Despite being multiple wedding styles to choose from, destination weddings certainly are one of a kind. They give you the opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your partner, spend quality time with your loved ones, and of course, tie the knot in an amazing location. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to start your honeymoon right away. All of this combined surely will create a magical environment for you to celebrate such an important day in your life as it is your wedding!
How to plan your destination wedding?
A destination wedding is a chance to have an intimate and romantic event away from home. Plan yours and embark on an exciting journey with your partner. Then, where should you start?
Choose the location and venue that best suits your wishes
Location is one of the most important considerations when planning your destination wedding. Therefore, the place must be safe and have all the resources you need. Subsequently, you should keep in mind the following:
- Check the location’s time zone. For instance, Ecuador uses UTC -5. Also, the country doesn’t have daylight saving time.
- Look at the country’s geographical position. It’s important to check if it has direct flights and connections to major North American and European airports. Flying time between Ecuador and Miami, for example, is less than 5 hours. Likewise, the average direct flight time from Atlanta to Ecuador is 5 hours and 30 minutes.
- Finally but not least, the weather. It is really important to know the climate conditions in your destination because this can affect your whole wedding, including your dress. That’s why a good option is to choose year-round destinations such as Ecuador, to avoid any complications due to weather conditions.
A good example of the perfect honeymoon and wedding destination is Ecuador. The country has all the characteristics listed above and has 4 different regions at a small distance so you can get married in a place with the exact climate and flora you always dream about.
Establish a date for your destination wedding
- Check your schedule and availability.
- Be conscious of weather conditions. Subsequently, keep in mind that seasonal changes can have a major impact on your event.
- Review the average rainfall by month.
- Above all, be aware of fluctuations in tourism. During the high season, booking rates can be expensive. However, the low season can mean empty streets and closed hotspots.
- Most importantly, the Save-the-Date announcement should be sent 8 to 12 months before the wedding
- Monitor sunset times and tide charts. For instance, a fuller moon creates higher tides.
- Review if your dream location has local holidays, or any political elections or demonstrations.
Build the budget
- Firstly, determine the budget. Establish how much you, your fiancé, and your families are willing to spend on a destination wedding.
- Likewise, you should also consider your guest’s budget. Remember to provide enough recommendations for a range of budgets.
- In addition, confirm the local currency.
Start planning your dream destination wedding!
Tailor your wedding outfit to the destination. Further, consider the climate when dress and tux shopping. For example, in humid destinations, breathable fabrics are the best option.
Most importantly, be thorough with communications with your guests. Determine a weekend itinerary that includes the date, time, and location of each event. Likewise, create a wedding website that includes the schedule for the wedding. Add travel logistics:
- Legal requirements.
- Transport information.
- Airport codes.
- Wedding etiquette.
- Wedding registry.
Contact your destination wedding suppliers
Rebecca Adventure Travel aims to be your local and strategic partner when you plan your destination wedding. Our Destination Experts will be happy to assist you in contacting all the suppliers you need for the pre and post-wedding events. Remember that you’ll need a variety of suppliers:
- Wedding planners.
- Wedding stationery.
- Travel specialists.
- Websites and apps.
Hire a specialized wedding planner
Make sure to hire a pro coordinator that specializes in destination weddings. As a result, a specialized wedding planner will help you navigate the highs and lows of the event. Certainly, the wedding planner will help you get:
- Vendor discounts.
- Keep track of your budget.
- Schedule consultations.
- Coordinate every detail of your wedding.
Go local and choose local vendors
- Become immersive with the local community. In that way, you can give back to the community that is hosting your event.
- Above all, highlight traditions, history, and local entrepreneurs through services and experiences. For example, include local cuisine in your event.
- Ask the event venue or wedding planner to contact you with local vendors. Above all, when you incorporate local specialties, you can slash your budget!
For example, a country like Ecuador is known for its vibrant decorations such as its world-famous roses, spectacular Ecuadorian cuisine, and for its parties with live music. Also in this country, it is customary for couples like to plan religious and civil weddings. For instance, religious ceremonies are performed in colonial churches. After family and friends gather in a wedding venue chosen by the couple, meanwhile, the civil wedding is a smaller gathering.
Plan your destination wedding trip
When you start planning the pre-wedding and post-wedding events, you can choose different travel styles such as active, adventurous, or more relaxed ones. Here are some examples of activities you can consider to enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences:
- Cuyabeno Adventure
- Baños Excursion
- Mindo Zip Lining – Private Tour
- Galapagos Amazing Cruises
- Biking Options
Program your joint destination bachelor/bachelorette tours!
A combined bachelor/bachelorette party can be an epic trip you’ll never forget! Ecuador is a dream destination for group-friendly events and has several available activities and tours for when you are traveling with friends and family. If you’re looking for a thrilling experience, check the options Rebecca Adventure Travel has for you:
- Spa tour in Papallacta Hot Springs and Baños
- Adventure Multisport tour
- Inspiring tour around Colonial and Historical Quito
Plan a weekend itinerary by adding fun events
Expand the itinerary! Therefore, guests can enjoy extra activities and memorable moments. Also, you can add welcome bags for the guests. For example, check local gastronomic tours and activities:
- Chocolate tastings.
- Textile workshops.
- Coffee tours.
Welcome parties are a great way to create a nice atmosphere before the wedding day. Remember that they are intended to entertain the guests. They are also an opportunity to greet and have intimate moments with your guests. You can choose to have a formal event or opt for a nontraditional celebration like a brunch or a luncheon.
When you’re hosting a destination wedding, the welcome party should be scheduled for the day guests are going to arrive. You can plan:
- Mimosas and Bloody Mary brunch
- Casual bar night
- Drinks and dessert party
- Boho-chic picnic
- Pool party
A traditional rehearsal dinner kicks off your wedding weekend. In Ecuador, you can choose to have your rehearsal dinner in:
- Restored colonial houses.
- Private beaches.
- Historic haciendas, or luxury farmhouses.
A post-wedding brunch is an event organized for the morning after the wedding. Likewise, it puts an end to the wedding weekend. At the same time, during the post-wedding brunch, the newlyweds can spend more quality time with the guests. Thus, you can reminisce about the best moments of your event. Also, brunch is the best excuse to have a farewell and emotional moment for guests before they go back home.
A place like Quito’s old town has everything to create the perfect romantic setting. Its beautiful historical architecture, surrounded by mountains will certainly be a memorable experience for you and your guests at a post-wedding brunch. Ecuadorian cuisine is another plus, and you can enjoy it in the best restaurants in town.
Expect the unexpected: get wedding insurance
Invest in wedding insurance. That way you will protect the financial investment you are making by planning a destination wedding. Moreover, include room in your budget for unexpected expenses. Keep in mind sudden costs such as:
- Non-vendor tips.
- Airport transfers.
- Shipping costs.
- Baggage fees.
Check legal restrictions
Every country has its own requirements, so if you want to travel abroad you must make sure you have all your documentation in place in order to have a smooth sailing wedding! As Ecuador has been mentioned as a good destination for your event, you might be wondering if foreigners can get married in Ecuador. The good news is the answer is yes!
Check out the requirements for marrying in Ecuador:
- Review the Ecuadorian embassy in your home country to obtain up-to-date legal requirements. For example, every marriage has to be approved by an Ecuadorian civil authority.
- In order to enter Ecuador, every visitor needs to have the yellow fever vaccine.
- Double-check all expiration dates on your passports and other documents.
- For the latest information, review the requirements on the Ecuadorian Civil Registry.
Project your destination wedding checklist
12 to 16 months to go
- Work on your budget.
- Make a guest list draft.
- Decide on a country or region you would like to visit.
- Hire a wedding planner.
- Book a travel agent.
- Secure a wedding venue and set your date.
- Reserve your honeymoon site.
9 to 11 months to go
- Send out the Save the Date.
- Create a wedding website. Above all, include extensive details on travel and accommodations.
- Plan wedding-related events.
- Get your wedding outfit.
- Work with a wedding planner or coordinator to find local vendors.
6 to 8 months to go
Build the menu with your wedding venue and caterer. In addition, remember to book the rehearsal dinner. Determine and book vendors:
- DJ or band.
- Cake maker.
- Rentas & linens.
- Hairstyle and makeup artist.
3 to 5 months to go
Finalize the guest list and get the invitations out.
6 to 8 weeks to go
Make sure you confirm:
- Flight and hotel bookings.
- Guest RSVPs and meal choices.
- Photographer and videographer.
- Menu, beverages, and catering details.
- Rental delivery and times for pickups.
- Song lists for ceremony and reception.
- Timeline for the reception and toast.
3 to 5 weeks to go
- Confirm flight numbers and arrival times.
- Finalize seating arrangements.
- Put together the emergency wedding kit.
- Check the weather report.
- Make sure you have the proper electrical converters so you can plug in your devices.
4 to 5 days to go
Arrive at your wedding destination:
- Do a walk-through of your wedding and reception ceremony.
- Meet coordinators and other vendors.
- Determine a day for the tasting with the caterer and cake maker.
- Makeup’s final trial.
The day before
- Make sure to have your wedding dress, suit, or tux steamed.
- Enjoy your rehearsal dinner.
Enjoy your destination wedding!
Enjoy your special day with your family and friends!
Destination weddings are a wonderful way to start your married life. You’ll connect with your partner while discovering new places making the whole experience unforgettable!
If you need help creating your perfect destination wedding contact us! One of our Destination Experts will be happy to help you.
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