For many couples, creating a unique wedding ceremony filled with special moments is the ultimate goal when wedding planning. If you’ve decided to tie the knot in an international destination or on a luxurious getaway, there may be a few more details you need to iron out.

#1. Time and Place Are Everything

Bride showing off her wedding ring with groom

Make sure the location of your choosing fits you and your significant other’s personalities and that you’ll be comfortable getting married there. Choosing a spot meaningful and representative of you both will mean it’s more memorable to your guests, plus they’ll be even more excited to celebrate your love in a place that truly represents your special bond. Whether this is a stunning beach in Los Cabos, Mexico or the perfect party that is a cruise wedding, you know your style best and what the right fit is for your big day.

Hosting your wedding in a city or country that requires more travel for your guests naturally means that fewer people will be able to come. Between life, family, and work obligations, your guest list may be a bit smaller than anticipated. Giving your guests extended notice that the event is going to be a destination wedding will mean they have more time to prepare, secure reasonably-priced accommodations, and make travel plans.

#2. Keeping an Eye on Expenses

Couple embracing on their wedding day

Despite popular belief, destination weddings can actually be more cost-effective than a traditional wedding held near home. The number of guests in attendance is smaller, which is in favor of a more intimate wedding and you can kick off your honeymoon immediately after the reception. Opting for a cheaper event will mean you’re able to save for the next chapter of your life, alleviate stress, and make sure you have a reliable emergency fund set aside. If you plan to buy a home with your significant other after the wedding, you can start preparing for these future expenses by saving for a down payment or starting the mortgage preapproval process.


There are many ways you can save money while also having an exotic wedding ceremony. Booking a date during the off-season and choosing locations that generally have a lower cost of living is a great start to cutting costs. Inquiring into package deals and buying in bulk when it comes to airline tickets, transportation (taxis, public transport, vans), and hotel rooms may chip away at some excessive spending. Natural locations within your chosen destination like beaches, forests, or lakeside parks can provide  cost-effective and beautiful sites for your wedding.

#3. Research Legal Requirements

Before jetting off to your wedding destination, it’s crucial to do some thorough research and plan everything out when it comes to the legal aspects of your marriage. It may be worth it to get married at your city’s town hall before having the ceremony abroad, as marriage laws differ in each country and may be tricky to navigate. The event will be more symbolic this way, but will still be a beautiful way to show your love.


Along with your passport, you may have to pack other important documents like your birth certificate, divorce or death certificates (from previous spouses), or proof of residency. Keep in mind, it may take a few days to get a marriage license or legal permission for a particular location. There may be more specific requirements for each country, like a blood test or residency by one of the parties.

#4. Account for Different Traditions

South Asian Destination Wedding Couple on the beach in Mexico

If you have your heart set on tying the knot in another country, you may want to incorporate some wedding traditions into your ceremony that celebrate the local culture. It may also be important to include elements of your own culture or ethnicity. For example, you can incorporate a unity ceremony, like a Mexican wedding lasso (“El Lazo”) or handfasting in the Celtic tradition. Other worldly traditions may include giving guests sprigs of rosemary in Croatian tradition or swapping decorative marital crowns between the couple to symbolize unity in Greece.

#5. Scope Things Out

Beautiful destination wedding ceremony decor on the beach

If you’re able to book a trip to your chosen destination far in advance, it’ll be extremely beneficial to the planning process. By doing so, you can properly tour venue spaces and talk to local vendors like photographers and caterers. With a little advanced planning, you may be able to sneak in some tastings, see the floral arrangements and bouquet options, or arrange other local wedding activities for your guests.


If you aren’t able to sneak away to your wedding destination before the big day, hiring a destination wedding planner can be the best way to organize all of the details. They can be your point person to vet vendors and get the lay of the land instead of it all falling on you. With all of the details sorted out ahead of time, your destination wedding is sure to be stress-free and go down as one of the happiest days of your life!