The Ultimate Guide to Planning Destination Weddings

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The jet-setting lifestyle is fun, but having a destination wedding is even more memorable. You have the privilege to enjoy different cultures, foods, people, and even an adventurous honeymoon. However, opting for exotic wedding destinations come with extra preparation.


From picking the right venues to assembling vendors abroad. Shopping and planning a destination wedding is overwhelming. But not to worry, we’ve created a top wedding destination guide and FAQ for you. Whether you favor a tropic wedding destination, romantic Mexico wedding, or intimate Bali wedding, we’ve got you covered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are destination weddings more expensive?

They are cheaper because these places offer packages that cover everything. You needn’t worry about stocking more drinks, reworking the venue, or making last-minute changes at your expense.

How many people are invited to destination weddings?

Unless it is a celebrity wedding, the cap on destination wedding guest invite is between 30 to 60. They’re usually some of the most important people in the couple’s lives.


Your Guide to Planning the Best Destination Wedding

How much do guests pay for destination weddings?
Guests usually pay for their flights. It would be near enough impossible for the couple to pay for everyone’s flights unless they’d like to pay for specific family members such as parents. If there is no accommodation at the venue, guests will need to pay for their own accommodation too. I would highly recommend that this is put in the RSVP’s so that your guests are aware.

I see a destination weddings to your guests also as a holiday too!

Do you have to pay for guests at a destination wedding?
Rule of thumb, the couple will pay for the rehearsal dinner, wedding breakfast, drinks reception and evening food. Additional beverages or days out that are out of the wedding are for your guests to pay for.

What are the cheapest destination wedding locations?
Mauritius, Caribbean and Asia are cheapest destinations (bare in mind your flights) Europe is a lot more expensive but the locations and venues are absolutely breathtaking so weigh up all options!

Bring your exotic wedding destinations to life by following these planning tips and guides. We’ve outlined a step-by-step process below.

  • Choose a location
    Safety, sufficiency, and comfort are things to consider when choosing a location for a wedding. Ensure that the place is safe for the guests and has sufficient amenities. The political and health situations of the area should also inform your decision.
  • Choose local for your menu and decor
    Exporting food to your destination wedding spots puts you at a financial disadvantage. Hiring locals will save you cost because they’ll work with seasonal flowers, meals, and appropriate decor at a cheaper price.
  • Hire a planner
    Hire an on-site planner that understands the terrain to navigate the language barrier and bureaucracy. If your budget permits, you may also hire a planner with a specialty in destination weddings.
  • Visit your venue before the wedding
    It’s important to see what you pay for, months before your wedding. You also need to arrange for a local beautician to take care of your hair, make-up, and nails.
  • Meet vendors
    Browse the internet or ask local vendors for destination referrals. Meet with them in person or over zoom. However, if you’ll fly with your vendors, you’ll be footing their bills.
  • Plan events and entertainment
    Help guests get the most out of their wedding travel by preparing additional entertainment. To unwind, make them explore and enjoy the culture, locality, foods, and activities at your destination.
  • Research insurance options
    An insurance policy will help safeguard your wedding investments against bad news. Discuss your options and take out a policy with renowned insurance companies. Your location may even require it.
  • Make sure you have the full list of the legal documents
    Update yourself on the marriage legal requirements of your wedding destination and have them ready. From the marriage license to resident permits, health certificates, possible tax, proof of funds, etc.
  • Pack the emergency kit
    Jetting off somewhere foreign means that you’re almost on your own. Stay ready with an emergency kit. Include needles, pins, scissors, markers, gums, travel-size perfumes, plasters, wipes, and more.
  • Wedding attire
    If you don’t want to shop from your destination, tailor your wedding attire to fit. Study the weather, acceptable clothing, terrain, and time of the year. These will help you plan appropriately.


Destination Wedding Decorations

Themes and destinations align to make your vision alive. See tips for creating the best decor.


Destination Wedding Ceremony Decorations

You can opt for a wooden or macramé arch bathed in string lights, pampas grass, or flowers for a boho wedding. Go vintage with hexagon, birch, or triangle arch covered in drapes, burlap, lace, or tulle. For a tropical or modern wedding theme, opt for bright flowers, balloons, and greenery on a geometric or go green arch.



Beautiful Reception Décor

See some carefully selected items that will create a soothing ambiance for your reception decor.


Centerpiece Decor Ideas

Choose your centerpieces according to the wedding theme and destination. For instance, tropical weddings should opt for fruits and bright flowers decor. A nature-inspired wedding should look at greenery, vases, and candle designs. The weather also plays a role in determining how high or colorful you make your centerpieces.



Setting Place Decorations

Place settings are of different styles suitable for unique tables. For a short table, use single centerpieces like vases, and flowers. If you’re going for long tables, adorn them with stylishly lengthy table runners and centralize a few centerpieces for attraction. For round, large tables, use giant centerpieces, lush greenery, and flowers. Finish with colorful giant candles for a great ambiance.

Top 5 Places to Choose For Your Destination Wedding

Are you looking for the perfect wedding destination to tie the knot? See 5 top exotic and memorable spots.


Lake Como, Italy

Why I should choose this place?
Lake Como is one of the most popular wedding destinations in Europe. It’s famed for its mountainous surrounding, resort villages, vistas, villas, cuisines, waters, and romantic ambiance. However, the weather can be chilly ad overcast. The lake itself isn’t great for swimming, which can be a letdown. It’s also pricey with an average wedding cost of about $20000 to $80000.

When to wed: The best time to wed is between March to November.




Why I should choose this place?
Ireland is famous for its restaurants, pubs, captivating churches, historical sites, dreamy castles, pristine beaches, and clear waters. They offer stunning backdrops for wedding pictures. To marry here, couples must be above eighteen years old. The average cost to marry here is about $36000.

When to wed: Due to the geography and stable weather, most weddings take place in July and August.


Istanbul, Turkey

Why I should choose this place?
Istanbul is the place of contrasts where a cosmopolitan society meets old-world charm. Istanbul boasts over 2500 years of history, traditions, and culture, with amazing landmarks, and vibrant nightlife. Unfortunately, December till May doesn’t support outdoor weddings. It cost an average of about $3500 to $4600 for a wedding.

When to wed: The best time is from June to the end of November.



Marrakech, Morocco

Why I should choose this place?
Marrakech is the city of luxury, famous for palaces, world-class restaurants, spas and Hammams, and enchanting Riads. There’s also the exotic cuisine of Namaskar Palace, Mamounia and its charming gardens, and the ethereal Royal Mansour Hammam. The average cost of a wedding is about $20000.

When to wed: The best time to wed is around May, June, September, and October; due to its warm weather.



Why I should choose this place?
Thailand is serene and known for its lush jungles, picture-perfect tropical beaches, delicious foods, friendly people, and tradition. It rains heavily for much of the year and January gets as low as 20°c. The average wedding cost is about $10000.

When to wed: The best time to wed is June to November.

Destination weddings are memorable ways to create three-in-one experiences. Enjoy a beautiful wedding, enhance guest experience and stay for a honeymoon. But this is only achievable if you pick the best locations and plan well. We’ve put a comprehensive guide together followed by important FAQs and your favorite destinations. Get inspired and have fun.