Destination wedding planning tips!

bionca-and-brandon-1

Credit: Small Miami Weddings

Our wedding is FINALLY happening…and it’s happening fast! Two weeks ago I moved countries, I move into my new apartment tomorrow, a month today we get married in Miami, and a few days after that we pick up our new puppy. Breathe.

Everything is a big adjustment at the moment and also a bit hectic. We’re having an intimate Miami wedding but just because it’s small doesn’t mean that it’s completely stress free. I still haven’t even confirmed our reception dinner or even started on the favours…

We wanted a destination wedding for many reasons, including keeping the ceremony intimate, treating ourselves to a lovely holiday and to save a bit of money. Our wedding has been a long time coming and we wanted to take this opportunity to share the ceremony with those closest to us.

 

Here are my tips for planning a destination wedding: 

  1. Choose a location that suits you – Don’t let family members try and pressure you into a location because they want an excuse to go on holiday there. If you and your fiancé have a connection to a certain place, then choose it. Those family and friends that care about you both will make the trip to be there if they care enough and of course finances permitting. We chose Miami over Orlando and my family are still going to pitstop in Orlando to do the theme parks for a couple of days.
  2. Make sure your trust your planner 100% – We were looking at two planner/ coordinators. One a beach wedding coordinator with a host of reviews and who has been featured on various wedding websites i.e. Style Me Pretty. And the other a planner with just a couple of reviews. The planner would have looked after everything from the ceremony to the reception, whereas the coordinator just handles the ceremony. In the end we went we the coordinator. It means more work for us but my nerves would have been fraught if I had of put my trust in someone that I wasn’t 100% about.
  3. Check the marriage license laws in the country/ state you choose – Some places require you to have been in the area for a certain amount of days before the wedding or for you to have blood tests. Make sure you know in advance. Thankfully our coordinator’s package includes licensing assistance.
  4. Stay organised/ Get a wedding checklist – Even though there are less people to think about with an intimate wedding there are still things to consider i.e. feeding them, sharing travel plans, favours etc. Wedding checklists are easily downloadable and can help you stay on track.
  5. If you are having an outdoor wedding make sure you have a back up plan – Don’t let your special day be rained out. Have an alternative that also works for you.
  6. Yelp is your friend – If you are planning an intimate dinner for your wedding reception like me then Yelp is a life saver. I can’t actually go to the restaurant before picking it so reading reviews from actual diners and seeing pictures of actual meals is very helpful.
  7. Make sure your outfit/ outfits suit the wedding location – I choose my dress before realising that we would have a beach ceremony. While my dress is perfect for the place where we will have our portrait session it’s not really a beach dress. It’s too late now and I’m in love with my dress anyway, however I’ve got myself a lighter second outfit that I’ll change into for the meal.
  8. Pinterest is your friend – Download the app for your tablet now. You won’t regret it. It’s so addictive and you will get some fantastic ideas!
  9. Choosing vendors: if they’re good, there will be reviews online – I can’t stress this enough. Unless you know the person i.e. a new photographer who has just graduated from uni and offers to photograph your wedding on the cheap, don’t go with someone if they can’t give you any reviews or recommendations for previous clients. It’s not worth the stress.

That’s it for now.

JG x

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