If you have ever wanted to get married in a fantastic far off destination, then you’re in the right place. That’s because you’re about to discover my critical steps for planning a destination wedding that most couples fail to take.
The good news is that taking these 3 crucial steps will guide you to plan a better wedding even if you have no idea where to start in the wedding planning process.
Killarney Oaks Hotel—Kerry, Ireland
With the rising popularity of non-religious destination wedding ceremonies, more and more couples are choosing to host their wedding in hotel venues. This guide in collaboration with the Killarney Hotels Group from Kerry, Ireland offers expert advice on how to plan a hotel destination wedding.
Sounds good??? Well, read on my friend…
Step 1: Considering a Wedding Venue: The Benefits
Many couples who are new to destination wedding planning do not even realize that they need to do a lot of research and deep dive before they can effectively pick a venue and confirm their date. That is why a lot of couples who try to plan a destination wedding without a skilled destination wedding planner or travel agent end up failing – they are simply missing this crucial step.
So, the first thing you need to do is consider the abundance of reasons why you should host your wedding abroad in a hotel setting. If you do not have a lot of extra time to research all there is to offer we believe a hotel setting is a great idea! Hotel venues offer incredible versatility and can cater to celebrations of all sizes and styles.
You’ll find that this part of the process goes much more smoothly if you consider these facts:
- With hotels, you will have plenty of options to choose from no matter what kind of wedding you are planning.
- Another big plus is that hotels look great in photos, especially those that are based in picturesque locations.
Once you’ve researched a few hotels as potential venues, then you can move on to the next step…
Step 2: Compare Wedding Venues: It’s About Apples to Apples
The next thing you need to do while searching for a hotel wedding venue, is to confirm your date, budget and guest list. While looking at hotels, make a point of recording their availability, cost, capacity, location, style and catering options in a special spreadsheet. You should also find out if the hotel has wedding experts on-staff who can help you plan your big day.
When I first started teaching couples how to pick the perfect location for a destination wedding, I saw a lot of mistakes. And now that I’ve helped others do it, I see a lot of couples have a tendency to make the same mistakes.
In order to save your sanity, I would like to share with you the top 4 mistakes couples make when planning a destination wedding and how to avoid them:
- Not making an appointment for a site inspection to see the venue before the wedding. It is extremely important to make an appointment with the wedding salesperson to ensure all wedding questions are answered and that you have seen the wedding ceremony and reception locations before you sign a contract. Couples skip this to avoid spending money but failing to see the venue before you book might leave you feeling disappointed in the end. Most hotels will offer you an exclusive discounted rate for your accommodations if you schedule a site visit to see what they have to offer.
- Creating a guest list after the venue is booked. You should have a rough idea of how many guests you plan on inviting to ensure no one is crammed, uncomfortable or to make sure the room is too big to accommodate your guests properly.
- Many destination venues are fabulous; however, they are often off the beaten path and lack nearby accommodation options. Consider how remote the location, area transportation and if the venue can accommodate anyone with special needs before you book. You want your guests to be comfortable, especially since they are travelling all that way!
- Not having a weather backup plan. Guess what? Unless you know Mother Nature personally, the weather is out of our control. A couple’s Plan B weather backup protocol should be discussed with the venue despite the time of year. Too much sun, wind, rain or a sudden thunderstorm can make or break your dream wedding. Make sure to ask about additional costs that may occur with a backup plan, such as renting a tent, heaters, or air conditioning.
Step 3: Knowing Key 10 Questions to Ask Your Destination Wedding Venue
At this step you’re likely to notice the overwhelm of trying to plan a wedding abroad (this is where a seasoned destination wedding planner or travel agent comes to save the day!). What you need is to make sure you ask the right questions:
- What responsibilities does your venue coordinator handle?
- What are the catering options offered by the hotel?
- What is the venue’s cancellation policy? (Especially during COVID)
- Is the hotel accessible for guests with mobility issues or special needs?
- Does the hotel provide transportation from the airport for guests?
- What decorations, if any, are provided by the venue?
- Is there a minimum number of days/nights guests must stay?
- Do they offer a special rate for hotel rooms for wedding guests?
- Do you allow multiple weddings or events to take place at the same time?
- Will you be doing any remodeling before my wedding day?
- Where are the best spots for indoor and outdoor photos?
- Am I free to select my own wedding vendors or will there be an outside vendor fee?
Planning a Destination Hotel Wedding Conclusion
And there you have it – a 3-step guide that spills all the secrets for planning a destination hotel wedding. Now that you know how to consider the benefits, understand venue contrast and comparison and what to ask, there’s just one thing left for you to do: take action.
So get to it, and soon you too will be on your flight, sipping a little celebratory bubbly, cheersing to your beautiful destination wedding!
Where will your destination hotel wedding be?