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Beautiful weddings at remote locations are becoming more common; as flight paths increase and the necessity to invite all and sundry is diminishing, we can be a bit more daring with the where and when.

If you’re among those dreaming of a ceremony with a coastal backdrop, with your toes sunk into white sand or in an isolated venue that will let you party all night, then efficient planning and personalization will be key to your special day’s success.

Here’s how to tailor your destination wedding to the last luxury detail; a guide to what you need to know to start planning for your incredible day.

How to Tailor Your Destination Wedding to the Last Luxury Detail

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Research Your Location

No traveler enjoys endless research, but the smart travellers understand that it’s a necessary evil. Proper research isn’t always the most fun, but it means you’ll get the little details right.

Reading into a place also prepares you with information that can be useful in an emergency. This applies to weddings as much as backpacking holidays.

Once you’ve chosen an approximate location, begin to narrow your search to venues that can provide the luxury service you deserve. Customer service is important for any stay away from home, but even more so if two newly-weds and their close friends and family need attending to!

In an ideal world, you would visit every potential location personally to check its validity as a wedding venue. But in the absence of a bottomless bank account, we have to resort to Google, and the unending information available there. The resorts gallery is a great place to start.

With 100 acres of beautiful Australian bushland, and private luxury cabins onsite, the Bower is a stunning location for a destination wedding.

Seek More Information

Once you’ve found the perfect location, a quick phone call to your venue can often result in more information via email, such as brochures and leaflets in PDF format.

Though look beyond the brochures to other people’s photos posted on Google and social media, as these will often show a more realistic, less “touched up” version of what the venue looks like.

You can also ask the hotel/salon’s staff for photos of setups they have offered previous clients. This will give you a better idea of what they can offer and where their experience lies.

You shouldn’t discard a possible location if it doesn’t have the exact services or package you were hoping for. While it will involve more people, contracting a specialist florist, musicians etc may give you more flexibility on the day.

And, contracting services independently, of, say, a hotel package, can also make it much easier to negotiate costs and extras.

Wedding dress

Forget about the Organization?

If you simply want to forget about the organization and let someone else do the leg-work, investigate something like the Excellence wedding services, where the accommodation, photography, bridal hair and makeup, even spa treatments beforehand, are all taken care of by specialists.

All you’ll have to worry about is scrolling through the resorts gallery to start picturing yourself all dressed up with a backdrop of the ocean.

If you want fireworks to end the night, that’s something you should check with your hotel before you book. We were at a destination wedding at Excellence Playa Mujeres which offered this as well as indoor pyrotechnics. Romantic dinners for the happy couple are also part of the package.

Fireworks RF

Consider a Wedding Consultant

One service available at luxury resorts is a wedding consultant. Becoming a wedding consultant may seem like the dream job but once you’ve started to investigate the wealth of ideas and Pinterest images available, you’ll understand why tailoring your big day, especially in a remote place, is better left to an expert!

This is even more true if the expert specializes in weddings at the venue you chose. The best tip we can give you to do this is to download pictures and make a scrapbook, to show to those helping you with the luxury details.

Smilebox can help you do this without the need to print – perfect for when you’re working long distance with your planner based at a stunning but distant location. This is the best way to get your message across and make sure you and your venue are on the same page.

So start thinking about what you want, and how to transmit these ideas to someone who can make it a reality. And above all, enjoy the process!

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.

    20 Comments

  1. When I got married we toyed with the idea of having a ceremony abroad, but then again in Italy we have this idea that you absolutely have to get married where you grew up. So… we might still decide for a second ceremony just for us, but I wouldn’t hire a wedding consultant, you know? Maybe it’s because it’d be just us, but I’d love to research our location and plan everything on my own. It’s part of the fun!

    • Hi Dany, thanks for sharing about your cultural traditions in Italy, of getting married where you grew up. It’s a really beautiful concept :)

      But for sure, no reason why you can’t have a second ceremony just for you, which would fulfill those dreams of a destination wedding, or maybe an elopement – sounds so romantic!

      The research stage can definitely be part of the fun – I personally find it as a great way to get excited and build up the anticipation. Have a great one!

  2. My husband and I have been married for well over 20 years, but I do remember considering back then the option of a destination wedding, but it was not as common for UK couples back then, and it seemed too daunting a prospect. I think, if we were to get married now, I’d almost definitely look to do that, and the tips above would be very useful. My sister and her husband got married a few years ago in Dubrovnik and that was just a magical experience through and through!

    • I think it’s definitely become a more common idea to have a destination wedding in recent years, and now that we have easy and instant access to information via the internet, it’s a lot less intimidating to research and plan that it once was.

      Your sisters wedding in Dubrovnik sounds incredible – I loved Croatia, and can only imagine how magical it would have been as a ceremony backdrop!

      Maybe you and your husband can renew your vows in a destination ceremony for a special anniversary :)

  3. I had a destination wedding for my first wedding. Sadly, the marriage didn’t work out but the wedding was amazing. It was in Bali and they brought an element of local cultures into it. It was considerably better value than back home but one word of warning. Other guests were insisting we turned off the music at 11am so you may want to check this with the venue

    • Sorry to hear that the first marriage didn’t work out Anne – but it does sound like a great wedding!

      That’s an excellent point about the music, yes, I got married in Hawaii, and our resort let us know before we booked that the music had to be shut off at 10pm. I actually really enjoyed this as I felt it ended at a good time, and people didn’t get too drunk or tired lol!!

  4. I love the idea of making a scrapbook of ideas to help a wedding consultant at a destination understand your likes and your style. I’m one of those people who can find it hard to articulate things like this, but I know it when I see it. I’d love for my husband and me to renew our vows at some point and would totally look to do that in some amazing destination. First time around wasn’t feasible because of our grandparents’ travel restrictions.

    • Scrapbooking for the win! I’m a very visual person, so really love the process of printing / cutting things out, and creating that visual representation of what you want the day to be. I’m a bit of a scrapbook nerd lol!

      Renewing your vows overseas would be an amazing way to celebrate your marriage. So many great destinations to choose from too!

  5. Thanks for the great tips! Wedding planning can be stressful enough when you’re having a local wedding. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to plan a wedding in a remote location! I definitely think employing a consultant or organization to help you do the planning is the best way to make sure your wedding goes according to plan and there isn’t any awful surprises!

    • You’re welcome Kiyoko! Absolutely – we chose a really great location, and were very grateful for the expertise of the wedding planner at the resort we chose. That said, we’re so lucky in todays day and age to have access to so much information online, so it was surprisingly not as difficult to plan and organize everything as you might think :)

  6. Julie and I did a destination spot for our wedding, which was in Amelia Island, Florida. My parents live there, so I had them to rely on and I had visited a number of times, so I knew what to expect. It turned out to be such a fun weekend, and we had our ceremony/reception on Friday afternoon, so all of our guests turned it into a long weekend, and were free to golf, swim, or do whatever they wanted to on Saturday/Sunday.

    • LOVE Amelia Island, we lived in Fort Myers for a year, and visited Amelia Island as part of our travels around the State. What a beautiful place to get married.

      Nice to have the support of your parents to check out your locations for you – I’m sure it was very special for them too to be playing such an important role in the preparations :)

      Great idea to turn it into a long weekend for your guests. Congrats Drew!

  7. I wish destination weddings were more of a thing! We actually eloped to Hawaii and wouldn’t have had it any other way. I think every bride and groom should consider them as traditional weddings can be so costly just to cater mostly to other people than themselves. Also a wedding consultant is a great tip! Specially if they are local to a destination you know nothing about.

    • Wow eloping to Hawaii sounds amazing! We got married in Hawaii too, but had 40 friends and family follow us lol!

      I agree though, it can be so costly when really the wedding is for the two of you. Though that said many people enjoy sharing such a special moment in their lives with their closest family and friends, so I can definitely understand the want to spend money catering to everyone :)

      Congrats on your wedding – sounds wonderful!

  8. Smilebox sounds helpful, so does a hotel wedding concierge. My husband and I wanted to get married elsewhere, maybe in Banff, but in the end we did an almost destination wedding here in Toronto at the Hyatt. We all stayed in the hotel and they were amazing. But you are so right, there is so much research that needs to be done when researching weddings. I spent weeks online. A hotel that really steps in is absolutely essential. A beach is optional haha.

    • Sounds like a great balance Carol, of keeping it local but feeling like you’re taking a holiday, and allowing the resort staff to cater for you. Every Hyatt I’ve been to has been an incredible property, so I can imagine they did a fabulous job for you.

      Congrats on your wedding! Perhaps you can renew your vows in a special overseas ceremony :)

  9. That are great tips, Meg for the one looking to have a destination wedding. Research and planning well are really important. I have been married for four years now and wanted to have a destination wedding in Goa that time. but parents wanted all the functions and wedding to happen from the hometown. So, couldn’t go against them.

    • Thanks Suruchi! Yes, it’s definitely difficult managing family expectations, especially if there’s a lot of pressure to keep your wedding local. Perhaps though you can plan a special renewal of your vows ceremony sometime overseas :)

  10. Great tips. Having had a destination wedding myself, I cannot stress having a wedding planner. In my case, we did a restaurant buyout in Barcelona and the manager served as a planner of sorts. We had a few Skype calls and she took care of everything at the venue. All we had to do was show up!

    • Thanks Jessica – a restaurant buyout in Barcelona sounds wonderful – Barcelona is such a magical city, and it sounds like the restaurant manager really came through for you :)

      Congrats on your nuptials!

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