These result in unnecessary stress and angst at a time when we should be having fun.
And by avoiding them, you will not only save time, but money as well.
So what are these common mistakes?
Mistake # 1: They don’t ask for help
In trying to maintain control over the exact look of the wedding from three thousand miles away, most brides make another common mistake of not enlisting help from their friends and relatives.
What they don’t realize is that researching vendors, hotels, resorts, ceremony sites, florists, bakers, and officiants is hard enough at home. Finding legitimate vendors thousands of miles away is an exercise in futility if you don’t have the time to do lots of research.
Not only will you need help researching vendors, you will also need help calling them, finalizing details, and negotiating contracts.
Despite what you may think, you will need the help of your family and friends to plan a destination wedding.
If you can’t get help from them, then you should hire a professional travel agent or a destination wedding planner. You can find one that specializes in your destination by filling out this form.
Mistake # 2: They try to customize too much
A destination wedding is about new experiences. It’s about being in a place and time that is meant to be magical and memorable for you, your fiance and your guests.
In trying to create this memorable experience, most brides make the mistake of trying to customize every detail. They want to control every detail of the wedding, no matter how minute and that is what leads to misery.
You see, a destination wedding should be about spending time with your future husband, your family and closest friends. Your guests are not going to remember what flowers were used in the arches or what the centerpieces looked like.
What they will remember is how they felt at the wedding. How they felt being with you and your husband and how gracious a bride you were. How much fun they end up having will have more to do with how much time you spent with them, rather than how coordinated all the activities were.
Instead of planning every small detail, either get a wedding planner to help plan everything or do what most people do and book an all inclusive resort that offers wedding packages.
Mistake # 3: Not Hiring A Wedding Planner
A good wedding planner is worth every penny. Not only do they know all the good vendors, they also maintain great relationships with resorts and area hotels.
A few calls with the planner will help you narrow down your choices of vendors, resorts, and ceremony sites (Wedding planners know the best ones too).
So why don’t most brides hire wedding planners?
Because they think that hiring a planner is expensive and they also think that it is all or none. Once you have a wedding planner in mind, you can hire them for a day or a week or to plan the entire wedding.
For example, if you want help finding legitimate vendors for your destination wedding location and you are short on time, then consider booking a wedding planner for a day. They can recommend several vendors they have worked with saving you the time to research.
In addition, you can also book a wedding at an all inclusive resort that offers a wedding planner as part of the package.
Mistake # 4: They don’t visit the site
Planning on spending thousands of dollars on a wedding without seeing the location can lead to disastrous results.
Imagine getting to the resort or hotel only to find that the rooms are outdated or that the reception hall does not look as elegant as the (photoshopped) pictures that you saw on the website.
Plan on a site visit at least six months before the wedding to look at the resorts, talk to vendors and finalize contract details face to face. You’ll be surprised at how much better you are at negotiating in person than over email. Want to learn more about visiting your wedding location, click here.
Moreover, a vendor will have a tougher time saying no to you if you are in front of them. In fact, many brides have found that they save more money by going on a site inspection, even after factoring in the extra expense of the trip.
If you are planning on going on a site inspection, here is a wedding room block checklist that will come in handy.
Mistake # 5: They don’t get group rates
At a destination wedding, everyone will be paying for airfare, transportation costs, and hotels. So it makes sense to help them out by getting discounted group rates for hotels, and airfare.
Getting group hotel rates at a resort or a hotel for our of town guests is simple. Rather than call every hotel, simply fill out this group hotel rates form. Within minutes, resorts and hotels in your desired location and budget will email group rates. This service is fast and free.
Group airfare is a bit trickier. If you have at least 10-20 people flying out from one location to the same destination, then group rates can certainly apply. Start by figuring out which airlines go direct from your city to the destination and call them first to see what kind of group airfare rates are offered.
Then start shopping around on online travel sites to see if you can find something cheaper on your own. If not, then book the group airfare rates.
Mistake # 6: They think destination wedding only happen at beaches
The beach is the perfect backdrop for a destination wedding and it certainly is the most popular.
But is it the only type of destination wedding out there?
Of course not.
You can get married anywhere from a castle in Scotland to a Hindu temple in Nepal.
With enough time and money, you can plan anything. Here are the most popular types of destination weddings
- The City Wedding
- Ski Wedding
- Island Wedding
- New England Wedding
- Cruise Wedding
- Adventure Wedding
- Exotic Wedding (Think Thailand)
- European Wedding
- Wine Country Wedding
Mistake # 7: They think there is a right way to do a destination wedding
Destination weddings are meant to be unique. You don’t have to do the traditional wedding thing if you don’t want to. If walking down the aisle with your dad is not your thing, then don’t do it. If a beach wedding in flip flops and a casual dress is what you feel is right, then go for it.
Will some of your guests question your decisions? You betcha.
But it’s not their wedding. It’s yours. Remember what we said earlier. Guests will not remember the decorations, the dress, or the colors. They will remember how they felt.
So concentrate on making their experience memorable and no one will care about what wedding traditions you are breaking.
Being proactive and learning how to properly plan a destination wedding is the key to having a memorable event. By learning what common mistakes brides make, and hopefully not making them yourself, you will be well on your way to a memorable destination wedding.
What should you do next?
Take a look at some well known locations for destination weddings.