Planning a Destination Wedding – Top 11 To Do’s!

 

Dreaming of a hassle free fun-for-all destination wedding? Follow this to-do list and you’re good to go!

When you think of a destination wedding, ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ style romantic locales, glitz and glamour are the first things to strike your mind! Right? But don’t forget that it requires a lot of detailed planning and execution… Here’s our Top 11 to-do’s to help you plan it right!

Destination Wedding To Do’s – #1 Decide your Budget!

destination wedding

Of Honey & Money!

Picture Courtesy: Studio Be Unique

You can’t do anything without this. Period

Deciding a budget should kick start your wedding planning – everything from your choice of destination to guests to decor to food menu depends on this!

#Wedding Planning Tip – If you’re planning abroad or in other states – Make a note of hidden & unknown costs such as tax rates, visa charges, tips!

#2 – Draw up your Guest List

destination wedding

Shaadi Party!

Picture Courtesy: Dipak Studios

Destination weddings are much close knit personal affairs than in-town weddings. So cut down the numbers and draw up your guest list keeping your venue and budget in mind.

destination wedding guests

Team Bride & Groom!

Picture Courtesy: Knotty Affair

It also doubles up as a vacation for your guests, so split your guests lists into logical groups – family, friends, work, distant family & social circle and choose accordingly!

#Wedding Planning Tip – Get your ‘Save the Dates’ picture/video/email ready now!

#3 – Hunt for Destinations and Book a Wedding Planner!

destination wedding

Magical Setting!!

Picture Courtesy: The Wedding Salad

Love the beaches of Goa and Bali? Or the Mountains of Mussurie? Or stunning Eurpoe? Or a Royal backdrop a la Udaipur? Dream, discuss, check weather reports and plan with your better half and immediate family to decide which location you’d like to go for.

destination wedding venue

Beach in Yellow!

Picture Courtesy: Romesh Dhamija Productions

Once that’s done, you should aim at getting a wedding planner specializing in destination weddings on board.

Trust us – good planners take care of every minute detail at your venue from table decor to safety pins or that roli on the puja ki thaali that will never even strike you sitting here.

destination wedding

Say Cheeeeeeese!

Picture Courtesy: kirandeep_photography

Save yourself the stress, time and endless effort of mind-boggling coordination and planning! Select your destination wedding planner from our list of top wedding planners.

#Wedding Planning Tip – Send your ‘Save the Date’ as soon as your guest list is ready and Destination finalized!

#4 – Plan & Visit the Destination

Do your homework ( or ask your ZoWed Wedding Assistant) and list the Top Venues at your chosen location.

destination wedding

Moroccan Lamps & Magical Love!

Picture Courtesy: Narain Devika

Find out the one’s that are available on your dates – and visit them with your wedding planner to decide on the best fit and discuss ideas on everything from where the mandap goes up to what decor and theme will work best with the venue.

destination wedding

Celebration Time!

Picture Courtesy: Shades Photography

If you wan’t a separate decor artist, decide and hire one so you can take him along on your next trip to the venue.

#Wedding Planning Tip –  Always check recent wedding pictures at a venue before you decide which event goes where.

#5 –  Decide your Menu… and Caterer(s)!

destination wedding

Yummyyyyyy!

Picture Courtesy:Dream Diaries

Don’t forget to discuss the menu options available while you visit the venue. While you’re there, check out other good local food vendors. Your wedding planner should arrange food trials from them before you finalize one.

destination wedding cakes

Yummy Moments!

Picture Courtesy: pictureperfectindia

Wedding cakes and a yummmy desserts counter are a must do this season – if your caterer is not known for it, get a separate desserts counter from someone who specializes in cakes and wedding desserts!

#Wedding Planning Tip – Note down your feedback from the food sampling right after you taste and communicate these to the caterer you finalise, then and later. You don’t want your guests scrambling for water screaming ‘mirchiiiiiii’!

#6 – Book your Wedding Photographer!

destination wedding photographer

First Dance!

Picture Courtesy: Duke Images

For destination weddings, if you take your photographer and his team with you,  you pay for their stay, food etc. So its often a good idea to book the best local photographer at your destination itself! How? Ask your ZoWed personal assistant to search for the best!

destination wedding shoot

Deep in Love!

Picture Courtesy: Wedding 365

3 Simple Steps Steps to Book your Wedding Photographer –

1 – Give us your Wedding Dates, Venue & Photography Budget

2 – Check out the ‘photographers shortlist’ ZoWed sends you and browse through their latest works samples

3 – Have a face-to-face (or on call) casual chit chat session with your selected photographers to get to know them better before you book the one you’re ‘most comfortable’ with!

destination wedding planning

You, Me & Us!

Picture Courtesy: Awara_kt

Going for a pre wedding shoot is a great idea too – you not just create and preserve lovely memories, you also to get to know and gel better with your photographer so there’s no awkwardness or camera shyness at the time of the wedding!

#Tip – Most photographers will offer great discounts on your Pre Wedding package if you also book Wedding photography with them.

#7 – Fix your Squad!

destination wedding

Team Wedding!

Picture Courtesy: anushreegavas for Aviraj Saluja

Make a list of all the important people on your wedding day (I don’t mean family here ;P) . Your photographer, makeup artist, mehendi artists, Dj, et al.

destination wedding mua

Glitter & Glow!

Picture Courtesy: Shutterdown

Choose the right mix of local and destination based vendors – a local dj may be great but its not always recommended to take chances with makeup artists unless they’re reeeeeeally good and you’ve taken a trial!

#Tip – Ask your wedding planner about the best local professionals at the destination. Or ask Zowed

#8 – Travel Buddy!

destination wedding

Take Off!

Picture Courtesy: Oragraphy

Destination wedding means lots of tickets, scheduling, rescheduling, hotel room bookings… and visa, documents and forex handling if your wedding destination is abroad! Don’t even think of doing this yourself😱

destination wedding

Shaadi Party!

Picture Courtesy: Dipak Studios

Book a travel agent who can take care of all this for your family and guests.

Also remember that you’re the host family, so you should arrive at the destination atleast 3-4 days prior to actual ceremonies to do the final check on food tasting, decor, inspections and last-minute preps.

destination wedding invitations

Welcome!

Picture Courtesy: Customizing_creativity

#Tip – It’s time you send your formal wedding invitations and start noting the RSVPs

#9 – Pre Final Visit!

destination wedding

Dream Valleys!

Picture Courtesy: The Rich Pages

Yay… Another getaway before the big day! If both of you are travelling to your destination, it’s perfect to go for a pre wedding shoot there now!😍

destination wedding decor

Beauty in Details!

Decor Courtesy: Ranipinklove Picture Courtesy: Aviraj Saluja

But mainly this visit is to sort out and finalize local vendors, food sampling, understanding local taxes and plan for contingencies with your wedding planner.

# 10 – Small is BIG!

destination wedding

Of Poojas & Jijas!

Picture Courtesy:Dream Diaries

List all the small things that you need to carry – from cellotape and stationery to kilangi and money envelopes, aarti thaali to ring platter, gifts and favors to hangover kits!

destination wedding gifts

Say Thank you!

Picture Courtesy: Freixenetusa

And courier everything possible in advance – from these little things to big things like your trousseau clothes!

#Tip – Pack and courier your honeymoon bags too –  if you’re flying away from there😍

#11 –  Plan your Honeymoon!

Wedding Planning

Let’s Fall in Love!

Picture Courtesy:Dream Diaries

In all this wedding planning, don’t forget your honeymoon sweeties!

Most hotels are ready to accommodate and offer extended stays(after the wedding) to the ‘To Be’ Couple – so negotiate for extras and freebies thrown in for an attractive package!

destination wedding honeymoon

Let’s go Honey!

Picture Courtesy: Hitched & Clicked at The Picture Destination

This Destination Wedding planner is all you need to get organized without losing your mind- take a print and keep it handy for insights and tips you’re likely to skip otherwise! Now get, set, go get married… and share your lovely pictures soon 🙂

Cover Picture by @preach.art

Cover Picture by @Aviraj Saluja

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About the author

Richa

Richa is Senior Partner at Zowed - The Wedding Planning app. She has a background in marketing consultancy, branding and everything social media related. She loves reading, talking and blogging about her likes, fancies & trends in the wedding industry.

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