STEP SIX: Planning out the wedding details
So, you sent out your save the dates, invitations, and travel information. Your guests are sending in their RSVPs and booking their travel. Now is the time for you to focus on the details! While you may have been working with your resort’s wedding coordinator all along, once you have an accurate head count, you can now plan and secure some of the finer details.
First and foremost, if you haven’t done so already, work with your coordinator to complete any paperwork required to marry in your destination!! In my situation, I had to provide certified copies of our birth certificates, our divorce decrees, and a completed, notarized form! Also, you may have already worked with the coordinator to choose flowers, vows, decor for your ceremony and reception, and music options for the ceremony and reception. These items are things that can be done almost immediately after booking. However, once you have your head count, you can more accurately plan for meal choices for the reception, where the ceremony will be held (some places can be considered or eliminated once you have a head count), and reception venues. A lot of resorts that cater to destination weddings have many options to choose from for ceremonies and receptions, but depending on the size of your group, you may be limited to only a few. Outside of anything having to do with the resort or destination, be sure to keep up with buying a dress, wedding bands, accessories, or any bridesmaids/groomsmen essentials. Many destination wedding couples also provide guest bags to their group to help them get settled into their rooms. For example, if you choose a tropical island for your wedding, it may be nice to provide the guests with a small bottle of sunscreen, inexpensive flip flops, or some local trinkets.
Admittedly, I have it pretty easy when it comes to planning the details! The resort provided me a checklist to complete, and since it’s only the two of us attending, it was a fairly simple to nail down the details. The checklist included sections to choose flowers, ceremony sites, reception venues, cake flavors, and any ceremony and reception decor. I also requested photos from previous weddings to see examples of the resort’s work. When I returned the completed form, I provided pictures to the coordinator so she knew exactly what I was thinking. I recommend that every bride and groom do the same! Our ceremony celebrant also provided us with instructions and forms to apply for a marriage license. As I mentioned above, the Australian government required a lot of information from us. Not every destination is like that, however, be prepared to provide a scanned copy of your passport and your birth certificates at the very least.