So you're planning a destination wedding? Well you've come to the right place, guys and gals! You've met the man or woman of your dreams and you're just starting with the wedding planning process. The first step for any couple is to figure out exactly where in the world they'd like to have their big day. Sometimes, that perfect location just doesn't happen to be in your backyard. Whether it's you or your fiance's home town that you've since moved from, or your grandfather's land back east, or a favorite vacation spot, sometimes you have to plan your wedding from afar.
We've worked with couples who've planned their destination weddings in Connecticut (like Trisha and Mike's from the image above! Check it out here!) and we know the expectations and potential difficulties of finding vendors you trust, coordinating meetings, designing the look you want, etc AND doing this all via phone and email. Planning a wedding can be overwhelming enough, never mind trying to do it from the other side of the country, world, wherever you happen to be.
With Connecticut being one of the most gorgeous and quintessential "New England" locations, we see many couples who want that New England charm wedding, but have to plan it from a distance. This can seem like a daunting task, but we've got a few tips to make it as seamless as possible.
photog credit :: Landino Photo // dress :: The White Dress By The Shore // panning & design :: Double G Events
1. COME FOR A LOCATION-SCOUTING VISIT
Maybe you've been here before, maybe you haven't. Your venue and location is one of the biggest determinants for the mood and vibe of your wedding. It's a big part of what makes the wedding YOU. Most other details can be planned from afar, but we definitely recommend taking the trip to find the location yourself. We've found that finding a perfect venue has a lot to do with that feeling you get when you walk into the perfect venue.
photog credit :: Ashley Therese Photography // planning & design :: Double G Events
2. HIRE A LOCAL EXPERT
This may sound like a shameless plug, but having someone who knows all the best local vendors and the area and who can help to coordinate your day, your vendor meetings, and your design is a HUGE must. As a self-confessed control freak myself, I totally understand not wanting to let go of the reigns. But finding a wedding planner who fits your style AND can help minimize your stress and maximize your organization is so worth it. Think of wedding planners as the coachmen and yourselves as the passengers. You tell us where you want to go, we just help steer the horse.
3. TAKE TRAVEL INTO CONSIDERAITON
When we say this, we mean several things. The first is that if your family and friends are not all from the area either, you will need to send Save the Dates with location and travel information earlier than they typically are sent out so they can plan. The second thing we mean by this is the added expenses of travel. Don't forget to include that in your budget. And the third point to take into consideration when it comes to travel is that there will always be less family and friends that will be able to make it out. While I'm sure all of your loved ones wish they could be there, expecting 200 people to travel across the country for your wedding is probably being a bit hopeful.
4. MAKE A WEEKEND OUT OF IT!
Like any vacation, when traveling for a wedding, you're going to want some time before and after the wedding to relax, enjoy, and recharge. Having a day before and after the big party gives you time to do just that, as well as really spend some quality time with all those lovely friends and relatives who made the trip out to celebrate you and your significant other's love.
photog cedit :: Landino Photo // venue :: The Gwyn Careg Inn // planning & design :: Double G Events
5. THIS IS A BIG ONE LADIES .... NEVER (EVER!) CHECK YOUR DRESS!
This tip is here because the most horrible of horrors has happened to other brides before you. NEVER check your dress when you fly out for your wedding. Missing luggage happens, people. (Quick anecdote: I flew to Florida for one of my best friend's weddings. It was two days after Christmas, so I flew in laaaate the night before the wedding/early the morning of. I'd found the perfect dress for the event and...my luggage was lost. Yup. Landed at 3am and I had to get up at 8am to dash through the mall to find an entire outfit. I literally had nothing...no underwear, shoes, dress...nothing. It's not fun, guys.) All of the hours spent looking for the perfect dress, several fittings, custom changes...you do not want that dress to go missing within days of your wedding, so purchase a garment bag and don't let it leave your side.
These are just a few of the many tips we have for hosting the perfect destination wedding. Whether you're thinking of Connecticut or Costa Rica, make sure to do your research in order to have the most perfect and stress free nuptials. Have any tips we didn't touch on? Have you planned or been a guest at a destination wedding? Let us know in the comments below!