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5 Essential Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

If you've always imagined yourself saying "I do" in an exotic locale with a breathtaking beach backdrop, a destination wedding is the right choice. There are countless possibilities when it comes to picking the perfect location, so with a little research, you can certainly find one that fits your tastes & reflects your unique relationship. Before you start planning one of these special events, though, there are certain considerations you need to take into account to ensure you have a relaxing & enjoyable big day.

Whether you're tying the knot in Tahiti or Mexico, remember these tips:

  1. Do you have your passport? This document is required for destination weddings outside the U.S., so you should make sure you allow enough time to apply for one. There is the option of expedited applications, but the process will still take several weeks. You'll also need to bring proof of citizenship to wed in the Caribbean, Mexico & other foreign destinations.

  2. Don't forget to research the marriage laws for the destination you choose. Every country is different, but many locations require that the couple applies for a marriage license in person. That means you'll want to arrive with all of the necessary paperwork & enough time to take care of the application. Additionally, some locations have a waiting period of several days. Looking into the specific laws ahead of time will ensure you're fully prepared – the last thing you want is any surprises putting a dent in your romance.

  3. A destination wedding requires more notice for your guests. Be sure to send out save the date announcements & invitations as early as possible, & discuss your plans with immediate family from the start. 

  4. A travel agent is invaluable when it comes to these events. They can be a liaison with your resort & even act as a wedding planner or coordinator. A knowledgeable agent will also typically have special access to benefits, amenities, tours & wedding packages that can make your big day particularly memorable, as well as cost-effective. Plus, these advisors can make your guests' lives easier by looking into group discount rates. Be sure to pass on your travel agent's information to friends & family so that they can facilitate the booking process.

  5. For brides, a destination wedding will likely demand some special planning in regard to style & beauty. First, you'll need to think about how you're transporting your gown to make sure it stays in tip top condition. It's also important to think about the destination's climate. After all, long trains aren't practical for beach weddings – & it may be necessary to invest in melt-proof makeup for island weddings.

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