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How to Plan a Destination Wedding

how to plan a destination wedding

So, you’re engaged. Congratulations! Now you must decide where to get married – a place that effectively signifies the beginning of your lives together. But no pressure.

Some folks get married in a church, others in a backyard or even a barn. But if you’re looking for something more along the lines of white sandy beaches and crystal-clear blue waters, then a destination wedding is the perfect venue for you. But where to start?

Planning a wedding is one thing, knowing how to plan a destination wedding is another. While it’s an exciting adventure that allows you to combine your dream wedding with a memorable vacation experience, the process behind any destination wedding can be overwhelming without proper planning. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you plan a destination wedding that reflects your unique love story and ensures a truly unforgettable celebration.

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Choose Your Location

The first step to planning your destination wedding is, well, picking the destination! When looking around at your options, consider things like your personal preferences, budget and the overall ambiance you’re looking for on your special day. That could be a tropical beach, picturesque countryside, a charming cityscape or anything you dream up. Assess each location’s accessibility, legal requirements and local resources while also taking into account factors such as climate, accommodation options and local attractions to ensure your chosen location aligns with your wedding vision.

Create a Guest List

Next up on the destination wedding planning list: Who’s coming? Decide on the general size of your wedding party and make a preliminary guest list. It’s crucial to consider the travel expenses and availability of your loved ones when finalizing the list. Be sure to inform guests well in advance, allowing them ample time to make travel arrangements and plan accordingly. Remember, a destination wedding often entails a more intimate gathering, so carefully consider who you want to share this special day with.

how to plan a destination wedding

Determine a Budget

Establishing a realistic budget is essential for any wedding, but even more so for a destination wedding. Consider costs such as travel, accommodation, venue, catering and local vendors. If your destination is outside the U.S., be mindful of currency exchange rates, as well as any additional fees associated with international transactions. Set priorities and allocate funds accordingly to ensure you can create the wedding experience you envision while staying within your financial means.

Get Help From a AAA Agent of Honor

Our expert travel planners have invaluable knowledge about destinations around the world and can seamlessly guide you through legal requirements, selecting vendors, navigating potential challenges and sourcing the best local services within your budget. Access to AAA’s travel advisors is part of your membership, so there’s no fee to utilize their service.

Having an Agent of Honor on your side also makes it easy to tailor the experience for you and your guests by organizing local guided tours or excursions for guests in their downtime, for example. Your Agent of Honor can also serve as an event coordinator at your wedding, if you choose, to ensure everything goes according to plan. Plus, as a AAA member you get exclusive member pricing and even discounts on group travel.

If you decide to honeymoon at a different destination, your Agent of Honor can help with that, too.

Planning a destination wedding requires meticulous attention to detail, thoughtful organization and careful consideration of logistics. By selecting the perfect location and utilizing the expertise of a AAA Agent of Honor, you can create a remarkable celebration that reflects your love story and offers an unforgettable experience for you and your future spouse.

Where would you have your dream destination wedding? Tell us in the comments.

Find your Agent of Honor today.


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