Making Your Destination Wedding Legal Without The Hassle
// by Cynthia //
Making your destination wedding legal can be complicated and pretty overwhelming depending on where youre getting married. But heres the worst-kept secret among destination wedding couples: You can have the destination wedding of your dreams without the legal hassles required in your destination.
Many couples simply get legally married at home before or after their symbolic destination wedding. This post will guide you through all the different options for making your destination wedding legal, along with the pros, cons, and tips for each.
DISCLAIMER: None of the information provided on this page is meant as legal advice. This is simply basic information to get you started and show you that there are different options for legalizing your marriage when you are planning a destination wedding. You should consult with your local wedding planner regarding legal and religious marriage requirements. You can also consult your destinations tourism board for more information on your specific destinations requirements. Although we make every effort to ensure that the content is both current and accurate, errors can occur. We are not responsible for any inaccurate or omitted information or for the results obtained from the use of this information.
Invest In A Wedding Planning Journal Maintain It & Follow It Religiously
It is extremely important to write everything down when you know you are planning it all by yourself. Right from the guest list, to the status of vendor payments, contact details of payments and travel bookings. Write down EVERY DAMN THING. You can use buy a wedding planner diary or create an Excel sheet on Google Drive which you can easily update using your phone as well. Keep your wedding stationery handy at all times.
Be Willing To Accommodate Safety Concerns
When inviting someone to a destination wedding during COVID-19, understand that your guests might have a lot of questions. Its really important to keep an open channel of communication and let them know that they can come to you with any questions about seating arrangements, testing, and general safety. Emphasizing this in your invitations and repeating it in any informational e-mails or group chats can help drive the point home that you are all-ears.
Remember that every person has a different level of comfort with risk, especially as more and more people are being vaccinated, so remember to be open-minded when it comes to helping your guests feel safe. If someone wants to be seated more than six-feet from the next table or wants to skip the slice of cake, let them. A destination wedding is a big ask even when its not a pandemic, so show them how grateful you are for coming by helping them feel more at ease.
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Do I Need To Help Guests Book Travel
You don’t need to book anyone’s travel, but it’s a nice gesture to make the process easier. Enlisting a travel agent can help lighten the load by taking over group reservations, inputting everyone’s travel info, and scoring the best deals. They may also be able to snag upgrades and luxury treatments. Start a Facebook group or group chat so everyone can share flight deals or make plans to travel together. Providing a wedding itinerary will keep everyone on schedule and fully informed.
Research Local Marriage Requirements
The legal side of tying the knot in a different country can be complicated. Many countries have a “residency requirement” , which means you must reside in the country for a certain length of time before your ceremony. Although this is usually just a few days, it can be longer. France, for example, requires you to arrive at least 40 days before you marry! If it’s next to impossible to do it at your chosen destination and have it legally recognized, consider making it official before you travel. That way your wedding day will be in front of your guests, but there’s no doubt it’s the real deal.
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Opt For Minimal Decor
Opt for minimal decor or go with resourceful decor elements like fairy lights, colourful drapes, playful signages and other things that are easily doable. Choose a naturally beautiful venue with lush greenery and scenic backdrop, so that there is a lesser requirement for decor and drapes. Another trick is to host day events in the outdoors, and night events in the indoor areas.
Pick The Venue And Then Work Your Outfit
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How To Plan A Destination Wedding In 12 Steps
The lure of a destination wedding is hard to resist a trip to somewhere out of the norm, with the love of your life, to make that significant and symbolic jump to starting your lives together as a married couple. Destination weddings are popular for several reasons, including that they make it possible for couples to have an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience away from home. Just like all other weddings, you can customize your destination wedding to suit your preferences, inviting as many, or as few guests as youd like. Whether youre dreaming about a beach wedding, a traditional church affair, a garden wedding, an elopement wedding, or something more unconventional, a destination wedding will give you plenty of room to bring your wedding aspirations to life.
In this article on the Sandals Blog:
Picture: Beachfront wedding at Beaches Turks & Caicos.
A destination wedding is a wedding that takes place at a location that is far enough for a majority of the guests to make travel arrangements and book nearby accommodation. Destination weddings can be hosted in the country the majority of the guests live in, but these kinds of events are normally hosted abroad. Destination weddings often take place in an unusual setting, breaking free from the norm. Since these ceremonies are typically smaller in size, compared to traditional weddings, destination weddings tend to result in lower costs.
Nixing The Wedding Registry
Save your guests money by nixing the wedding registry. Your guests are already paying to celebrate with you. Let that be their gift for you.
Now that youre ready to hop on a plane for your perfect destination wedding be sure to check out these etiquette tips you need to know!
Image by Diana Veinberga. See more of this real wedding here
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How To Have A Destination Wedding On A Budget
In 2012, David and I got married on a sunny day in Scotland. We were married in front of an old stately home with a shining loch in the distance, had our photos taken in a mossy wood and dined on scrumptious local fare at a phenomenal restaurant. Given that half our guests were coming from Canada, Id call this a destination wedding! While most people opt for warmer climates, Scotland seemed the perfect option for our wedding day. Perhaps not optimal for our budget but here are some tips I learned along the way for how to have a destination wedding on a budget.
Destination Weddings Are Growing Fast
They now represent 25% of the wedding market, compared to 5% a few years ago. What was once known as the wedding for those who had been married before has now turned into the new trend, especially since more and more couples are footing the bill themselves. With more and more of us getting married at a later age , and with more millennials who love adventure and travel, hello destination wedding, goodbye tradition.
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Organize The Food And Drinks
For your destination wedding, youll want to make sure there are food options for everyone. Ask about preferences during the RSVP process and find out about allergies you can even share your menu in advance. Most caterers charge per person, so keep that in mind when putting together your guest list. Organize your wedding at an all-inclusive resort, and you often dont have to worry about food and drinks at all.
Read more about the wedding menus at Sandals .
Choose An Nyc Wedding Photographer
Of course, a destination wedding in New York City needs a wedding photographer to capture those special moments, right?
We bet one of the reasons youve picked our epic city for your nuptials is because of the amazing scenery and iconic backdrops for your wedding photos. So, booking a wedding photographer should be an important part of planning your New York City destination wedding.
Wed recommend making this an early part of your planning process, especially if youre looking at booking a local photographer. Because , a New York wedding photographer can give you so many tips, tricks and lots of inspiration when it comes to planning your destination wedding.
Thats a nice way of saying we get about, but its true! Weve shot a lot of weddings in this incredible city. We know the best places to exchange your vows, the loveliest spots to stop for romantic photos, and where all the best brunch and dinner spots are.
Tap into that wealth of knowledge by booking your wedding photographer/s as soon as possible. Because well always be on hand to offer suggestions and referrals along the way if you get stuck.
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When To Wed For Your Nyc Destination Wedding
New York City is so beautiful in the spring and summer months. Its also the most popular time of year for weddings in the city, which can mean higher prices for venues and other suppliers.
But there are beautiful elements around the city whatever time of year you choose. In winter, you cant beat a snowy backdrop for photos full of snuggles and love. In the fall, youll be lucky enough to have the most glorious backdrop of fall colors as you exchange your vows. And yes, the blossoms of spring and the bright, endless blue skies of summer have their charms too.
Whatever time of year you choose, our top tip is to book accommodation and vendors as early as possible to avoid disappointment!
Remember Not Everyone Is Going To Be Able To Attend
When thinking about how to plan a destination wedding and how to accommodate your guests, be gracious, says Freeman. Its expensive to travel to a destination wedding. Treat your friends who have to turn down their invites with compassion. If you think many of your friends might not be able to make it due to expense, Tien recommends shelling out to help. Maybe buy their plane tickets or hotel rooms.
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How To Pick Destination Wedding Location
Once youre set on traveling for your special day, its time to pick a destination wedding location. The location determines the aesthetic of the day, your travel time, and impacts your budget.
Is there a spot that is special to you and your partner? Maybe the place you got engaged. Or the first place you two ever took a trip together. No matter what the significance is, you want to understand the travel requirements and restrictions beforehand. For example, will your guests need a passport or visa? Are there any travel warnings, health concerns, or political problems? If there are concerns , you need to be clear with your guests as soon as possible.
Lastly, think about the oldest guest that you will be inviting. Will it be difficult for them to travel to the destination of your choice? Is it feasible to have your great-grandmother travel ten hours by plane? If not, be sure to plan ahead with a virtual ceremony for guests who cant attend in-person.
Image by Conie Suarez Bravo. See more of this real wedding here
Do Your Research Before You Start Shipping Things Abroad
Shipping items abroad can be a big hassle. Youll want to research the logistics early on. According to Freeman, it can take up to one month for your package to arrive in the mail. Tien recommends not shipping at all. Pack and bring as much as you can on the airplane. If you let the airline know ahead of time that you are planning on bringing your gown on the flight, they may let you hang it in the cockpit with the pilot, says Tien. This way, you don’t have to worry about anything happening to it. If you are planning to ship other wedding supplies, make sure you have someone on the other side to receive it. Don’t just put the name of the hotel. Make sure to put the name of the onsite planner or pay the extra fee and bring it over in suitcases to play it safe. Don’t take risks!
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Us: Jackson Hole Wyoming
Why Get Hitched Here: The majestic Tetons offer a breathtaking background for your nuptials , but you’ll also find rustic ranches and a Wild West vibe in Jackson Hole if a Western theme is more your style. Your guests can enjoy a range of outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, fly-fishing and checking out the local shops, museums, bars and shootout in town. This is one of the best destination weddings for couples who love the outdoors and want to keep costs reasonable.
When to Wed: The summer and early fall are beautiful in Jackson Hole, but late spring and fall can be unpredictable. Winter weddings are gorgeous here, but keep in mind: A big storm could make it difficult, or even impossible, for your guests to get there.
Set A Budget And Make Your Travel Plans Accordingly
Courtnie Nichols, founder and CEO of boutique travel company TravelBash, not only helps couples plan destination weddings, but also had one herself. She and her husband live in Gainesville, Florida, and their wedding was in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
When they got engaged they were living overseas, and Nichols said a destination wedding seemed easier, since they loved traveling anyway.
When it comes to destination weddings, her first piece of advice is to set a budget.
“People hate talking about this, but there are several free packages available to you, and every resort is ready to make a sale,” she said. “Once you have your vision set, figure out how much that is going to cost you and plan accordingly because there are little details you do not think of that add up quickly.”
With that said, Nichols said the cost of a destination wedding is still well below the median wedding cost average, so many couples choose this option to save more in the long run.
Similarly, think about your location and time of year, she said. For instance, do you want a Caribbean wedding or a snowy wedding in the Alps? If you are looking at a Caribbean wedding, pay attention to high season from mid-December to mid-April, when prices will be higher.
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