Contents Overview

What to Know About Destination Weddings

Destination weddings are incredibly popular with individuals from around the world who are looking to escape their everyday lives and plan a wedding away from home. While many people like to get married where they grew up, others are hoping to plan a day that will stay in their memory long after it’s over. Whether you have a passion for travel or just want to be somewhere out of the ordinary on your wedding day, there’s a lot to consider when discussing destination weddings do’s and don’ts. Keep reading as we share our guide to weddings abroad and what you need to know to help you plan the perfect wedding.

Pros and Cons of Destination Weddings

As with any decision when it comes to event planning, you’ll find there are pros and cons of destination weddings. It’s important to think about these before you decide on this type of wedding, especially if you are very keen to have your loved ones with you on your big day. Let’s take a look at the main advantages and drawbacks of a destination wedding.

Advantages of a Destination Wedding

When discussing the question of why do a destination wedding, there are many different answers you’ll hear from couples who choose this type of wedding. The main reason we hear for people choosing destination weddings is to have a more unique experience, offering incredible views, photos and memories with your loved ones.

Regardless of the proposed size of your wedding party, a destination wedding is suitable for small and intimate weddings or large gatherings of relatives from around the world.

Many people state that one of the reasons they believe destination weddings are better is that you get a built-in vacation or honeymoon as part of the trip. Many couples save money by using this destination as their honeymoon as well, so you don’t have to fly or drive somewhere else after the stress and excitement of your wedding day.

There are potential cost savings with destination weddings, but the budget for your wedding will very much decide how much you would spend in total on the day. Destination weddings have the potential to spread events over three or four days, but that will also be at the discretion of the bride and groom.

Disadvantages of a Destination Wedding

On the other hand, a reason that some people think destination weddings are rude is that they limit the guest list to people who are willing or able to travel. Especially when people plan a wedding overseas, it limits the attendance to those who can fly or take a lot of time off work. We don’t all have excessive numbers of days off work and a wedding that takes up a week of your time off might not be something you want to spend this limited time on. It also assumes that guests have the financial means to travel to your wedding. To prevent potential discomfort for certain family members and friends due to the need for additional funds, consider offering to cover expenses for your closest loved ones. This thoughtful gesture ensures everyone feels included and comfortable during the celebration.

How you choose to plan and host your wedding day is completely up to you. Take the time to discuss your destination wedding with the people who you would most like to attend ahead of time to ensure they’ll be able to work with the dates and destination you are planning to choose. A lot of your guests will be thrilled to travel and have a vacation during the wedding, but everyone’s family and personal situation is different and that’s something to be very mindful of when planning a destination wedding.

Questions to Ask When Having a Destination Wedding

As you start to think about planning a destination wedding, you’ll want to create a list of questions with what to ask a destination wedding coordinator. The first thing to find out when planning a wedding outside of your home country is whether you can legally get married at the wedding venue you have in mind. This is something that isn’t always possible and might make a huge difference in whether this is a suitable option for you. From there, you’ll want to find out if the date you have in mind is available for the venue and whether the team has any other events planned on this date that might get in the way of your plans.

From there, we encourage you to ask the wedding planner about the type of support they will be able to offer you in planning your wedding. Discuss how you’ll talk about your plans after your visit,

so that you don’t have to keep driving or flying back and forth from the wedding destination. Many wedding coordinators can work with you over the phone or with video calls, but you’ll need to ensure they be there for you whenever you have questions. Ori Wedding has extensive experience working with couples remotely.

While it’s advantageous if couples can visit for an early inspection, it’s not a problem at all if that’s not feasible. The agency is well-equipped to manage all aspects of wedding planning from a distance, providing practical solutions for couples regardless of their physical location and ability to travel. There may be minimum or maximum requirements when it comes to the guest list and catering in certain venues, and that’s something to look into when planning a destination wedding.

You should also ask about accommodation options both for yourself and your guests, so that you can provide this information in advance to anyone who is attending the wedding. It’s recommended that you put a plan in place ahead of time for how many times you’ll be able to travel back to the wedding venue. Otherwise, you’ll need to think about how you’ll test the catering, wedding cake and other items involved in the wedding day. Moreover, numerous resort hotels have a minimum requirement of staying 3-5 nights, especially in destinations like Greece and Cyprus, where such conditions arise quite frequently. Understanding and accommodating the stay requirements early on ensures a smoother planning process and minimizes potential last-minute challenges. You can also be confident that you won’t need to worry about accommodation issues. Our coordinators will always inform you in advance about all the conditions that exist at a particular location, ensuring that you are well-prepared and can make informed decisions throughout the planning journey. It can take a lot of trust to plan a wedding overseas, but with an experienced wedding coordinator, you’ll be in good hands throughout the process.

How to Book Destination Weddings

One of the most common questions we receive about destination weddings is how far in advance to book a wedding abroad. We typically recommend that you book big scale events about a year in advance to make sure that your desired wedding venue is available on the day you would like. Further to this, when it comes to many sought-after venues in such destinations as Greece and Italy, we recommend booking at least two years in advance. This is primarily due to high demand, as the most enchanting venues are often reserved ahead for the upcoming year.  However, our agency can organize events within six months and has even planned weddings last minute with just one month to spare. Of course, the more time that you have to plan your wedding, the easier it will be to secure every element of the wedding booking and ensure you have all of the dreams for your ideal wedding day come true.

Another thing you’ll want to consider when booking a destination wedding is what is included in a destination wedding package. The answer to this question will vary a lot depending on what you have in mind for your wedding day. Take the time to sit with a wedding planner  and the venue team and ask exactly what is and isn’t included in your big day. The more questions you ask ahead of time, the less surprised you’ll be when you get the bill nearer to the wedding. Many wedding venues offer a variety of packages, as they know not everyone has the same ideas for the number of people they want to invite and what they want included in the wedding. You can add onto these packages usually as well, enhancing your wedding experience to fit your needs. 

If you are wondering how do all inclusive destination weddings work, these are a great option for anyone who wants to pay one bundle price and try to forget about all of the extras that often come with planning a wedding. Tropical destination weddings often offer these packages, which will include your wedding venue booking, a ceremony officiant, and the honeymoon for the couple. You may find that other items such as the catering, décor and flowers are included, but this will vary from venue to venue. We know that planning a wedding and paying for the event can be stressful, but this is a good way to keep an eye on your finances. With our agency, navigating the complexities of wedding planning becomes a much smoother and less stressful process. Having the guidance of professionals ensures that you can enjoy the journey without being overwhelmed by the details while also using your resources mindfully.

Destination wedding packages are available around the world in resorts and venues that cater to this type of wedding. There really is no limit to the number of guests you could invite to your wedding abroad. Moreover, you won’t have to stress about finding a venue that will accommodate your guest list; our expertise lies in planning weddings of any scale and we will help you secure the perfect location for your celebration.

For couples who want a very intimate wedding, you’ll find packages at Ori Wedding which just offer you the bare minimum that you need to legally get married and have wonderful memories of your day together. Whichever option you go for, our team will be here to support you in ensuring your wedding day is a success.

How to Plan a Destination Wedding

Once you’ve decided on a destination wedding, the next thing to consider is how to organise a wedding abroad. Planning a wedding anywhere in the world takes a lot of work, but there are different challenges when it comes to hosting a wedding overseas. Our team will be here to guide you through the process of how to start planning a destination wedding. It’s important that you try to start this work as soon as possible, as the more time you have to plan your wedding, the easier it will be to secure the wedding of your dreams and other key elements for your wedding day.

There are many different stages to work through when it comes to planning a wedding. You’ll want to think about the questions to ask when planning a destination wedding at each stage, both to your partner and to your wedding planner The more aligned you all are on the expectations for your wedding day, the greater the chances of you ending up with a wedding day of your dreams. Keep reading as we share the main steps you’ll need to take to plan your upcoming wedding.

Set Your Budget

Before getting too carried away with your wedding plans, you need to take the time to work with your partner to think about how much you are willing to spend on your wedding. We are often asked how much will a destination wedding cost, but this is a very subjective question to answer based on many different factors. As a couple, you need to think about what is most important to you when it comes to planning your wedding. Everyone has different priorities and a wedding planner will work with you to understand where you’d like to allocate your funds in order to make your ideas of the perfect wedding a reality.

A misconception when discussing how expensive are destination weddings is that they will be out of the budget for many couples looking to get married. You might be surprised when you start to crunch the numbers to see that your destination wedding doesn’t have to be more expensive than a wedding at home. It’s all about what you want to spend your money on and the type of venue you opt for. The size of your wedding party will also have a huge impact on the overall cost of your wedding, so you may find a smaller wedding overseas is the same price as a wedding at home with a larger guest list.

When looking at what is the average cost of a destination wedding, this will mainly depend on the country where you are choosing to get married. There are many countries that will have a lower cost of living and cost of hosting an event than your home country, so by finding the right option for your budget, you can work to make your wedding plans work anywhere in the world.

Destination Weddings on a Small Budget

If you are wondering how to plan a wedding abroad on a budget, then you’ll want to compare the average wedding cost in different countries first. The overall price will depend on your chosen country, number of guests and chosen venue. For a budget wedding, Georgia is a fantastic option, with a wedding for two people starting at just 1,900 USD and a wedding for 50 guests setting you back about 15,000 USD. Cyprus is another budget-friendly option, with a two-person ceremony costing on average 2,200 EUR and a wedding for 50 people increasing to 16,000 EUR on average. One other option to consider is Greece, where a wedding for two averages out to be 2,600 EUR and 50 guests increasing this price to 19,000 EUR.

Intimate weddings are typically the answer to the question of is it cheaper to do a destination wedding, as people find they save a lot of money by opting for a small ceremony as opposed to a larger wedding at home. Spain and Italy are a little more expensive than the countries we shared above, but you’ll find they can still be much cheaper than weddings in places such as the UK or USA. By finding ways to cut back on expenses at every stage of your wedding, you can work to make the ceremony and overall cost of your wedding fit your budget.

Before getting too carried away with your wedding plans, another thing to consider is how do I register my wedding abroad. You’ll want to make sure you can get married somewhere where you can get a marriage license and be able to be registered as a married couple when you get back home. The answer to the question of how to get a marriage license for a destination wedding will vary depending on where you are hoping to get married. We encourage you to fully do your research on this topic before getting too deep into the wedding planning process. You may find that some countries are easier to get married in based on your nationality than others, which may help to make your decision when it comes to where to get married.

When looking at how do destination weddings work legally, a wedding planner will be able to support you with this process. You’ll likely need to apply for your wedding license ahead of time and you’ll need to ensure you meet the deadline for this application so that you don’t have any issues on the day of your wedding. On the morning of your wedding day, you may have to get your license in person in order to continue with the ceremony later on. Our team can help you with all of these steps and discuss with you how to do wedding registry for destination weddings. We’ll work to make this process as stress-free as possible so that you can focus on the other areas of your wedding planning process.

Destination Wedding To Do List Timeline

Where possible, we recommend that you start to plan your wedding about one year in advance of the big day. Anything between six months to one year is the perfect timeline for a destination wedding, especially if it’s for a larger group or requires additional planning. That being said, it’s not impossible for us to put everything together for a wedding in a couple of months, so don’t be afraid to consider what you need for a wedding abroad even if you are rushed for time.

Here you can download a full destination wedding to do list from our team so that you can see the steps that you’ll need to go through when looking at what do I need to do for a destination wedding. Working with a wedding planner is the best way to ensure you stay on top of all of these steps and don’t get behind. Try to assign a little time each week to your wedding in the months leading up to the big day so that you don’t find yourself rushing to get things ready last minute.

Wedding Photographer

Couples sometimes underestimate the need to research and book a wedding photographer well ahead of time, but as you can imagine, in the peak wedding seasons, they are in high demand. Our agency has a catalog of the best and trusted vendors, including wedding photographers we’ve worked with in the past and trust to capture this special day in your life.

When considering how to find a photographer for a destination wedding, you’ll find that the price will vary based on their experience and the shooting techniques used by the photographer. We are often questioned about how much it is for a destination wedding photographer and on average you’ll find that eight hours of shooting from a good photographer will start at 1000 EUR.

The cost actually varies depending on the country. For example, in Cyprus, you can expect that, on average, eight hours of shooting from a skilled photographer will start at 1000 EUR, while in Georgia, the price is set at 800 EUR. In popular wedding destinations like Greece and Italy, photography costs start from 1600 EUR.

In our extensive catalog of vendors, we strive to cater to every couple’s preferences. We offer standard packages that are budget-friendly, as well as premium options for those looking for a more luxurious experience. Importantly, we never compromise on quality. Our careful selection of contractors ensures that you receive the best service and expertise, prioritizing excellence. 

At the same time, you might want to think about if you would also like to book a wedding videographer. Many couples love being able to capture and share these precious memories with their loved ones back home, which is especially important if you have a small guest list or family and friends who weren’t able to travel to the ceremony. These memories will last for years to come, so this is an area that many couples opt to budget a large amount of money for in order to capture their special day.

While exploring options for destination wedding videography, you’ll find a wide range of choices suitable to your preferences and budget. Whether your goal is to share your love story on Instagram through Reals and Stories, starting at an affordable cost of 500 EUR, or if you’re seeking a 3-5 minute video featuring key moments priced from 700 EUR, or perhaps you prefer a comprehensive 30-40 minute full video starting from 1000 EUR, our offerings are designed to capture the essence of your special day. It’s important to consider that these prices may fluctuate based on your chosen destination. Videography services are more affordable in locations like Georgia and Cyprus, while in more popular destinations such as Greece, Italy, and Spain, they might be a bit pricier.

How to Choose a Wedding Abroad Venue

How to pick a destination wedding venue location is one of the most commonly asked questions we receive. This is a very personal decision but it’s the one that’s most likely to make or break your wedding day experience. Our team will be able to work with you to scout out locations in the country you are opting for, but there are amenities that any good wedding venue should have in order to be considered for your ceremony. When looking at what are the best places for destination weddings, you’ll want to start with looking at the country where you are planning to get married.

Popular European destinations with a great choice of locations for weddings include Georgia, Greece, Cyprus, Montenegro, Italy, and Spain, but you might also want to consider the UAE for a warm-weather location all year round. That being said, we can support you in planning a wedding almost anywhere in the world and will work to find where to have a destination wedding on a budget if that’s something you are concerned about.

Our customer service managers will help you to choose the best venue based on the requirements you share with us. They know the nuances and traditions of each country and can help you to find a venue that’s suitable for your ceremony and any parties following it. We recommend you envision the scenery and backdrop you are looking for. For example, if you want a beach wedding or mountain wedding, you can find venues which offer this type of stunning scenery which will make for a picturesque backdrop for your wedding day. 

Another unique option in Europe is a yacht wedding, which is an ideal option for anyone looking to enjoy an intimate setting out at sea.  Along with the scenery you desire, you’ll also want to think about the style of wedding and the cuisine you’d like to serve, as these will impact your venue choice. When planning your wedding banquet, it’s also essential to consider the timing of your celebration. Many locations have restrictions until 11-12 pm, but there are venues that allow you to revel with music and dances up to 2-3 am, perhaps even until the morning.

Selecting a venue that aligns with your desired celebration timeline ensures not only compliance with regulations but also sets the stage for an unforgettable and joyous wedding banquet. Hotel weddings cover most themes and options, but you’ll want to find the right hotel for the party size you have in mind. We typically recommend countries that are known for their wedding facilities and choose venues within those countries that are used to hosting weddings regularly, as you’ll find there’s less chance of logistical issues. For a budget wedding, consider Cyprus, Georgia, Montenegro, and other lesser-known wedding destinations which will be excited to welcome you for your celebrations.

Save the Dates

Now that the details and pieces are coming together for your wedding, it’s time to think about sending out destination wedding invitations to your guest list. The earlier you can do this, the more likely your guests will be able to accept your wedding invitation and come and join in your celebrations. With weddings overseas, guests often need to book time off from work and allocate vacation time to this trip, so try to be considerate of their schedules ahead of time. Save the dates for a wedding abroad can be sent by post, but many couples opt to do this electronically when their guests are scattered around the world. This can also help to save a little money at the start of your wedding preparations.

When looking at when to send save the dates for destination weddings, try to do this as soon as you have the details confirmed for your date and location. Six to twelve months in advance is ideal for an overseas wedding to increase the chance of your guests replying yes back to you. Make sure you think about when to request RSVP replies to your invitations, so that you can confirm the final numbers with your wedding venue and avoid losing money by over or under estimating the number of people you have attending.

Another hot topic in this area is destination wedding etiquette and who to invite. Your budget will determine who you can invite. Some couples opt to just invite their parents or closest family members, whereas others extend invitations to groups of friends. This is a very personal decision but one you won’t want to rush in order to avoid offending anyone. Just be prepared for questions from your loved ones but remember that this is your day to do as you wish with. When looking at what to include in the invitation, make sure you add the date, location and any details about accommodation. You can also add a link to a website where you can add smaller details for your guests.

Welcome Bags

A fun addition to any destination wedding is a welcome bag. When looking at what to put in welcome bags for destination weddings, think about adding useful items that they’ll use. Based on the climate and destination you choose, these could be items to use by the pool or fun accessories to wear to your parties and events. If you are taking these items with you from home, think about your luggage space or consider buying them at the destination when you get there.

Wedding Dress and Suit

You have two options when it comes to where to buy a wedding dress for your destination wedding. You can either do this at home or find somewhere to buy a dress or suit in the country you are hosting the wedding in. Both have their pros and cons, but buying it in the destination country will save you from worrying about how to transport a wedding dress for a destination wedding. Our team can recommend how to return a tux for a destination wedding and work with you to find the best option based on how often you will travel to the destination ahead of the big day and your luggage allowance and concerns about how to transport the outfit.

Dress Code for Guests

Your dress code for your guests is another decision that’s completely up to you. Think about the style of your wedding and how formal the venue is before setting the dress code. We highly recommend incorporating a dress code for your wedding, which creates a truly fantastic aesthetic for your photos as it not only adds a touch of sophistication and coherence to the visual appeal but also ensures that your wedding photos exude timeless elegance and style. We recommend including this on the invitations if you know it that far ahead of time, so people can plan where they will get their outfit from and whether they’ll rent something at the destination. It can be useful to send a list of local stores or rental locations for your guests as well to give them this option.

Transportation for Guests

We are often asked do wedding packages include flights, but this is something your guests will need to figure out alone. This allows them full flexibility when it comes to how long they’ll stay at the wedding destination for. You can suggest group flights if you want people to travel together or encourage your guests to swap contact details to make a plan to share ground transportation when they land at the destination.

How to Make a Destination Wedding Website

One of the best tools you can offer your guests is a website to find out everything they need to know about your wedding. There are many free website builders that allow you to make a custom website without any experience in this area. When looking at what to put on a destination wedding website, think about all of the details your guests will need to book a stay in this country. Include the location, a link to the wedding venue, information about local accommodation and a rough plan for your wedding events. You can also include other useful links to local businesses and hotels and a link to your wedding registry if you’ve created a wish list online.

Destination Wedding Etiquette

Compared to planning a wedding at home, there are many more factors to consider when it comes to etiquette for a wedding abroad. To avoid any conflicts or concerns nearer your big day, there are certain things to keep in mind from the start of the planning stages. Here we’re going to share some of our top tips for planning a wedding abroad and considerations to think about when it comes to who will pay for each aspect of the wedding and the trip associated with the celebrations.

Who Pays for What

One of the biggest obstacles when planning a destination wedding is who will pay for what part of the wedding. We often notice that the main reason that family members or friends aren’t able to attend the wedding is being unable to take time off from work or concerns about the cost of the overall wedding trip.

To answer the question of what does the bride pay for in a destination wedding, you’ll typically find that the couple will cover everything that they would in a typical wedding ceremony. This would include the cost of the ceremony and the reception and all other fees associated with this celebration. 

What makes a destination wedding different is that guests will need to book and pay for their airfare, hotel or accommodation and other expenses that you would incur on any vacation. This answers the question of do you pay for guests at a destination wedding, but it’s something you need to keep in mind from the early stages of planning your wedding.

Guests may want to extend their trip to make it a longer vacation, which a lot of people opt to do if they have limited time off from work each year and want to make the most of the cost they’ve incurred for flights.

Bridesmaids will usually be expected to pay for their outfits, hair, and makeup, as you would in any other weddings. Groomsmen will need to pay for tuxedos or outfits and any grooming they need. Other aspects of the wedding, such as décor and food, will be covered on the day of the wedding. However, depending on what’s included in the hotel or accommodation you book, guests will need to budget for food and activities for the rest of their stay.

Accommodation and Flights for Your Guests

When discussing with your guests who pays for travel, we recommend that you make suggestions for the flights or transportation they could take. Take your time to research the best deals for your guests, as they’ll appreciate you keeping their finances in mind, and it will make the booking process easier for them. 

As far as who pays for accommodations, we recommend offering your guests a range of accommodation and hotel options that are close to the wedding venue. If you’ve booked a 5-star hotel for your wedding ceremony, keep in mind that not all of your guests will be able to afford to stay there for the rest of the trip. Offer them options that will make the prospect of coming to your wedding more affordable so you can increase the chances of them being able to celebrate with you on your big day. Group rates are often available at wedding hotels and venues. Make sure you ask about these when you are making the initial booking.

The earlier in advance you can offer your guests the information they need about travel and accommodation, the easier it will be for them to budget and find deals that could save them money on this trip. You need to keep in mind that many people are very limited when it comes to disposable income for vacations, so don’t be offended if people turn down your invitation in the interest of saving money for other trips or events they have planned.

You may opt to add additional activities or events to the plans ahead of your big day or after your wedding. We recommend making it clear to your guests that these are optional so that they don’t feel forced to spend extra money if there are other things they are hoping to do during the trip. Some guests may opt to move accommodation to have a private vacation after the ceremony, so be open to the ideas they have about how they want to spend their time away from home.

Who Attends the Rehearsal Dinner for a Destination Wedding?

Another question we are often asked is about who you need to invite to various events during your wedding celebrations. With a destination wedding and the effort that’s made to get to the location, you want to try and include as many people as you can in every event so that they feel appreciated for making the trip to be with you.

That being said, the rehearsal dinner is often a smaller affair, with the guest list including members of the wedding party, their partners, parents, grandparents, and siblings who aren’t in the wedding party. Unless your budget allows for a huge rehearsal dinner, you’ll usually keep this list to the same number as you would for a typical wedding.

That being said, it’s often seen as rude not to welcome your guests to a destination wedding. We recommend hosting a drinks reception or welcome dinner on the day that the majority of guests come into town if you can budget for this.

It could even be just an informal event where you all gather in the hotel bar or restaurant to meet one another. This is also a great way to ensure that everyone meets each other ahead of the big day and can make the wedding a little easier on anyone who is alone or doesn’t know the majority of your family and friends.

Additional Activities Destination Wedding

A destination wedding is so different from your typical wedding in that there are lots of opportunities to add additional memorable experiences and activities to your plans. Based on how long you and your guests plan to stay in the location of your wedding, you can work together to plan unique activities that will make your time with your loved ones even more special. Here we’re going to share some ideas for what to do after a destination wedding ceremony and ways to make the most of your wedding abroad.

Bridal Shower and Stag Party

A common question we are asked by couples planning destination weddings is should you have a bridal shower for a destination wedding? As with every aspect of planning a wedding day, you need to do what you think is best for you. If you are travelling to the wedding destination with a small group, you may opt to have a bridal shower or stag party at home or elsewhere ahead of your trip. Of course, if you are inviting a lot of people to your wedding abroad, then it may save time and effort to have this as part of the celebrations. 

The main thing to consider if you are planning a bridal shower or stag party ahead of your wedding day is to make sure you give yourself enough time to recover. Many brides-to-be opt to have a more relaxing bridal party nowadays, choosing to book a spa day or a fun activity that allows you and your friends to bond ahead of the day. If you are involving drinking in the celebrations, make sure you give yourself a couple of days to rest and recuperate before your wedding, or you may struggle with your energy levels on your wedding day.

Bridal Showers and Stag Parties at Home Before a Destination Wedding

Before leaving for your trip, you may decide to celebrate your wedding day with your loved ones back home. Showers are the perfect chance to spend some time with your family members and friends who can’t attend the ceremony, whether that’s due to it being a smaller affair or because they are unable to take the time to travel to your wedding. One of the biggest concerns with weddings abroad is that people may feel left out of the celebrations, and this is one way to overcome this worry and ensure you get as many people involved in your big day as possible.

Who to Invite to Your Bridal Shower or Stag Party

Just as it can be a challenge to narrow down your guest list for your wedding day, choosing who to invite to your bridal shower or stag party can become quite the conundrum. Unless you are having an intimate wedding abroad, the typical rule most guests follow is that people who are invited to the bridal shower also get an invite to the wedding or to the wedding reception you have planned in your home country after the wedding.

Many couples do opt not to even have a bridal shower or stag party on top of a destination wedding. They understand the effort and expense required for guests to travel to the wedding, and there are often extra dinners and parties on top of the main events on the wedding day. If you are worried about budgeting for the wedding, it may be worth skipping over this celebration, unless it’s something that’s a big part of your dream wedding.

Throw a Welcome Party

On top of a stag party or bridal shower, another consideration is hosting a welcome party for your guests. We usually recommend planning this on the night the majority of guests have arrived, helping them to get to know one another and reduce the awkwardness of spending the day with strangers on your wedding day. You can make this event as casual or formal as you like, hosted either in a sit-down restaurant setting or just in a large bar or open venue at your wedding venue. It’s a great way to start the celebrations of your wedding week and make everyone feel like you really appreciate the time and effort involved in travelling to your wedding.

For beach weddings, one of the best ideas we’ve seen is to host a casual beach bonfire on the day that everyone arrives. This means that people don’t have to dress up in anything fancy and can just enjoy being in nature and appreciating the location you’ve chosen for your wedding. You don’t have to spend a fortune on this type of event either, so it’s perfect for anyone who wants to add additional activities to their destination wedding without breaking the bank.

Beach or Pool Days

A huge part of a destination wedding is getting the chance to escape from reality and enjoy a vacation or group trip. While the wedding is the main reason you are all there, you can also think of your celebrations as a chance to spend time with your loved ones away from the busy days you all usually have. Many people will have travelled to attend your wedding, so they’ll need some time to recover, especially if they are jetlagged. A day at the beach or by the swimming pool in your resort is a great way to get everyone to meet and mingle without putting too much pressure on doing anything. Many guests will fly in a couple of days before the wedding, so it’s a good way to spend time together ahead of the big day.

If you are staying in a luxury resort, consider renting cabanas or an area for your wedding part on the beach or by the pool. This will give you all a base to put your belongings and know where you can find each other. The beach or pool is also perfect for guests of all ages, as kids and teens will love playing in the water while adults enjoy a cocktail in the sunshine. Most people will be happy to have a cheap and easy day with little activity planned to recover ahead of a busy wedding day.

Post Destination Wedding Reception

Following your wedding abroad, you may consider planning a wedding reception back in your home country. Of course, most couples who travel with a large group of guests to their destination wedding will have some type of wedding reception as part of their big day. However, if you’ve only invited a small number of guests to your wedding overseas, then consider how to do a reception after a destination wedding back in your home country. This can also be one of the best ways to overcome any issues or complaints from your loved ones about not attending the wedding and can make everyone feel included in your celebration.

The other good thing about looking into how to do a destination wedding and reception at home is that you can spread out these celebrations and the expenses involved in them. Couples usually enjoy their wedding celebrations and honeymoon overseas, before returning home to have their wedding reception or party. If you are concerned about the costs involved in the wedding, you could always delay this event a month or two to spread out the expenses and the effort involved in planning a wedding reception.

Where to Host a Post Destination Wedding Reception

As far as where to hold your post destination wedding reception, this is completely up to you and your personal goals for your celebration. Just as you need a wedding venue that will hold the number of people you intend to invite, you’ll also want to think about finding a wedding reception venue that is large enough to accommodate all of your loved ones.

Quite often, couples who have a small wedding opt to host a larger wedding reception so that they can get all of their extended family members and friends involved. You’ll find many hotels and restaurants across your local area which will be able to accommodate large groups, or you can opt for something more intimate if that’s what you would prefer.

Moreover, many hotels and resorts provide a variety of enchanting venues, offering the flexibility to host the welcome party and post reception in different locations within the same premises. This also allows you to create distinct atmospheres for each event without the need to relocate, ensuring a seamless and delightful experience for you and your guests.

We recommend choosing a location that’s quite central to all of the guests you are going to host. Some may need to travel to the venue, so if that’s the case, make sure there are accommodation options nearby to allow them to stay before or after the party. You’ll want to make sure you put enough time and effort into planning this event as well, especially if people are travelling to join you. You can decorate with photos or décor that matches your wedding theme and make guests feel like they were part of your big day overseas.

Group Tours and Activities

For many of your guests, your destination wedding may take up a fair amount of their vacation time. When looking at additional activities for a destination wedding, consider putting plans in place to organise days out for your group. These can be planned ahead of the wedding, so that people can sign up and you can ensure you have enough people for any bookings you need to make. The type of activities you plan will be based on the venue and location that you are visiting for the wedding. They could range from active days out, such as hiking trips or kayaking adventures, to a relaxing spa day before your wedding day.

Many destination wedding couples set up group chats ahead of the wedding, helping the guests to get to know each other and discuss any questions they have about the area they are visiting. You can create polls for ideas for activities and days out and then organise the events from there. A really fun idea we see many couples do is hiring a boat or catamaran for a sunset cruise. This would also be a great welcome event for your wedding, and drinks or food can be included in the price. It’s the ideal addition to a beach or coastal wedding and will also allow guests to appreciate the beauty of the destination you’ve chosen.

Winery Tours and Wine Tasting

Exploring wineries with wine tastings can not only create an unforgettable experience but also bring an element of sophistication and joy to your overall wedding festivities. Numerous wineries don’t just provide tours and tastings but also offer picturesque venues for your ceremony and serve as an ideal venue for a beautiful wedding banquet. If you choose a winery as your destination wedding venue, don’t miss the opportunity to offer your guests the wonderful experience of strolling through the lush vineyards, engaging in the winemaking process, and tasting exceptional wines.

A Morning-After Brunch

It’s become customary for destination wedding couples to continue their celebrations into the next day with a morning-after breakfast or brunch. While you shouldn’t feel obligated to offer this to your guests, it’s a great way to reconnect after a night of partying and say goodbye to any guests who need to leave soon after the wedding day. Even if you just all agree to meet for a breakfast that’s included with your hotel booking, it’s a fun way to finish off the main wedding celebrations. Of course, you could take things up a notch and book a private dining room or venue with a delicious brunch menu that you can take your time enjoying.

If you are planning to escape and start your honeymoon soon after the wedding, this is also a good way to say goodbye and thank you to your guests. They’ll appreciate the effort you’ve put into planning all these additional activities for them, which they’ll certainly remember long after the big day. Make the brunch a fairly casual affair with no strict dress code, so that guests can relax and turn up as they feel ready in the morning.

Share Memories of Your Wedding Day with Your Reception Guests

Even if they weren’t able to attend the big day, your reception guests will love seeing the photos and videos you captured during your destination wedding. We recommend putting photos on display either around the venue or with a slideshow, and you can even try to project your wedding video. This will make your guests feel like they were right there with you and help to lessen the blow for anyone who wasn’t able to travel to the venue. We also encourage you to hire a photographer for the reception, as the memories you make at this event will be just as precious to you in the future as well.

Do You Need to Host or Pay for Additional Activities?

A common question we are asked by destination wedding couples is whether they need to plan and host these additional activities. You aren’t obligated or expected by your guests to offer any of these activities, so don’t feel pressured if time or money doesn’t allow you to add these on. Your guests will appreciate all the other events you have planned, so anything extra is just a bonus. Many guests will also be happy catching up with friends and family members and just spending time at the swimming pool or resort if you are in a warm-weather destination. Remember, it’s their vacation too, and likely they just want to enjoy some time off work and away from their everyday lives.

If you are planning extra events, make it clear in the invitations or discussions whether you are paying and that guests aren’t expected to attend. When people feel like they are forced to do too much, they can feel exhausted at the idea of socialising or spending that much time around people they don’t know. Add the prices for each activity if you expect your guests to pay, so they can budget for their trip and enjoy what’s most important to them. 

How To Make Your Destination Wedding Unique

A destination wedding is often unique simply for the fact that you’ve chosen a beautiful or exotic destination away from your home country. That being said, there are ways to make your time with your loved ones even more unique and special. By following these tips, you can work with your budget and ideas to make your destination wedding a time you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Buy Out a Hotel

For anyone who is working with a high budget or has a very large guest list, one way to make your wedding more intimate and private is to buy out a hotel. Of course, you’ll need to have the number of guests to fill all of the rooms, but this is certainly possible in some of the smaller properties in popular destinations. The great benefit of doing this is that you can use all of the facilities and have them just for you and your loved ones. It makes getting to know one another easier than it would be when you are in a large hotel.

If you are looking to buy out a hotel or resort, keep in mind you’ll need to make this booking a year or more in advance in most situations. Most resorts open their room bookings at about this time, so the sooner you can start planning for your celebrations, the easier it will be to take over a location. For smaller groups, we recommend considering the option of renting a private villa or winery. This not only provides a unique and personalized setting for your event but also ensures a cozy and private atmosphere. It’s one way to make your wedding a day you’ll never forget and give you complete control over the surroundings of your wedding and who can see what’s going on. While this is certainly a more costly option, it’s one that might be a possibility for anyone with the right number of guests for your wedding venue.

Choose an Adventurous Destination

When you think of destinations for your wedding, you might just think a destination wedding has to take place on the beach. This isn’t the case at all, as you could even choose a forest or a more remote and adventurous location. If you have adventurous family members and friends, they’ll love escaping their everyday lives to enjoy spending time in somewhere they might not choose to visit by themselves. You’ll remember this time together forever, which is why taking the time to choose your wedding destination is a decision we encourage you not to rush.

Create Personalised Gifts or Welcome Bags

As with any vacation where you buy souvenirs to take home, creating welcome bags or gifts for your wedding can be the perfect way to thank everyone for taking the time to travel to your wedding destination. These gifts can be created in groups based on gender, age and relation to you. Kids will love receiving beach toys or useful games for their vacation, whereas the ladies will appreciate toiletries or useful items for after a day in the sun. You know your guests best, so try to make welcome bags or gifts that they’ll love using long after your wedding.

Serve Local Food and Drink

While it can be tempting to offer a menu that’s like what you would have at home, we recommend serving local food and drinks where you can. A welcome cocktail that’s inspired by the local culture is a lovely touch when people first arrive to your wedding celebrations. You can also create table spreads of tapas which are traditionally eaten in the area or finish off with a toast of a local liquor. By incorporating small touches from the local area, you’ll find that you help your guests to get more impressed by just how unique a destination wedding is.

A Scenic First Look

For many couples, the first look is one of the most precious moments of their wedding day. When you are planning a wedding overseas, you will likely be blessed with many stunning backdrops that you can use for your first look. Work with your photographer to choose a location that will create incredible photos that you’ll love sharing with your loved ones. It’s one of the few moments that’s usually very private between you and your future spouse, so try to find a place that will be special and memorable for both of you before you enter into the more public parts of your wedding day.

Choose a Historical Landmark for Your Wedding or Reception

Another way to make your destination wedding even more unique is to choose a location for the wedding, photo session or reception that is steeped in history and culture. Depending on where in the world you are getting married, you could find ruins, historical monuments, or places or worship that will blow any of your guests away. Of course, not all of these types of locations are open for public events such as weddings, so make sure you do your research in advance to ensure that you find somewhere you’ll be able to enjoy to the maximum and capture amazing photos of your wedding party.

Work with Local Vendors

Our team will be here to support you in finding the best local vendors based on the requirements you share with us for your wedding day. We really encourage you to add a local touch to your wedding day, whether that’s with your food and drinks menu, local gifts, pretty flowers, or decorations that are in keeping with the local area. Supporting local businesses is also a good way to give back to the local community and show your appreciation for their culture and heritage. We can help to recommend local companies that receive great reviews from couples and who will put the attention and effort into your wedding day to make it all the more special.

Create a Scavenger Hunt for Your Guests

If it’s the first time many of your guests have been to a destination before, you might want to help them out when it comes to making the most of their time there. A fun way to help them get oriented with a location is to create a scavenger hunt which they can do either on foot or by car. You can send them around your wedding venue to see the best facilities and hidden corners that they might not find alone, helping them to appreciate the beautiful setting you’ve chosen for your wedding day.

Evening Entertainment Following Your Wedding

When planning a full day of celebrations for your wedding, don’t forget about the final moments of your time together with your loved ones. During a destination wedding, you might opt to add fireworks on the beach or a bonfire celebration at the end of the day. As you head to your wedding car, your guests could see you off holding sparklers in their hands. There are so many fun endings to any wedding and your wedding venue will be able to offer ideas of events they’ve planned before and how you can top off a spectacular day.