Planning your wedding is exciting enough as it is, but planning a destination wedding brings that excitement to a whole ‘nother level. You’re about to start this new chapter in life with the person you love most in the world, and you’re doing so in a place the two of you have always wanted to visit. What more could you ask for? However, it can be tricky to figure out where to even begin with the planning process for an event like this. So, to help you get on the right track, here are a few suggestions for to-dos to get you started.

1. Pick Your Destination

This might seem like a given, but there are so many beautiful places to choose from! It’s important that you make sure your idea of what your destination wedding will look like aligns with your partner’s vision for it, so make this the very first thing you decide on as you begin planning your event. For example, do you both dream of saying “I do” on a pristine Caribbean beach surrounded by turquoise waters? Or are you the type of couple to huddle together on top of a snow-capped mountain as the officiant declares you legally wed? Whatever your desired locale, make sure you choose somewhere that captures the feeling of how special this occasion truly is. The magic of this experience will be something that permeates the early days of your marriage, so why not pick a place that’s utterly spectacular and kick-start married life the right way?

2. Establish Your Money Source

While destination weddings are often smaller-scale affairs with less of a need for venues or catering services to be booked for an entire evening, they still are going to cost a relatively large amount of money. Sit down with your partner within the first few weeks of the planning process and think about how you want to pay for the event. Whether you want to pay entirely out of pocket, take out a loan for the occasion, or seek financial assistance from your loved ones, it’s vital that you know what your funding sources are with absolute certainty, so you can solidify your budgetary plans without having to worry about whether or not you’ll have enough to cover all of your wedding expenses.

Once you’ve determined where the money for your wedding is coming from, download a mobile banking app to keep tabs on all of your bookings and payments. The more meticulous you are about knowing where all of your money is being allocated, the less financial stress you’ll have to deal with over the remainder of your wedding planning process.

3. Sort Out Your Travel Plans

Figuring out the logistics of how you’re going to get to your destination, where you’re going to stay once you’ve arrived, and what you’re going to do once you’re settled in can be a confusing and complicated process. You have so many components of the wedding itself to worry about that it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the other things on your list. But fear not! This is where working with a travel agent can be immensely helpful.

Travel agencies exist to make planning a trip of any sort a far less stressful experience for you and your travel companions. By hiring professionals with the experience and know-how to turn your destination wedding into the trip of your dreams, you’ll be easing much of the planning burden on your end as well as making it easier for you to focus more of your attention on the marital side of the excursion.

4. Narrow Your Guest List

If you’re planning on traveling to a special destination to exchange your vows, you’ve likely already come to terms with the fact that your guest list is going to be significantly smaller than it would be for a standard, more localized wedding. It’s entirely up to you and your soon-to-be spouse whether your destination wedding is something just between the two of you or if you’ll invite some of your nearest and dearest along for the adventure, but it’s helpful to determine who your additional invitees (if any) are going to be in the earliest stages of the planning process. That way, those top priority guests will have ample time to figure out their work schedules, personal obligations, and travel & lodging needs for the trip.

5. Schedule Something Fun

Since you’re going to be in this exciting location for your nuptials, you might as well make the most of the rest of your time there! Research the area that you’ll be staying in and seek out exciting activities to do that you wouldn’t be able to do at home. Visit the ruins of ancient civilizations in Mexico, or hit up the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. If you’re going somewhere tropical and want to swim with dolphins, go for it! Immerse yourself in local culture, and take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you on this trip. In doing so, you’ll be making the memory of this life-changing adventure with your new spouse all the more vibrant and meaningful.

Ready to plan your destination wedding? Contact Awaken Travels today!

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