Destination Weddings

Getting Started

First step

Map out your budget—then stick to it. Destination weddings can be deceptively more expensive than booking an at-home location.

Friends and family

Are there elderly grandparents who would have a difficult time with long-distance travel? Friends who might not be able to swing a four-star hotel in Maui? Rather than inadvertently excluding loved ones from sharing your big day, explore the various ways that you can accommodate disparate needs.

Save the date

Be sure to send a save the date card well in advance—at least one year, if possible—so your guests can plan ahead and get the best deals on airfare and hotel reservations.

Do your homework

Scout out locales and venues. Get brochures, and also seek recommendations from couples who have married at a resort or other venue before you.

Take a tour

Visit a resort or other venue at least once before you book it for your wedding day.

Extra help

Hire a wedding coordinator in the destination where you plan to marry. Give your coordinator images of bouquets, cakes and more so that she or he can help you find vendors that will suit your desired style.

Group rate

If you invite more than ten guests, negotiate group air and hotel rates.

Health watch

Look into immunizations if you're traveling to an exotic location like Africa or Nicaragua. Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's travel section for a complete list.

Foreign tongues

Learn the local language if you're going overseas. Get tips online from travlang.com.

Picture perfect

Buy or borrow a great digital camera—you won't have to worry about damaging film in airport security.

Purchase luggage

If you're traveling to a fabulous shopping destination, include a lightweight duffle bag to haul back all of your new purchases.

Passport check

Make sure that your passport and/or visa haven't expired.

Pocket cash

If you’re traveling overseas, purchase $50 or $100 in foreign currency before you depart.

Courier call

Arrange to stop delivery of your mail and newspapers

Babysitting basics

Set up pet care or child care for the duration of your trip.

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