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Destination Wedding Tips

Planning a destination wedding? You've got plenty of company! One in every 10 weddings is now a destination wedding where the bride and the groom travel to say "I Do" making it one of the hottest trends since the white wedding gown.

Topping the list of favorite destinations for weddings:

  • Las Vegas
  • Hawaii
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Jamaica
  • The Bahamas
  • Mexico 

Your destination wedding can take place across town in a gazebo at a public park or a short drive to a heart shaped hot tub in the Pocono Mountains. Feeling adventurous? Tie the knot on a baseball diamond, roller coaster, hot air balloon ride or set sail on cruise ship catering to couples getting married or renewing vows. Looking for exotic locations? Try a sandy beach in Hawaii, a mountain top on a Caribbean island or a castle in Europe.

A destination wedding is perfect if you want to escape the expense and stress of planning a traditional wedding with a long guest list for the ceremony and large reception.

Tying the knot for a second or third time or renewing your vows? Destination weddings work wonders because the attention stays more on the marriage and less on the endless details of a traditional wedding.

Plan Ahead

Popular places for destinations weddings book a year or more - even ones the ones close to home!

Check with local authorities in the U.S. and the consulate and embassies abroad to find out if you need a simple reservation or a formal permit for the location where you will hold your destination wedding.

Verify the marriage requirements of your destination. They vary from state to state and country to country. Your checklist should include:

  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • proof neither bride nor groom is married
  • blood test
  • residency requirement - can be days or weeks
  • documents translated to native language
  • fees for document needed to get married

Las Vegas, the wedding capital of the world with over 110,000 marriages every year, you're lucky. There are no blood tests and no waiting period required. Best yet, the Marriage License Bureau is open from 8 am to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 24 hours a day Friday and Saturday!

Location, location, location

The location you select will ultimately determine if you have an itsy bitsy simple ceremony for two or an elaborate wedding with a long guest list.

Select a destination wedding closer to where you live and work and more guests will find the time and money to come. The further you travel, the shorter the wedding guest list is likely to get.

A luxury tropical resort in the South Pacific is paradise but you must consider if everyone you love can afford to get there? Even if they afford the travel, can they physically make the trip and once there can your family and friends walk on a sandy beach or climb a staircase.

So stop to consider what is more important to you: where you tie the knot or who is there to witness your ceremony.

Looking for privacy? You won't be happy at unrestricted destinations like a public beach - no matter how beautiful it is - if you can't control who gets to be there when you say, "I Do".

Tying the knot outdoors? You never know whether or not Mother Nature will cooperate. Don't count on the weather being perfect - anywhere in the world. Wise brides and grooms have a backup plan to move indoors or arrange for a tent or other suitable shelter.

Your Destination Wedding Dress

Allow plenty of time to select the right wedding gown or wedding dress for your unique destination. To avoid stress, you want to be sure to take it with you before you leave home rather than try to find a wedding dress once you arrive!

Destination wedding dresses tend to be less formal than traditional wedding gowns. Many brides opt for more informal wedding dresses that are shorter with sweep trains or no trains. Many prefer soft colors, such as blue and lilac, over the traditional white wedding dress or ivory wedding dress.

A long cathedral train is beautiful coming down the aisle of a church, but you'll struggle trying to drag across a sandy beach. Plus it's impossible to pack. And you could go broke getting it pressed once you get to your destination.

Softer fabrics that are easy to pack such as chiffon and crepe work well for destination wedding dresses. Consider whether the wind will blow a veil in your face. You might prefer a tiara or wreath of flowers instead.

Remember, if you're having bridesmaids in your ceremony consider they too will want a dress that resists wrinkling. 

Fashion Tip: select a wedding hair style that suits your style dress and a hair do you can do alone with a professional. It's not always easy to get a hair dresses or stylist for a destination wedding!

Questions? Contact us.