We have had a few questions following our blog about the wedding so thought it would be easiest to answer them here.
Here are the things we think you need to think about before booking your destination wedding.
- Think about what you want. It sounds simple but really have a think about what you want as a couple, who do you want to be there, what do you want from the day. All these things add up, and in the heat of the moment booking that flight to Vegas might seem the perfect way out of table planning or cutlery choices. Take time to think about what you are choosing.
- Destination weddings are perfect if you (and your family) are prepared to step back and let things happen. If you pick a location be aware places like Thailand work on Thai time. Perfect for some, okay for others and a disaster for those who like to be in control. Ideally pick a location you have been to before, that way you have more of an idea of the culture and organisation you are likely to experience (this is advice we didn’t listen too). Also if you have dreamt up your perfect flower arrangements and table decorations as an eight-year-old playing dress up…do reflect carefully before paying the deposit. You are not likely to be able to get involved in the intricacies of the planning, flowers are normally what is available and in season, table settings are normally chosen from a small list of options, you are unlikely to hear the band play before the actual day…all these things add up!
- Give your guests as much notice as you can. Go against tradition, never mind how many weeks you are supposed to give for save the dates, invitations. We saved money by skipping save the dates and sent out invitations with all the information with a 12 months’ notice. Even if you have been planning for a while, trips abroad take time to arrange especially if your friends and family are spread out or have children. The more time you give people the more people are likely to be there.
- That being said…be sensible about how many people you invite! If your guests are traveling around the world to be with you, you want to be able to spend time with everyone, before, after and during the big day. We only invited 55-60 people and 40 made it on the day. 40 is still a big number of people for a destination wedding (big families). Also remember less people will save money, which means more savings to spend on fun activates with your guests. We spend a day on a boat, went on scooter rides, had meals out, went to a local dancing, cooking classes which is not possible with a huge guest list.
- Think about the dress. I know this seems an early stage to be thinking about this…but if you know what dress you want and it involves a cathedral train or big full skirt…think about the destination and how practical it is to get your dress to your location!
- Pick a hotel with good communication. I can’t stress this enough. The Kala and Fern the wedding planner we had were amazing. Everything was arranged via email and the replies were swift and well explained. You don’t want to be waiting a week to hear back with an answer to simple questions. This will only increase stress levels and decrease the enjoyment running up to the day.
- Out of season bookings. We decided to save money by booking in the off season (just outside of the peak tourist season for Koh Samui) which was a calculated risk. September is the rainy season, although we arrived in August and it was already raining. This did create some anxiety and there were times that make us consider if this had been a horrible mistake. However, the actual day had a massive thunderstorm about a two hours before the ceremony but then the sun came out. I think it was worth the money we saved and the hotel had a contingency plan, however, it certainly raised nerve levels if this is going to ruin your time, the savings might not be worth it.
- We were sneaky and chose, booked and paid the deposit on our wedding including the date before we announced to family and friends. It seems mean, but it stopped 100% of the possible arguments about dates, locations ect. I would recommend this option but it is what worked for us, it might not work for you.