Tips for any Destination Wedding

Every bride dreams of having a unique and personally styled wedding.  This expectation is not actually all that unrealistic if you plan correctly.  All weddings require a great deal of planning but if you intend on hosting a wedding with a destination you have saddled yourself with even more responsibility.  In an attempt to alleviate some of that work I have put together some tips that will aid you in your preparations.

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Picking a venue is the first and most important thing that you will decide on.  Unfortunately this is also the thing that will require the most research.  Just pace yourself and keep your image in mind, don’t let too much information cloud your vision for the end product.  The easiest way to do this is to first determine your dream for the event and actually sketch it out.  Even if you aren’t an artist you can save pictures that are representative of the genres and details you desire.  This way you can look through venues and discover how much each one does or does not match up with your desires.  The second thing you will want to do is narrow down your potential venues in phases.

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First pick as many as you like but by 1 year out you should have filtered your list down to only 3-5 venues.  Depending on how far away the venues are from where you live you should take a physical or virtual tour of your top picks.  You should also look into what type of packages, promotions, amenities, and extras the venues offer.  It may be that your first pick is aesthetically what you desire but your second pick will give you a large discount on rooms or sound systems making it a better choice; it’s all about the give and take.  Whatever you do, do not wait any later than 9 months out to book your location because it is the base of your planning.

Other things that should influence your decision will be how much the venue is willing to provide in terms of decorations.  If you wedding is going to be at a destination you have to fly to you probably won’t have a great deal of room to bring decorations with you.  You can always pre-ship decorations but if a venue is willing to provide a large portion of the décor than the process will be faster and less work (for you).  Some venues will have very specific color schemes that they provide while others will can connections with event suppliers so that they can rent whatever it is that you want.

Don’t forget about food!  Venues vary so greatly that there a number of options when it comes to grub.  The easiest thing to do is just have the venue cater your event if they provide such a service but be sure to sample their food first.  If your venue does not offer catering (or you hate their food) they will usually have a list of catering references you can research.  Ask the venue for their recommendations to avoid a lot of wasted time; they will know who is good and reliable so that you don’t have to spend time researching venues in an area you are unfamiliar with.

In terms of entertainment you will want to research and book your band/DJ months in advance. Venues may have recommendations for bands, DJ’s, or agents so inquire about their suggestions first.  If you can find a legitimate booking agency online they can help you find what you’re looking for a lot quicker. You will be able to tell them what you’re looking for, what your budget is, and they will be able to narrow down your search in a matter of minutes.   Some entertainment agencies are international like Dance Bands; they can set you up with entertainers no matter where you go.  Others like Utah Live Bands are specified to an area.  There is not a huge difference between working with either one but that a national company will have access to some of the best bands in the country and the local agents will likely know cheaper, local bands (if your budget is tight).

live destination band

Please comment below and let us know what other suggestions you have found helpful for destination weddings.

–Nikole Higgins, Communication Director,