How to Plan a Destination Wedding
Before I get into how I am planning my out of state wedding I have to tell you that unless you have training in wedding planning like I do, you NEED a wedding planner from day 1.
Now let’s begin,
We were going back and forth from getting married in Italy with our closest friends and family (about 20 of us) in a Villa, and staying there for an entire week or… getting married in the States. I was searching for THE perfect venue that reminded me of Europe and because a long the way my ancestors broke our royal chain and we no longer own castles I landed on the idea of Italy. It would have been roughly $5,000 to rent a gorgeous villa in Italy for an entire week. After a lot of thought however we decided that we would rather have all of our close friends and family with us on our gorgeous wedding day so the search began.
I am from the South, a dirt road in Florida that is lined with mobile homes. I really wanted to stick to my southern roots so I searched for classic southern venues in both Charleston South Carolina and Savannah Georgia. I used Google, The Knot, Wedding Wire, and friends and I have to say that Wedding Wire and The Knot quickly became my go-to when it came to searching for our perfect vendors. Now that we have secured our venue, our wedding date, and a few AMAZING vendors I want to share my tips for how to plan your own destination wedding!
Don’t Only Think About Your Theme, Think About the Atmosphere!
When I was planning our wedding, or while I have been I haven’t been thinking about what I want my guests to see I have been thinking about what I want them to feel. It’s so important to set a tone for your wedding that will carry through your entire day. I want a lot of flower petals at our ceremony, instrumental very sentimental songs, and before I realized it was too cold I wanted butterflies to be released when we kiss. I want our guests to feel warm, happy, and so romantic while they watch us say our vows, while they sip custom drinks at our cocktail hour, and while we dance the night away.
Narrow Down your Search by City, State, or Country!
Being able to figure out where I wanted our wedding to be really made the rest of our planning so easy! After I realized that an out of country wedding wouldn’t work I really wanted to have a wedding location that would show my Southern roots. I knew that either charleston or Savannah would be PERFECT for a classic and beautiful southern destination wedding.
Reviews on Google, Facebook, Wedding Wire, or even through Instagram comments can really show you how customers are reacting to the services that your preferred vendors offer. It’s hard to admit but we went through a few wedding planners before we landed on THE perfect one for our wedding. Make sure that your vendor has more than 30 reviews, that they are greater than 4 stars, and that your wedding planner and or venue recommends them!
Search blogs for other brides experiences!
As a blogger I LOVE reading reviews and experiences from other bloggers. Our entire wedding and the inspiration behind it is because of Instagram, Pinterest, and blogs. Basically everything I have found I have pinned to my own page to share with other brides that want their own dream southern wedding. P.S. it’s called “A Perfect Charleston Wedding”. - You’re welcome
If you want a $5,000 wedding, a $10,000 wedding or a $120,000 wedding they are ALL possible you just need to research and COST COMPARE. Make sure that if your budget is small, you are looking at all inclusive venues and are being realistic about your expectations. If you can’t afford the wedding of your dreams and you’re not engaged yet then start saving. If you want a more lavish wedding of course a bigger budget will accommodate but you can still have a gorgeous wedding if you DIY, have your friends help, or have a beautiful backyard wedding. When I was looking at villas in Italy, I found some breathtaking ones that sat on top of a mountain, surrounded by pointed Italian trees, that we could rent for the entire week for only $5,000. Yes, your dream wedding can become your reality.
Can your Guests Afford to Go?
Like I have already mentioned my DREAM wedding in Italy wasn’t possible without letting go of my friends and family, not to mention only a small handful of my grooms side would be able to come. I knew that having everyone there with us was more important, and planning a trip to Italy later on would be more enjoyable. I have seen SO many articles talking about how brides are mad that their guests won’t spend $5,000 to fly to Hawaii for their lavish wedding. Not everyone has the same budget as you do and not everyone can afford to fly to another country or even another state for a wedding. Think about your crowd and if you really want to have everyone at your wedding then choose a destination that will make you happy and won’t break your guests bank.
Will it Make YOU Happy?
At the end of the day (or weekend) the only thing that matters is that you had the best time of your life with your partner. It doesn’t matter what you wore, what your guests thought of your wedding, or how pretty it was if you and your partner didn’t have an amazing time or enjoy your wedding. If you want a specific cake, get it. If you want a chandelier, get it. If you want pink, or blue, or glitter, or an all white wedding then have it. The sky is the limit when it comes to bringing your vision to life.