Tips For Planning Your Destination Wedding Like A Pro

Posted by Ilumina Studios on January 8th 2019

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Los Angeles, California Photographer N/A

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Tips for Planning Your Destination Wedding Like A Pro

It’s time to embark of the adventure of making your dreams wedding a reality, but where to begin? There are vital things to consider when organizing a destination wedding, and we are going to examine the best ways to be proactive and get ahead of them! 

Read on to learn best practices about how to keep the process as relaxing and efficient as possible – while avoiding unforeseen bumps in bringing to life your destination wedding!

Start Scouting Early

You will most likely encounter challenges in the scouting process and you are going to want to have time on your side! The more time to handle language barriers, necessary permits, travel visas, international customs or passport issues - the better! Give yourself plenty of time before your planned wedding day and you can relax the entire process.

Also, factor in the time required to adequately research the area. For example, Florida and California, have beautiful beaches and much to offer. However, there is enormous variations between different regions within these states. The area’s personality changes greatly from one location to another, as do the beaches, sunsets, price ranges, and venue availability. In South Florida, vibrant Miami boasts colorful nightlife and international flavor, but Palm Beach shuts down early and has a has quiet and reserved sophistication. Regions of Northern and Central Florida offer rustic charm. The sandy beaches in the Keys in Florida have much smaller beaches of sand and the water is calmer than up the coastline to the east. So be sure to have an accurate concept of the weather conditions at your dream destination and start researching the area as early as possible!

Handling Legalities – Complete the Paperwork in the US

Before jetting off, do your research about what paperwork is best completed here at home. The law involving marriage can differ between countries and your marriage overseas may not be legally official in the United States. So, get your research done early and find out your destination’s laws for marriage licenses and certificates. Or save yourself the hassle and get it done in the US, so you can enjoy your time overseas without the stress!

Inform Your Guests As Soon as Possible

While you are excited getting to work planning your destination wedding, don’t forget to let your guests in on the news. It is important to let family and friends know you are planning an overseas trip for your wedding celebration. This will allow ample time for guests to request vacation time, look for the best prices and set aside money for the trip.

Also, consider the length of travel likely required for your guests. How many would be able to only travel for a weekend? Look into locations that are under a half day worth of flying time from where your guests will travel from. Additionally, direct flights are best when zeroing in on a location. Minimizing travel time and hassles from transfers can simplify the trip and make it easy for guests to join in your celebration! If the travel time happens to be longer than half-day, you can safely assume you will have a smaller wedding as a week-long trip might be out of the question for most of your guests.

A good place to start finding reasonable weekend flights is by searching for direct flights from the nearest airport. Work your way backwards and narrow down the options that way to prevent you from being overwhelmed by the many options!

Bring on the Pros: Hire a Coordinator 

Hiring an event coordinator is the ideal way to avoid many obstacles when planning a destination wedding from overseas. Keep from wasting valuable time on the phone working around language barriers or making decisions about ceremony details from far away. You can bring aboard an expert to take care of it all on your behalf! Also, if a planner is not in your budget, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go it alone! Look for resorts offering an on-site coordinator, as many offer this service included.  

When the weight of the responsibility of coordinating the details falls upon someone else’s shoulders the investment can be well worth the peace of mind. You are then able to be fully present in the moment, and refrain from thinking about what comes next and stressing!

Plan to Arrive Early

While you are busy planning an exciting weekend of festivities for your friends and family, plan on arriving early. There are several factors to consider when traveling a before a large event. Things like time changes, jet lag, and delayed flights can derail the best of intentions.

Also, arriving early lets you to become familiar with the area. You can leisurely see the ceremony and reception areas before people arrive and the day begins! Enjoy those precious moments to take it all in before the rush and bustle begins and fully enjoy your final days before you make it official.

Your Adventure Starts Here

So where will your destination wedding adventure bring you? Planning a destination wedding does not need to be stressful! With these tips in mind to assist, you are already on your way to enjoying your time overseas, and the beginning of your new journey!


Photographer Contact Information

Los Angeles, California Photographer N/A

See This Photographer's Website

Photographer Bio





My life right now is spent hopping from one fancy wedding venue to the next, but it wasn't always that way.

I picked up my first camera when I was 11 years old. I was completely enamored by the skateboarding culture, and industry photographers at the time. I dreamed of photographing skateboarding for a living and tried relentlessly to make it in the skateboarding industry.

By the time I was 16 I dropped out of high school and was living on the streets of southern California. Sleeping in public parks and friends' couches, still pursuing my dream of being a skateboard photographer.

At 18 years old, and still not a professional skate photographer, I decided it was time for a change, I packed my camera bag and decided to drive to San Francisco and become a wedding photographer. I spent weeks living out of a car and using Starbucks as my office. Slowly, using my skateboarding portfolio as my only reference, I was able to start booking clients, eventually turning weddings into my full-time job.

Today, I am 24 years old. I have traveled to 12 countries, on 4 continents all because of wedding photography. I am so proud to say that I have the greatest job I could have ever imagined. Even better than shooting skateboarding for a living!

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