Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular. These weddings typically occur in a location that is not home to either the bride or the groom.

The location of a destination wedding may be an exotic location or it may be somewhere that is convenient for the majority of friends and relatives. For example a couple who lives on the West Coast, but has family on the East Coast may choose a location that is centrally located.

Planning a destination wedding may be a little more difficult than planning a local wedding for a number of reasons. The most obvious reason is it is not possible to just hop in your car to check out reception halls, churches or other ceremony locations.

Start with an internet search

However, thanks to the Internet it is not impossible to research a specific area. Most reception halls have websites with pictures, floor plans or even virtual tours which can give the couple a good idea of how the place looks. Couples can also read reviews of locations.

This can be really helpful because the websites will likely only show the best features of the location. However, couples who have had their wedding may be able to provide insight into problems they experienced.

Plan a research trip

The couple may wish to take a trip or two to the location of their destination wedding, but most of the planning can be done remotely. The easiest way to do this is to employ the assistance of a local wedding planner.

Hire a local wedding planner

A local wedding planner will obviously be skilled at handling and coordinating all of the details involved in planning a wedding but as an additional advantage she or he will also be familiar with the area.

The planner can provide recommendations for ceremony and reception locations, recommend local service providers such as photographers, DJs and bands. The planner can also act as a liaison between the couple and the locals to facilitate the planning of the wedding.

Consider your guest list

When planning a destination wedding it is also important to consider how the location of the wedding will impact the guest list.

If the couple lives near friends and family members and the wedding is being planned in a different location this can adversely impact the number of guests who will attend.

If the wedding takes place far away guests will likely be required to purchase plan tickets and make hotel reservations. This makes the attending the wedding significantly more expensive for the guests and may result in fewer friends and family members attending.

Destination weddings that take place in a foreign country can also have a negative impact on the guest list. This is because the travel costs will likely be higher. Also guest will be required to obtain passports if they do not already have these documents.

For these reasons, couples who are considering a destination wedding should carefully consider whether or not they will be disappointed if fewer guests attend the ceremony and reception because of the location.

Advantages of a destination wedding

Finally, there is one unique advantage to having a destination wedding. The couple may opt to have their honeymoon in the same location. They will likely receive discounted room rates if they have their wedding reception at the hotel.

Another advantage is the ability to begin the honeymoon immediately after the wedding instead of having to travel to another location.

Friends and family members may stay for a few days before or after the ceremony for an extended celebration.

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