Destination weddings come with their own set of challenges. And while some weddings don't have a single hiccup occur in the planning or execution, there are a few things that can go wrong that you need to be prepared to handle. If you know what might happen and have a plan, you likely won't need to use it!
1. Weather can screw up travel for a destination wedding. Of course, it can mess up everybody from out-of-town's travel if you're getting married at home too. But with a destination wedding, you might not know what your guests' travel alternatives are if things go awry. Over the years, most weather-related issues have occurred at the home airport of the traveler. Also, missing a flight in a series of flights to a tropical island can be more challenging to fix than if you're just trying to get to Chicago or Miami. Sometimes guests must overnight on another island and need direction about where to stay. If you don't have a wedding planner to handle these sorts of unpredictable problems, make sure you familiarize yourself with the territory and know how to help your friends and family if they get stuck en route.
2. Wedding guests forget to pack important things sometimes, including medications. Not such a big deal if all you have to do is find a Walgreen's or CVS in a major US city because they've got you on file. However, if you're someplace remote, that may not be as easy as you would think. Making your guests aware that your destination is somewhat off-the-beaten-path will reinforce the importance of bringing everything they need for their basic daily care.
3. Guests sometimes forget that even though a tropical destination appears to be "quaint" and "serene" and a little piece of heaven, they need to take the same safety precautions in paradise as they would if they were anyplace else in the world. This means they shouldn't (but they do) take important documents like passports or credit cards to the beach with them. Nor should they leave iPads, expensive cameras, or anything else unattended on their beach towel or in their rental car. All of these things can lead to instances of petty crime that create nightmares if you're traveling outside the continental United States. Be smart. Remind your guests to take their safety and security as seriously as they would anyplace else.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.