Planning a destination wedding is exciting for both the couple and their guests. However, in doing so, there are several things to take into consideration. In this five-part series, we will explore different unique issues facing couples who are thinking of going this route.
Obviously, destination weddings cost more than weddings in one's hometown or nearby and some destination weddings cost significantly more than others. If you are choosing a popular destination, your friends and family can probably find reasonable rates on airfare and hotel rooms. With the popularity of sites like Orbitz and Expedia, there are always deals and specials to take advantage of. Other things to consider though, are the seasonal rates depending on when you are going to have your wedding. For example, during high season in the Palm Springs area, hotel rates and airfare are significantly higher than during the more sleepy summer days. This means that Food and Beverage minimums for venues and booking vendors will probably come at a much higher price as well due to the popularity of that time of year, and availability may be more scarce. Doing some research ahead of time is helpful because you can cut out some of the work for them and have information readily available for their consideration.
When I got married in the Palm Springs area, I provided my guests with a list of local accomodations in every price range and a map with their proximity to the venue. I also secured a block of rooms which yielded a less expensive rate and allowed my guests (especially the immediate families) to stay near one another.
Also, do research on the airlines that travel closest to your destination and different airports if applicable. In the Palm Springs area, there are several different airports nearby, and they all have different rates as a result, and different benefits and challenges. Research how arriving on different days can also change the fare pricing.
Guests' costs and time are probably the most important consideration and determining factor in their attendance. If you want to have a destination wedding because it's your dream, you should do so, but be prepared for the possibility of a smaller guest list, and be understanding as to why.
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