Planning Your Wedding Location

WHERE should we go for your wedding? "Whoa," you say. "I don't even know where we want to GO to have a destination wedding." Aha. Well, that's the fun part: Deciding!

There are a couple of considerations in choosing a place to get married:

  • Marriage Laws: There are a couple of considerations in choosing a place to get married:How easy it is to get married somewhere has a lot to do with what the laws are like there. Some places require residency, a lot of paperwork, or substantial tests. That makes getting married there, when you're coming from far away, a hassle. France is a great example. Same with some U.S. States.
  • Resources: People get married everywhere, so there are wedding service providers all over. But whether or not they are equipped to work with a "long-distance" couple during the planning stages can make a huge difference. Furthermore, in very remote areas, you might not be able to find anyone to provide the wedding services you want.
  • Interesting Things to Do and See: Presumably, you're going to choose a place because you love it or have always wanted to visit. That goes without saying. But if you're planning to invite guests, keep their needs and interests in mind, too.
  • Affordability: The budget rears its ugly head. Money no object? Super, go anywhere! But if it is, keep in mind that some locales are more expensive than others. That, and distance, may effect who can come, or how much you have to spend once travel costs are accounted for.
  • How to Go About Planning this Thing

    Assuming you've chosen a location, now let's think about how you might get it done:

    Option A: Wedding Consultant

    One option is to hire a wedding consultant who is familiar with the location where you wish to get married. This might be a consultant is located in the place where you're getting married, or a travel agent or other person who has experience in planning destination weddings. Don't assume that just any wedding or travel consultant can automatically meet your needs. A consultant who is wonderful for local couples may not be as adept in helping you long-distance. Luckily, in some locales there are wedding consultants whose primary business is working with couples from out-of-town. They are good about faxing, mailing photos, and taking other special steps to help you. There are also consultants who aren't limited to any particular wedding location, but regularly handle destination weddings.

    All told, these may be the most-hassle free way to plan a wedding, but it will add to your cost. For example, they may charge a flat fee, or a surcharge on the cost of all services that they contract for you. It goes without saying: get references for anyone you work with.

    Option B: Hospitality Providers

    The second option is to find a hotel or inn or bed & breakfast that offers wedding planning services for guests who stay there. You'd be surprised how many of these places have hosted weddings in the past, and may even have a concierge who helps with the wedding planning, often for a ceremony and reception right on site. It's possible that a hotel offers this service but doesn't advertise it widely. It's worth asking about--ask any hotel, resort, inn, or Bed & Breakfast that you're interested in.

    For All your wedding planning inspiration make sure you check out our Planning, Tips and Wedding Inspiration from picking out perfect wedding favors, to some fabulous bridesmaid gifts to gifts your groomsmen will love! Our Inspiration Wedding Guide is a great start to planning your special day! And don't forget to check out My Wedding Favors, it's the perfect place for wedding planners, brides, and the wedding party to find everything they need for that special day.