It comes as no surprise that many couples decide to have a destination wedding. Travel lends an incomparable feeling of being able to leave it all behind and experience a new place. A destination wedding can have the same effect, transporting couples to picturesque locations to exchange vows, leaving all cares and worries from home behind. At the same time, planning a destination wedding (just like with planning a vacation) can be rife with mistakes and mishaps. To ensure you get hitched without a hitch, avoid making these common destination wedding mistakes.

To ensure you get hitched without a hitch, avoid making these common destination wedding mistakes.

Picking the Wrong Destination

It sounds simple enough. Don’t pick the wrong destination. However, all too often this is the first and perhaps most crucial destination wedding mistake couples make. You don’t want to select a destination that will take great lengths for guests to reach. Having to take planes, trains, and automobiles just to get to your wedding and over 24 hours of travel isn’t always the soundest choice for a destination wedding. Couples can also make a misstep by going with a location they’ve never visited before. Other couples have gone wrong by booking a popular tropical destination during the off-season…which is also hurricane season. Such blunders can lead to wedding day surprises that range from annoying (“Great aunty Cathy couldn’t make the trip.”) to disappointing (“The venue doesn’t look ANYTHING like on its website.”) to disastrous (“You need to evacuate!”). Bottom line: the destination must be considered first and foremost in terms of guests reaching it, your familiarity with it, and how conditions will be on the wedding date.

Not Giving Guests Enough Notice

Your destination wedding is just two months away and now you have decided to inform guests. With a destination wedding, you can’t be last minute in terms of save-the-dates and invitations. To be certain you actually have friends and family at your special day, you need to send save the dates and invitations as soon as you lock down the who, what, where, and when. Booking travel takes time and you’ll save your guests a great deal of money by giving them ample notice to book flights, car rentals, and hotels.

Expecting Everything to Work Just Like It Does at Home

There are going to be cultural differences in wedding services no matter where you place your destination wedding. The level of service you expect at home doesn’t always translate in other cultures. Things might take longer to get accomplished or styles will vary. Save yourself some stress and anxiety by lowering those expectations you might have for wedding services at home. Brides and grooms who don’t research cultural norms at their destination wedding location will have a hard time getting through the planning process without a few gray hairs. Get to know the culture and the lifestyle of where you are getting married to have a better understanding of how everything will work on your wedding day.

Checking Important Wedding Items in Your Luggage

Placing all of your trust in the airlines to get your wedding dress to its destination is yet another destination wedding mistake. The same goes for important documents, the wedding party’s attire, and any other items that are essential to your wedding day. Especially if you are taking multiple flights to reach your destination wedding, you are opening up the floodgates for the chance that your suitcase will get lost. Couples should carry-on any important items for their big day.

Jamming the Wedding Week with Scheduled Events

It seems to happen to every couple. They overschedule the week of their wedding with scheduled events. In the case of a destination wedding, this can be particularly problematic. Your guests are often using their vacation days to come to your wedding. It takes a couple understanding that their guests are going to want down time to explore the destination and have a mini-vacation. While they are coming for your big day, overscheduling your friends and family with wedding events won’t leave any time to be a tourist.

Did you get married far away from home? What mistakes did you make that you wouldn’t want others to repeat? Tell us in the comments section!

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About The Author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.