certain locales because they cater specifically to destination weddings and hosting numerous guests; they are the places that everyone on your list wants to go to and may not have had a chance before, but now have an iron-clad reason to make the trek. Here are the most popular spots for destination weddings – as well as what you can do while you’re there! (Just remember to choose a locale that suits you both; if you love water, a beach wedding is best, but if you would rather have a more rustic affair, opt for the mountains!)

Five of the Best Destination Wedding Planning Picks

Italy: There’s nothing more romantic than Italian destination weddings. Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan – you name it; this is the ultimate getaway for many couples and their families. But going overseas also has a lot of challenges. As part of your destination wedding planning, you’ll have to ensure that all guests have or acquire a passport well in advance, and you’ll be responsible for finding suitable accommodations and transportation to and from the events. Your guests will want to do a little sightseeing while in town, so creating a list of places to visit and how to get there is a must. Fortunately, there are many destination wedding planning specialists who cater to foreign couples, so use their abilities fully. And the true perk of destination weddings: you can honeymoon right where you got married!
Hawaii: This tropical island is a mecca for couples who want a relaxed beach wedding with little fuss. And hundreds of thousands of couples flock here to celebrate their nuptials Hawaiian-style. Many airports in the U.S. have direct flights to Honolulu, but if you decide to get married on another island, your guests can easily catch a flight the same or next day, giving them time to explore. And whether you choose to have an impromptu, informal affair or a giant, tropical bash, there are many knowledgeable destination wedding planning companies that can help you decide where to have your event, what to serve, where to spend your honeymoon, and much more.
The Bahamas: One of the top destination wedding locations, the Bahamas truly evokes the Caribbean spirit in more ways than one. If all of your guests are U.S. citizens, then you’re in the clear (though, based on recent legislation, you are required to have a valid passport to enter). Citizens of other countries are advised to check entry requirements before booking tickets, and you can make it easier on your guests if they are flying from another country by verifying the requirements beforehand. Many couples choose to have their destination weddings take place among the centuries-old cathedrals or fortresses or at the famed city harbor in Nassau. And once the wedding is over, you and your guests can experience the best seafood, golfing, shopping, and casinos available!
Napa Valley: For couples who love wine and/or the idea of getting married in a vineyard, Napa Valley is a great choice for destination weddings. Proximity to the big city – San Francisco and all of its unique sights – and the pastoral beauty of countless vineyards lure thousands of couples here each year to tie the knot with the help of a destination wedding planning specialist. From Spring to Winter, the change in seasons provides a new and different look to the Napa Valley countryside. Some wineries even host on site and have event planners at your disposal who specialize in destination weddings! And what would be more fun than touring the Wine Country on The Napa Valley Wine Train for your honeymoon?
Lake Tahoe: For many years, the scenic charms of Lake Tahoe have routinely been voted one of the top spots for destination weddings. And it’s no wonder why this vibrant city appeals to so many different people. There’s biking, hiking, boating, camping, fishing, golfing, and skiing, all right there for you and your guests to enjoy. If you choose a wedding resort, which not only takes care of the accommodations for you and your guests, you’ll be provided with a dedicated destination wedding planning guide who will see to all of the details.
Destination Weddings: a Break from the Norm
Many couples think these weddings are an outrageous expenditure. While this belief is true in some instances, you’re actually saving yourself from many hassles. Wherever you choose to have your ceremony and reception, you’ll be matched with event planners skilled at making sure that the tiniest aspects of destination weddings flow smoothly. And, you’ll also have your honeymoon built in to the cost. The best part you ask?…experiencing a brand new place with your family, friends, and loved ones.

Cherie Johnson is the founder and owner of Creative Wedding Favors, the premier site for personalize

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Destination Weddings – The Secret to a Luxury Wedding on a Budget

Many couples dream of having a destination wedding. Whether it is a mountain top in New Zealand, a beach in Bermuda or a simple park at upstate New York, destination weddings do require a little more planning than “regular” weddings. In order to effectively plan and execute your dream destination wedding while staying within your budget and refusing to sacrifice quality, consider the following advice:

Destination Wedding Benefits

o The average wedding cost for most couples is approximately $50,000. Destination weddings held at a reasonable place (no private islands) typically cost between $15,000 and $20,000, depending on how many guests you invite! Having a destination wedding can help you have a luxury wedding on a budget.

o You get more “bang for your buck” since a destination wedding can serve as a fantasy getaway vacation for you and your guests! It makes the entire wedding experience that much more enjoyable.

Planning Your Destination Wedding

Is a Destination wedding right for you? Before launching your grand plan, consider if a destination wedding is right for you.

Choose the Perfect Destination
Imagine your wedding day; do you see you see it on a beach or a park? Is it warm or cold? Choosing the perfect destination can be a challenge, consider your budget as part of your decision making as well. Destination weddings are definitely within reach for those on a budget. The USD currency is strong against emerging market types in countries such as Mexico, Brazil and Chile, meaning the U.S. dollar is worth more in these countries. Consider having a destination wedding in one of these countries to take advantage of the exchange rate benefits. For example, $1 USD equals 13 pesos. Therefore, if flower arrangements cost 1000 pesos, you would only be spending about $77 USD.

Set the Date
Although most weddings take place in the summer months, destination weddings in tropical locations can be great during just about any month. Plus, booking a wedding “off season” may tremendously save on costs. Consider choosing a non-summer date that is also accessible for your friends and family. Once you set the date, make sure to give guests at least four to six months notice for the big day, so they can give proper notice to take off work or make other arrangements.

Make All Guest Arrangements
If you choose to have a destination wedding, it is up to you and your spouse-to-be to book flights and hotel accommodations for your guests. You must also decide whether it is in your budget to pay all expenses for your guests, or if they will pay the flight and hotel fees themselves. Have the funding to pay for your guests? Consider booking everything at once to get a group rate or discount. If you have a limited budget, consider giving guests a small token to show how much you appreciate their attendance, for example, your destination’s famous chocolates or delicious coffee. Also, have an itinerary of wedding events for each guest and suggest different sights to see or places to visit on their down time.

Seek Help, If Needed
A lot of brides who wish to have a destination wedding simply do not have the time to plan all of its details. Hiring a wedding consultant/coordinator may be the perfect remedy for a stress overload. He or she can research all aspects of the wedding and assist in the planning.

Use Local Vendors
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to get things from Point A to Point B, especially if Point B is halfway across the world. Use local florists, caterers, hairdressers, etc. to allow your big day to run much more smoothly.

Have a Back-Up Plan
As much as you want the sun shining and the birds chirping on your big day, you never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve. Therefore, always have a Plan B. Planning on getting married on a beach? Make sure there is an indoor venue nearby and book the space in case the weather does not cooperate.

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