Top things to know before planning a destination wedding

Destination weddings can be a dream, but there’s no doubt that they can also add a lot of stress to your already stressful wedding planning. When you’re planning an exotic destination wedding in Greece or somewhere similar, you’ll have a few more steps in your planning process, and a few more decisions to make.

Here are some top things to know before planning a destination wedding:

Visit your destination

This may seem obvious, but some brides and grooms assume they can do everything from home. Whether you’re planning a Mykonos wedding, Hawaii wedding, or New Zealand wedding, it’s definitely a good idea to visit the destination at least once. This gives you a chance to look for your key venues, including your reception and ceremony spaces, rehearsal dinner space, hotels for guests, and suppliers like photographers, caterers, and florists.

This is also one of the best ways to reduce stress and ease your mind, since you’ll be seeing venues and meeting suppliers in person.

Take extra time

The most popular destinations are booked solidly for up to a year in advance, so you should expect to book at least this far ahead. You’ll also need to give your guests plenty of notice- especially if they’ll need to pay for international flights and hotels. The more notice you give guests, the more likely it is that they will be able to attend.

Speak the language

Trying to plan a destination wedding can be tricky if you’re communicating with vendors and don’t speak the local language. If you can, hire a bilingual wedding planner or ask a friend who speaks the language to translate so you can ensure everyone is on the same page. This will ensure that you don’t have any hiccups due to communication issues in the lead up to your wedding.


You’ve probably heard of island time, and many of the top destinations for weddings will be running on it. While you may be used to a level of service, particular style, or sense of urgency at home, this may not be something you can bank on at a new destination. This is all part of the appeal of a destination wedding, but you’ll need to be prepared to let go and enjoy the process- no matter what is happening.

In 30 years, you won’t remember that the flowers were the wrong color or the caterer was late. But you will remember whether you enjoyed your wedding or whether you were stressed out the entire time.