So, you’re getting married! Congratulations, you found the love of your life. Now, it’s time to plan the wedding of your dreams and show your loved ones how much you love each other. Will it be a destination wedding or at a local venue? How many people are invited? What is the color scheme?

You want to show your loved ones how much you love each other. However, the process of planning a wedding can open up new challenges in your relationship. In a perfect world, you and your special someone are the type of couple that shares the same ideas regarding style, design, food and music. Some individuals prefer a small intimate wedding, while others want to invite everyone they have ever spoken to.

Imagine after considering so many moving parts, you and your love decide on making it a destination wedding. A destination wedding comes with a whole new set of questions.

If you are planning a destination wedding and have no idea where to start, don’t worry. As a groom currently going through this process, I am glad to share this guide to help you navigate through it.

What is a destination wedding?

Photo Credit: @TheBrunchxgod

My fiancé and I are world travelers, so when we celebrate our union, we want to give our loved ones a cultivated experience that everyone can enjoy.

A destination wedding allows you to celebrate your love in another country. While this could be an amazing experience, it also means that you are responsible for not only booking a venue but also everything that comes with a weekend vacation for an entire guest list. You’re booking hotels, transportation, outings, food, excursions, and everything else to ensure the best vibes and experiences for your guests. 

Choosing A Place

One of the many reasons couples decide to do a destination wedding is because typically you can get more for your dollar in different countries. A wedding budgeted at around $100,000 in the states potentially could be around $40,000 in the Caribbean and in South America.

In our case, choosing a destination was a little tricky. We both loved the idea of Bali, Indonesia, and I had hoped we could make it work. However, for personal and health reasons, our parents wouldn’t be into spending almost 20 hours traveling to another country. Due to this, we had to search for a new city that would give all of our guests an experience they’ve never had and close enough to not be inconvenient for those who hate flying. 

Photo Credits: Chidi Ashley | Photography by Bali Interiors Sheila Man

Another thing that you have to consider when picking a destination is if your guests can afford to leave the country and spend a few days away from home. Although the day belongs to the couple, a destination wedding becomes an expense and a vacation for the people you invite.

It’s essential to balance your needs as a couple with the needs of the people you invite to your destination wedding. Make sure you’re ready to provide a fantastic time with the budget you allotted to this experience.

When planning this type of wedding, it helps if you have at least a year and a half to get everything together. This also gives all your loved ones enough time to get their finances together, take time off of work, and be a part of the special occasion.

Choosing A Wedding Planner for Your Destination Wedding

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When it comes to putting your wedding together, the wedding planner is your CEO. If you want all the moving parts to run smoothly at your wedding without you having to worry, you have to choose the person that’s the right fit for you as a couple. For a conventional wedding, it’s a little easier to be hands-on with venues and vendors, but a destination wedding requires a lot of trust. It’s crucial to find a wedding planner with the right experience in the country of your choosing.

There are a lot of benefits to hiring a local wedding planner in the town you will be celebrating your love. One benefit is you can save on an extra flight and hotel room if you hire someone local to the city of your wedding. Another component of hiring a local is that the wedding planner will likely have better relationships with the vendors in those countries. If you’re watching your budget, this can be handy when budgeting on expenses.

In our case, my fiancé spent two months interviewing wedding planners. Some were from the states and some were local to our chosen destination: Mexico. Eventually, she narrowed it down to about three people, and I got involved in a second round of interviews. After my assessment, I made sure we chose someone who my fiancé could get along with personality-wise, because I knew she would interact with the wedding planner more than I would.

After All, There’s Still More Work To Do

After you have finally hired the wedding planner, it feels like a weight gets lifted off your shoulders. However, the work doesn’t stop there. Working alongside the planner, you and your person probably will have to choose so many more things, such as decorations, caterers, venues, engineers for sound and lighting and more.

While many people focus on making the bride happy at weddings, it is also important to listen to the feelings about the groom. In my case, as the wedding approaches, I realized how much I cared about the details as well. A groom should be in a certain mental headspace when approaching a wedding.

But, don’t worry. Travel Noire’s got you covered in the next installment of the groom’s guide to destination weddings.