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The idea of arranging your wedding in a gorgeous destination quickly gives way to the overwhelming reality of the checklist that is required to make it happen. Right from the guest list to the ideal venue, there are plenty of considerations to be made when arranging a destination wedding. Let’s not forget choosing the right wedding host can make or break your event.

This article should give you a step-by-step guide for on how to plan your destination wedding.

1. Set a budget aside

This is the first and most important step; you must know what is the budget set for your wedding and make a checklist of what factors are most important to you. Once you have a budget set in mind then it becomes a lot simpler to decide on other factors such as how much are you willing to spend on the venue, bridal outfit, photographer, videographer, pre-wedding shoot, guests’ accommodation, bridal suite, gifts from the bride/groom side of the family and so on.

2. Maintain a Wedding Journal

When you know you’ll be doing most of the planning, it’s critical to maintain a wedding journal and write everything down. From the guest list to the status of vendor payments, payment contact information, and travel reservations. You can either purchase the same, have it gifted to you by your bridesmaids, and additionally maintain an Excel document on Google Drive that you can update from the comfort of your phone.

2. Try to book vendors locally

Pre-book all of your wedding vendors from the location where you plan to marry. Not only will you save money on their travel and lodging, but you’ll also be able to better coordinate with them. Look for merchants who travel at their own expense if you can’t find suitable local sellers.

3. Send out your ‘Save you dates’ in advance

If you are planning a destination, guests are bound to travel from different cities or internationally too. Giving out your save your date invitation in advance ensures that you are giving them sufficient time to plan out their journey and block their date.

4. Visit your wedding venue

While you must have personally selected and locked down the venue, we recommend that you return three months before the wedding with the wedding planner or decorator to discuss the setups. It is important that you visualize and plan which functions will be held where, how space will be used for decorations, and so on. This will also prevent you from running all over the place during the wedding.

5. Make arrangements for your family members, friends, and guests in advance

Your wedding guests need to feel comfortable during your destination wedding, whether it’s organizing wheelchairs for the elderly or making sure there are enough accommodations.

Delegate rooms to visitors before they come to avoid last-minute squabbles such as ‘I want that room,’ ‘Why is their room more luxurious,’ and so on. That’s something you definitely don’t want to happen!

6. Make a wedding website that will be a one-point contact for all your guests

Believe me when I say that having a wedding website will make a lot of things easier for you. Include everything on the website, from local maps to weather forecasts, to airport information, dates and venue for various functions, and anything else you want your visitors to know. You can also make use of this post the wedding and have your photographers updated on where you’re guests can take it from.

7. Delegate duties to your family members and best friends

You already have a lot on your plate on your wedding day. As a result, it is easier to assign smaller jobs requiring close attention to friends or family members. This includes giving welcome kits to visitors and purchasing wedding presents and mementos. Also, provide these responsibilities with deadlines so that they are taken seriously. Moreover, including them makes them feel more welcomed.

8. Hire your wedding entertainment

Having hosted over 100+ destination weddings in India and abroad; I cannot emphasize the importance of hiring some elegant wedding entertainment. If you are going the classy way; an elegant wedding band would do the trick however if the majority of your wedding guests are the dancing crowd you could hire a wedding performer and a DJ that would turn the event magical.

And finally, the most important thing you need to have is an experienced wedding host. Someone you can navigate from the wedding function from the start to the end, feel the pulse of the crowd, and make them feel comfortable instantly. Remember, the host is someone the bride ends up spending a lot of her time with; so pick up someone who you personally feel comfortable with.

After all, there’s nothing more important than the happiness of the bride on her big day.

Still struggling to plan your destination wedding without a wedding planner; let me know in the comment section below : )