What You Need To Know If You Go
A destination wedding … whether it is in the mountains, on the beach, or just anywhere that is a bit far from home … can be both exciting and challenging. Here are 10 tips to make a destination wedding stress-free:
- Put everything in writing. You will want to make sure that everyone is literally on the same page, and documenting what you are expecting is one way to make sure this happens. This is particularly important if you are dealing with a venue that is in a place where English is not the only language. You want to be sure that your messages have been conveyed and understood. And, if possible, know some rudimentary words if you are in a place with a foreign language. (This really helps!)
- Check all room reservations and their locations. Does a child have to have a room near a parent’s? Are there adjoining rooms? Will the hotel deliver welcome bags to guests, and is there a charge for this service?
- Know your guests’ limitations. What about access for those with physical disabilities? Remember that foreign countries may not have the same requirements for ramps and other means of assistance that you may find in the Unites States. Let the venue know of your guests’ needs, in room assignments, transportation and any other situation.
- Know exactly where to find a doctor. Know where the doctor’s office is located, what the hours are, and what the costs and means of payment may be. You do not want to wait until there is a mishap to figure this out. Investigate ahead of time!
- Carry as much as possible with you if you are traveling by air.You will not want to pay mailing or import costs, for example, on gift bags for hotel guests. Check with the airline ahead of time if you have questions. And this includes traveling with a wedding gown.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. If you need a golf cart to help you get around at a resort or need help from the hotel staff to assist in decorating tables, just ask. You may be surprised at the willingness of others to assist.
- Make sure you have a back-up plan for rain. And for everything else! Think about “what if.”
- Take a moment to think about climate conditions. If you are going to a warm climate, remember that you may also be in (very cold) air conditioning, and plan accordingly. Think about sunscreen, bottled water and a sweater. And if you are going to a cold climate, think about layers. Conditions vary, and you want to be prepared without overloading suitcases.
- Carry an emergency kit. Have your hotel/resort’s phone number on your speed dial or at least in your address book. Hire a wedding coordinator at home and, if possible, bring that coordinator to the wedding. If possible, bring your own team of wedding consultants, photographers and videographers. All of these may be available at your hotel/resort, but you will find that the coordination will be smoother if you have your own team in place.
- Do whatever you can to have a nonstop flight. Or at least one where you don’t have to change planes, gates or terminals. It is not fun to miss a connection due to weather (think about the groom’s children ending up in Detroit instead of Cancun) or the airlines (think about sitting on the tarmac in Atlanta because there is no gate available to deplane, and thus missing the connecting flight home).
And … enjoy!