For those that are currently planning or have previously planned a wedding, you know that there are so many moving parts in the process leading up to your big day. The same can be said for a destination wedding, but getting married abroad or on a secluded island comes with a few notorious obstacles that couples with a local wedding wouldn’t normally encounter. Your destination wedding is still sure to be one of the most incredible experiences of your life, and having to plan from afar doesn’t always have to make things difficult; it’s all about being prepared!
That being said, jumping over every décor and coordination hurdle is an amazing accomplishment. However, there are a few things to be very mindful of in terms of travel protection that many destination wedding couples often overlook in a rush to get to their dream locale.
Perhaps every couple’s nightmare – the items that could get lost in travel. Unfortunately, this can happen to anyone, yet rarely (but surely), it does. Ultimately, one of the best things you can do to prevent this is to check with your airline well before your flight to see what kind of packing regulations they have, or if they have special services that allow you to safely store your gown or other key wedding attire in the cabin with you. It’s also important to plan out the number of checked bags you’ll need ahead of time, rather than risking miscommunication at the ticket counter on the day of your flight by adding on extras.
As another alternate idea, consider spreading out any important items amongst the wedding party for them to pack in their suitcases, that way you aren’t traveling with a ton of luggage between you and your partner! It’s always the safest scenario to carry on anything that’s absolutely not worth losing.
Travel document must-haves
While it goes without saying that you should be vigilant about taking your passport when traveling internationally, you’d be surprised at just how many couples forget to check the expiration date before booking their trip. Many destinations require your passport to not expire within six months of travel, so try to renew yours well in advance to avoid any hiccups on the day you leave. Plus, that way you’ll also have it taken care of for your honeymoon if you choose to have one.
Regardless of where your destination wedding locale is on the map, every area has their own rules for securing a marriage license. If choosing to have a legal ceremony abroad, research the laws well and enlist a destination wedding expert if necessary – you wouldn’t want to be caught without the proper paperwork! Note that many countries also have a few stipulations such as: medical examinations (including X-rays and blood work), license fees, and even required stays of three days or more ahead of the ceremony itself. Have a checklist in place for these items, including scheduling on-site doctor appointments, visiting the town hall, or even booking an extension for your hotel/resort stay.
Believe it or not, some couples don’t always arrive prepared when it comes to travelling to their destination. First, it’s vital to bring confirmation vouchers with you at check-in, and know what you’re walking into when it comes to your venue setup. We recommend arriving at least two to three days prior to your wedding day to ensure everything is in place, and your on-site wedding coordinator will greatly appreciate it as well! This is the perfect cushion of time for a final walkthrough, especially if you’re planning to bring a few DIY décor pieces to add to the ceremony or reception space. You’ll be happy to have the extra time to get accustomed to the property layout.
Trip Protection Insurance
Although you may be banking on enjoying sunny skies throughout your stay and more importantly, on your actual wedding day, the truth of the matter is that even tropical locales can succumb to inclement weather. Beyond having a plan B venue location at your resort, it’s important to consider flight delays or cancellations occurring in the rare case of hurricanes, government travel warnings, etc. Travel insurance may also protect you from illness, lost luggage and more, so it’s a key factor to secure when booking your travel arrangements.
The last thing you’ll want to deal with on the week of your wedding is a travel snafu. Don’t let a marriage license restriction or forgotten passport stand in the way of one of the most important days of your life!
About the contributor: Jen Avey is the Vice President of Marketing at DestinationWeddings.com, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. DestinationWeddings.com has worked with nearly 25,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. Note: this post is authored by wedding enthusiast Ariana Teachey, wedding PR specialist at OFD Consulting, on behalf of Jen Avey.
About the author: Wedding enthusiast Ariana Teachey is a wedding PR specialist at OFD Consulting. When she’s not seeking out the latest trends, or pouring over client weddings, you can find her hoarding fall scented candles and all the pumpkins.