Staying True to Your ‘Chilla’, Planning a Wedding Far Away from Home

by Megan Velez

Megan Velez, DestinationWeddings.com shares her best tips for maintaining your chill while planning a destination wedding, far away from home.

The only thing that can spark more stress than planning a wedding is planning a destination wedding – even for a Bridechilla! All of us want the wedding of our dreams, and when it’s a wedding taking place far from home, it can require some added care. Being unable to see your venue in person as needed and relying more on digital visualization can feel like a disadvantage, but staying organized and well-coordinated is the secret recipe to planning from afar.

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So, you want to plan a destination wedding

Perhaps the biggest strategy in all of this is planning your wedding with an expert. This will give you peace of mind that the entire wedding and all of your guests’ travel arrangements are taken care of. You’ll want to have an upfront video conversation to establish expectations and build trust, but the relief of having someone else shoulder the weight of logistics is invaluable. You’re also more likely to score hidden perks and savings you wouldn’t be able to find on your own.

Take it a step further and remember to use a wedding website. In this day and age, digital planning tools are your best friend when it comes to planning a wedding from afar. A wedding website will set you up with everything you and your guests need to stay in touch and relay important information. Take advantage of the tools most sites have to offer, such as sending e-save the dates and keeping track of your guest list RSVPs and booking confirmations with a digital planner. Not to mention, you’ll have an outlet to share your love story and upload some romantic engagement photos.

Delegating tasks as a destination Bridechilla

Apart from having a destination wedding planner to take care of the details and keep you sane, there are certain things that are just better suited for other people to handle during the planning process. This is especially true if you’re more of a ‘hands-off’ type of bride.

Your resort wedding coordinator will do the heavy lifting as far as the day-of details, and we recommend working with a travel specialist that can coordinate all of the accommodations and transportation to and from the wedding. They will be the go-to resource for guests with booking questions, which can save you a ton of stress in the long run and leave you to focus on the fun details!

If you’re a DIY bride, look to your bridal party to help with tasks such as creating wedding favors, centerpieces, etc. They’ll also be in charge of planning the bachelorette and/or bridal shower, should you choose to have one.

Avoiding worst-case scenarios

A common misconception about planning a tropical destination wedding is that you’ll eliminate the worry of inclement weather. The reality is that you’re still at risk, especially during hurricane season. No matter the locale or weather, always have a backup plan. Luckily, many resort venues offer a complimentary stay to preview the resort ahead of time, and you’ll be able to map out a physical plan B.

Don’t overlook the fact that just because your flight got out on time, doesn’t mean everyone else’s did. Keep your VIP guests in mind and be prepared to decide what to do should they not be able to make it to your destination on time. And since you’re traveling for the big day, a very detailed packing list is necessary! It may be obvious to pack the veil and your wedding shoes, but trust us, small yet obvious items CAN be left behind.

If you’re arriving to your destination a few days before the big day, be cautious of tan lines (and worst yet, sunburns!) for both you and your wedding party. Remember that you’re in a foreign country, and it’s important to also be aware of how your stomach may react to certain foods/drinks. Be cautious of drinking tap water or eating things you may not normally eat, just in case you have an adverse reaction.

The best thing you can do for yourself when planning a destination wedding is to trust your gut and do your research. Look at real weddings in the area you’re planning to hold yours, and see what other real couples have done with the venue space or in way of utilizing décor. Take any second guesses out of the equation and use the unique resources you have as a destination Bridechilla in your favor!

Megan Velez is the Vice President of Product at DestinationWeddings.com, the world's leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. DestinationWeddings.com has worked with nearly 25,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. DestinationWeddings.com is one of the award-winning brands in the Celebration Travel Group collection.

Header Image by Nathan Dumlao

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