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3 Easy Tips to Help You Plan an International Destination Wedding that Leaves Your Heart Full


As of this writing, the world is sheltered in place in the midst of COVID-19 but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream about far off destinations and wedding vows to come. In fact, it’s those dreams that will carry us through, giving us the hope and inspiration we need to keep believing in the best of humanity and the best of outcomes. 

So with that in mind, let’s talk about believing for the best possible outcomes when planning an international destination wedding because many couples begin the process thinking “this is going to be really difficult to do from afar.” 

Let’s reframe that right away. Ask yourself: 

How can I make planning an international destination wedding just as easy as if I were planning a local wedding?

Three easy ways you can do that so your heart stays full and not filled with overwhelm is to: 

Liaise with someone local or someone with a vast knowledge of your destination

As a wedding planner myself, I advise couples to hire a wedding planner who has personal knowledge of the destination, however, sometimes couples really want to plan the wedding themselves so my advice is to liaise with someone local. That person might be the venue coordinator at your venue, a friend of a friend who lives there, or even a local florist or photographer.

Being able to speak to someone who lives at your destination or has experienced it is invaluable because you can gather “on the ground” insight. Find out the names of local hotspots, beaches to avoid, must-see sites, cultural customs, and more. 

If you’re working with a local florist, you don’t want to bombard him or her with lots of off-topic questions, but don’t be afraid to ask, “Hey, would you mind sharing your favorite local coffee shops or some things you think our guests would love to experience based on your knowledge of the area? Having firsthand insight can be invaluable even if it’s just around what restaurants to avoid or frequent.

Plan for an extra day

Destination weddings can get jam-packed with excursions, welcome dinners, rehearsals, and more. The itinerary can get really crowded, leaving everyone feeling exhausted and like they traveled a long way but really didn’t get to enjoy themselves the way they wanted to. Having an extra day gives everyone (including you!) some breathing room. 

It allows you to loosen up your schedule and allow some buffer where you or your guests can do something spontaneous or take a nice long nap on the beach. It also gives you more time to spend with the ones you love without feeling like you’re rushing from thing to thing and really didn’t get a chance to connect or make meaningful memories.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

It’s important that you not just communicate often with your vendors or venue overseas, but that you communicate your expectations around communication. How often do you want to touch base? Once a month? At the 9-month, 6-month, and 3-month mark? Do you prefer to communicate via email, video chat, or Whatsapp? What level of communication is outlined in your vendor agreements with the photographer, travel agent, venue, or wedding planner? Does that make you feel comfortable or stressed? Let your vendors know. You don’t want things to get lost in translation and one of the ways to keep that from happening is to lay out the expectations for communication.

Now, let’s get inspired with some real wedding inspiration from a destination wedding in Uluwatu, Bali. Don’t these images just leave your heart full?

Until next time…
Happy Planning!

Photography Credits:

Stepan Vrzala |

Model | @ordoamorisart

Contact Exalt Africa for more details or to discuss your upcoming wedding

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