Tips for planning a destination wedding

Destination weddings can be an incredible and unforgettable experience for couples and their guests. As the world becomes more accessible and affordable, more and more people are choosing to get married somewhere beautiful, exotic and memorable. Organizing a destination wedding, while easy to imagine, comes with its own set of challenges. Luckily, Reddit is full of tips for planning an epic destination wedding.

Save money on a destination wedding

One of the main reasons people consider having a destination wedding is to save money. In the United States, venue, accommodation, and food costs can be exorbitant, making weddings cheaper in more affordable countries. A Reddit user shares some details about his upcoming wedding in Mexico, with just 20 guests, which brings us to the next Reddit-approved tip.

The smaller the destination wedding, the better. Reddit user u/trolllante shares his destination wedding experience. While the costs were low and the experience was fun, people weren’t showing up for the wedding. It’s a very real possibility, so the bride and groom should manage their expectations. It’s better to invite a few close guests and make sure they attend than to plan a big wedding and find that most people couldn’t make it.

Invite fewer people

Having an intimate wedding in an affordable country will save the bride and groom a lot of money and make it an exciting experience. u/shpdawg14 had a great destination wedding experience in Costa Rica. He recommends looking for all-inclusive resorts, as they can be cheap and versatile.

Choose a safe and appropriate resort for attending guests. If, for example, the wedding involves adult activities such as casinos, heavy drinking, or cultural tourism, choosing an adults-only resort might be a good idea to avoid boring the younger ones.

Saving money on a wedding abroad should not come at the expense of preventing loved ones from attending. There are two main considerations: make sure important guests can afford to attend, and try to schedule the wedding at a time when most guests are free from work-related obligations.

Related: Wedding Traditions Around the World: Here’s How Each Country Differs

Think of the guests

u/nygirl454 shares a positive experience from a destination wedding in Bali, Indonesia. Note that to make it a good experience, the bride and groom paid for three days of Airbnb accommodation for all guests. It’s the least we can do, especially if customers have to miss work and buy plane tickets. Three days seems like a good time frame, as it covers the wedding days plus a few extras. Most people who travel the world for a wedding probably have the time to do so, so might as well make it a vacation.

Couples considering an exotic wedding should only do so if they are okay with some guests not coming. They should also be aware that having a destination wedding will make guests feel like their presence is less important than the location of the couple’s wedding. To avoid sending the wrong message, couples must offer the maximum of their means in order to facilitate the travels of their guests. This means providing a minimum of accommodation and food, and even plane tickets if clients need them.

This raises another point. If the destination wedding is too far away, be sure to plan the date during a common vacation period. It’s much easier to fly somewhere exotic on a holiday, long weekend, or annual break. Keep in mind that some holidays are traditionally spent with family, so avoid times like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Use group discounts

Airline tickets can cost a lot more during the holidays, so be sure to let customers know well in advance and provide resources to book the flight, ideally with a travel agent who offers group discounts . u/ujaeke4 points out how smart it can be to choose the wedding destination based on available flight deals. Several Reddit users use Scott’s Cheap Flights to book flights for their guests.

Destination weddings don’t have to be far

Sometimes destination weddings don’t have to be halfway around the world. Somewhere raw and remote in a US national park will feel like an exotic jungle in Thailand. Consider choosing a destination wedding closer to home. It will still require a smaller guest list, but the costs will be cheaper and the photos just as good.

Make sure the trip is worth it for your guests

u/lmaliw reflects on his travels in Croatia. The lesson here is to choose an inexpensive, yet accessible destination. If most of the couple’s guests are scattered across Europe, it’s best to settle somewhere where everyone can meet without needing a visa. Ideally, make sure the intermediate destination is affordable and offers activities and attractions for visitors. After all, if the guests go out of their way to attend the wedding, there should be enough to do outside of the wedding to make the trip worthwhile.

u/srd1017 echoes the sentiment above by emphasizing the importance of choosing a wedding destination with plenty of non-wedding related activities.

Related: 20 Awkward Things People Do At Destination Weddings

In conclusion, Reddit offers a pretty comprehensive guide to planning a wonderful destination wedding. Keep in mind that some guests may not be able to navigate a foreign or exotic setting and require special consideration from their hosts. Also, many guests are likely not to attend, as international travel is expensive and time-consuming. These results can be mitigated by following a few simple tips: Give enough notice before the actual wedding date so guests can plan accordingly; Pay for accommodation and flights whenever possible; Manage expectations regarding the number of guests who will be present; Make sure the wedding destination offers plenty of activities for the guests. Most important of all, make sure you have a fun, beautiful, and memorable wedding.

Next: Good, bad and ugly: advantages versus advantages. Disadvantages of a destination wedding

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