A destination wedding can be exciting. You travel to an exotic location, explore new cultures and enjoy an adventure with those closest to you. It’s easy to see why one-quarter of all couples decide on a destination wedding. how to build an itineraryHow do you plan for a big day that’s thousands of miles away? Luckily, if you follow the advice below, building an itinerary for your wedding can be easy.
1. Develop a Budget
When building your wedding itinerary, the first step is to decide on the budget. Weddings are expensive, with an international destination wedding costing $27,227 on average. While there are typical expenses like a dress, venue, music and cake, you also need to consider travel expenses like airfare, passports, vaccinations and hotel accommodations.To determine a realistic wedding budget, ask yourself the following questions:
- How much can you and your partner comfortably afford to spend?
- Will you receive any financial assistance, such as from family?
- How much can you reasonably save between now and the big day?
- How much money do you plan to pull from your savings?
Once you have a budget, you can start getting into the planning details.
2. Choose the Location
Is your dream destination a castle in the south of France? A picturesque piazza in Rome? Ultimately, your budget will decide if that’s a possibility. Research your favorite destinations and determine what you can afford. From there, look at venues and their specific requirements.The location you choose will affect the number of guests you can invite. Say you find the perfect restaurant in an Italian villa, but the maximum number of guests is 50. It’s always best to choose your destination location before planning anything else.
3. Think About Guests
Once you have a location, start drafting your guest list. Keep in mind the number of people you can invite, who is able to travel and if it’s affordable. On average, destination wedding guests spend $1,422 to cover expenses. If you want a large wedding, then it’s best to pick a location that’s easy and affordable to get to.After you’ve received RSVPs and know who’s coming, send out a detailed travel information packet with answers to any questions guests might have. Explain where the venue is and the best way to get there from the nearest airport. Let them know the activities planned and times to attend. The more guests know ahead of time, the less they’ll bug you with questions at the destination.
4. Create a Schedule
Most destination weddings are multiday affairs, lasting three to seven days. Don’t worry — you don’t have to entertain your guests the entire time.
- Day one: This is the day everyone will arrive. Consider planning an intimate dinner for immediate family only.
- Day two: This is the day of the wedding and dinner rehearsal, which includes family and the bridal party.
- Day three: This is a day for fun and relaxation. Give guests a list of fun activities in the area and hold a welcome reception at the end of the night.
- Day four: The wedding day. Organize a light brunch for your guests while the bridal party gets ready. Then, enjoy your big day as the ceremony and reception fly by.
- Day five: Time to say your farewells. If you’re feeling particularly generous, you can plan a goodbye breakfast before guests head to the airport.
5. Consider Full-Service
Planning a wedding is hard — but it’s even harder when you’re thousands of miles away. If you want a destination wedding but don’t want the hassles, consider choosing a full-service venue.Many hotels and resorts that cater to destination weddings already have full-service packages available. From catering and cake to the officiant at the ceremony, let the staff take care of your needs while you sit back and relax.
How to Build a Destination Wedding Itinerary
Follow these tips on how to build an itinerary to make your special day one to remember. Once you’ve determined your budget and invited guests, you’ll be amazed how easy it is to plan your nuptials.If you aren’t ready for the hassle of planning a long-distance wedding, consider hiring a wedding planner or opting for a full-service venue. Then you can have the wedding of your dreams without lifting a finger.
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