Planning for a destination wedding can be overwhelming. This might be the largest party you have ever organized and having to do it thousands of miles away from the actual site can be nerve racking.
Here are a few questions that go beyond the pretty pictures to help make sure you pick the right venue for your Big Day!
1. What is your plan B? No one wants to think that this may be a reality on your wedding day, but it is important to find out what the plan is ahead of time. If the Plan B space is something you cannot see yourself being happy with - it might not be worth the risk.
2. Who will be my onsite contact? The pro that will be walking you down the aisle is just as important (if now more) as the person who you are booking the venue with. You may want to know how many weddings this person has under their belt to make sure you can feel confident the day of.
3. Will there be other weddings on the same day? This may or may not be important to your venue decision. However, its still good to know even if its to make sure your guests don't go to the wrong wedding.
4. When will I have access to the site? If your venue will allow you to bring in some of your own decor, you will want to know how much time you have to access the site prior to the ceremony. This will help you gauge how much stuff you can actually bring and put up in that time frame.
Pro Tip: Make sure to assign someone you trust (usually from outside your wedding party) to be in charge of decor setup. You will be too busy to handle this. Or ask the venue if they can have someone help setup, usually for a nominal fee.
5. How private is the site? Again, this might not be a deal breaker for you if the site is completely private or semi-private. This information is great to share with your photographer who can then be aware of angles where outsiders might be walking through or around.
Pro Tip: If it is a semi-private space and you would love it to be more private, ask the venue if they have or could rent tall plants or screens to make the space more private.
6. When will the party have to end? After party options? With the majority of destination weddings being outside, different places may have noise ordinances that the venue will need to abide by. Find out what time this might be. If your crew is late night partiers, find out what the after hours options might be. Some options like local late night bars or renting out a part of the onsite restaurant could be possible to keep the party going.
7. Where can the Bride & Groom get ready? Getting your beauty routine on is important and most likely will start early. So ask the venue where other brides usually get ready. If you are looking to spend the day with your bridesmaids, find out how large the space is and how many it can host.
Once you kick out your groom, make sure he has a space to go to as well (even if its to keep him out of trouble) This can be a smaller hospitality room or another grooms/family room (if accommodations are onsite)
8. Do you have a preferred vendor list? Chances are that if you are planning a destination wedding you may not know many vendors in that area. Ask your venue if they have a list of vendors they love and work with on a daily basis. Yes, Google and wedding websites like Wedding Wire, can certainly find you great lists - but having vendors that actually know the space and have worked with the staff is priceless. Or better yet, finding all inclusive destination wedding package takes all the stress out of having to find and hire your own (and will usually give you the best deal!)
9. Do I need insurance? This can be an added cost that you don't find out about until its too late. So make sure to ask if you or your vendors will need any type of insurance.
10. How can I maximize my spending with rewards? This might be one of the largest purchases you will make on a credit card so look for ways to maximize your value with added rewards or points. If you are hosting your destination wedding at a large brand, chances are, they have a rewards program already in place. These are usually free to signup for. You can even look to double or triple your rewards with incentive credit cards like the Marriott Bonvony card that offers bonus points for applying and then earning points for everything you spend. Also check out websites like Nerd Wallet that compares credit cards (specifically for categorizes like travel) so you can make the best choice.
About This Wedding Expert
Hi! I am Kristy Harvey, founder + lead planner of Best. Day. Ever. Weddings Florida Keys. I know planning a destination wedding can be stressful (believe me -I planned one of my own) - that's why 50-60 couples each year turn to us to create their perfect day with them in mind.
Stop the stressing and overwhelm - and start truly enjoying this once in a lifetime planning journey.
Let's start your planning journey together today!