Saturday, December 4, 2010

Planning a Destination Wedding

Whether you've dreamed of a wedding in a small church in Georgia, or on an exotic resort in the Mexican Rivera, making your fantasy destination wedding a reality isn't as difficult or as expensive as you might think. More couples are heading to exotic locales to say, "I do." What is causing this massive exodus?

It's intimate.
Couple's today are much more mobile than they were in the past, so they're likely to have friends and family scattered across the country. With the average wedding lasting only four hours, how can a bride and groom spend time with everyone? Having a destination wedding is like taking a mini-vacation with your closest family and friends; instead of one fleeting night, you have several relaxed days to enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest.

It's easy.
 The thought of spending the day before the wedding relaxing on the beach instead of running hundreds of errands has caused more than one bride to choose a destination wedding. Brides worry about the difficulties of planning a wedding from thousands of miles away, but the truth is, destination weddings are often far less work than traditional weddings.

It's often less expensive.
Add up the travel, the dress, the reception bill, and you may be surprised to find out that destination weddings are often less expensive than traditional weddings. This is because they generally involve many fewer guests, and resorts and hotels offer all-inclusive deals. For couples looking to create a really memorable occasion without breaking the bank, destination weddings are a perfect option.

Remember Plan, Plan, Plan

Your Budget
Do you want an elaborate bash with all your friends, or would you prefer a more intimate affair with only close friends and immediate family. The size of your guest list will determine the size of your budget.

Your Guest List
At every wedding, there's usually someone who has traveled some distance to be a part of the festivities. At a destination wedding, nearly everyone travels, including the bride and groom. That being the case, it's best to accept the fact that your wedding may not be large. After all, not everyone can afford the expenditures of hotel and airfare. But that doesn't mean you should count on guests declining your invitation. Some wedding destinations, particularly fabulous vacation areas, are just too tempting to resist -- even if they are expensive.

Give Your Guests A Heads Up
It's important to give your guests as much advance notice about your wedding as possible. That means sending out save-the-date cards a minimum of five months in advance so your guests can make the necessary travel and vacation arrangements. Reserve a block of rooms at two hotels in different price ranges, and direct all your invitees to your Wedding Website, where you can post all your wedding details and out-of-town guest Information. If your wedding is in another country, consider reserving a block of seats with an airline. Many carriers offer discounts to passengers with groups over ten.

Details, Details
 If you are getting married in another state or country, you will need a local marriage license, and possibly a passport. The passport is simple; just be sure to apply well in advance of your wedding date. Getting the marriage license can be slightly trickier, especially in a foreign country. Contact the local city hall (if you don't speak their language, get an interpreter!) and get permission to be married in the location. Some places require blood tests, immunization certificates, or doctor's certificates in order for you to legally marry. No matter where you are getting married, it is best to find out as much as possible in advance. There may be unexpected requirements, such as an established residency, a waiting period, or a certain number of witnesses. For more information about the specifics of getting married in different countries, visit the US State Department at


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