Planning your big day is a big deal; that’s why we’re introducing our new Ask the Wedding Planner Q&A blog series. Each month, we’ll sit down with one of our expert destination wedding planners to ask some of your most pressing planning questions.
This week, wedding planner, Emily Scott, joins us to answer some of your frequently asked destination wedding questions! Emily helped Jessica Mulroney plan the stunning wedding for our Good Morning America contest winners Bobbie and Alonzo, which you can read about in the upcoming issue of Wedding Vacations.
How far in advance should I start planning my destination wedding?
Typically, there are two different phases for planning a destination wedding – the first is to book your hotel and travel and the second is to plan the big day! It’s important to give your guests good lead time to make their travel arrangements so we recommend securing your group bookings at least a year in advance.
For the planning portion, it’s ideal for couples to begin gathering some ideas and inspiration about eight to ten months in advance. Your destination wedding consultant will be able to help guide you through the planning process and provide you with an idea of what your planning timeline will look like.
What is the difference between a symbolic and a legal wedding?
Many couples wonder what the differences are between legal and symbolic ceremonies. If you choose to have a legal ceremony in destination, your marriage will be legally recognized once you return home. Your destination wedding consultant can help you understand the additional steps and fees required for a legal wedding, which can vary depending on your selected destination.
Symbolic ceremonies are more simple to arrange. Some couples choose to host a symbolic ceremony in destination and then legalize their marriage at home. Symbolic ceremonies can be performed to look very similar to a legal ceremony or they can be performed by a loved one for a more personal touch.
What’s the best way to transport a wedding dress or suit?
It’s always best to bring your wedding attire on board the flight! Sunwing Airlines offers a special area for wedding couples to store their outfits, so you can rest easy knowing that they’ll arrive safe and sound with you in destination. We also recommend storing your outfits together in one garment bag and double bagging them as an extra precaution to prevent moisture in the air from seeping in.
What’s the best way to share all of my destination wedding details?
We’ve seen a huge shift from sending traditional hard copy wedding details to sharing these details via email or a wedding website. Having an electronic copy of all the wedding details is a more accessible option, especially for destination weddings, that will allow your guests to have all of the necessary information on hand at all times. Working with one of our Group Travel Representatives also means your guests will have a main point person that they can reach out to for all of their travel or wedding detail inquiries.
How do I find reliable vendors without being in destination?
Finding vendors in another country can certainly seem like a daunting task; however, our team of destination wedding consultants have a curated list of reputable vendors that we work with on a regular basis. Resorts also tend to have their own preferred vendors which helps to narrow down your list when deciding which photographer, DJ, florist, etc. to choose for your big day. All you need to focus on is putting together your inspiration to share with your destination wedding consultant and the experts will take it from there.
Looking for more advice? Send us your destination wedding planning questions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll select questions to include in our next Ask the Wedding Planner Q&A blog!