Planning A Destination Wedding? How To Choose The Right Destination Wedding Location

Destination weddings are now one of the biggest wedding trends. Couples, joined by (usually) a small committee of friends and family, are now choosing to get married abroad for multiple reasons.
A destination wedding offers you a (much-needed) escape to a dreamy wedding location, the chance to spend quality time sharing new experiences with your loved ones, and the opportunity to celebrate your wedding in style and for longer than a day!

But with so many unique destination wedding locations, how do you pick your dream location?

This is the first and most important step in planning a destination wedding. There are however several things to consider before picking the best destination wedding location like logistics, legal requirements, budget, etc. And while we encourage you to plan your wedding in a country or city you’ve always dreamed of, we also highly recommend you to thoroughly read and apply the below to make sure you pick the perfect location for your destination wedding!

Venue: Badia Berardenga Castle | Photo: Luca Fastampa | Wedding Planner: The Wedding Knot Dashiell

Here’s the lowdown on the 4 things to consider when choosing a destination wedding location

The world is your oyster! Nevertheless, when planning a destination wedding, your decision will not only affect you but will also affect your guests. The best destination wedding location is the one that would work for the majority (considering you’re keen on having them with you on D-Day). That is besides having to account for the potential logistic constraints and legal requirements.
Since our mission at WedBoard is to make destination wedding planning an easy and seamless experience, we have selected the most important things to consider and to help you narrow down your best wedding location quest:

Photo: Gilberti- Ricca Photo

Consider your Budget

We’re sorry to start with budget talks, but this is a factor that will most certainly define your options. Try and estimate your budget and the amount you plan to allocate for destination wedding-related expenses.
Research locations’ costs according to travel distance and keep in mind that some countries, in general, can be more costly than others depending on variables like tourism, and how famous they are as wedding destinations.
It would be good at this point to think about your favorite city in said destination to also help you assess costs. Generally speaking, a wedding in a capital like Rome or other highly sought-after destination will certainly cost more than let’s say a remote village due to demand and availabilities.

Photo: Alessandro Pardi Wedding Films

Consider your number of guests and where they are flying from

Drafting a guest list will allow you to roughly estimate the number of attendees. Having 20, 50, or 100 guests will directly impact your location choice. As a general rule of thumb, the farther your wedding destination, the fewer attendees. Factors like logistics, airfare, and travel time largely impact the number of guests. So if you’re planning to invite your second-degree cousins, then maybe opt for a closer wedding location?
Another thing to keep in mind is the ease of travel and visa requirements, so don’t only use your drafted list for counting purposes, try and estimate how likely every person is to join, and what would be a common issue you’ll need to address. If all of your guests live in the UK, then you may need to reconsider dragging them all the way to Hawai, and maybe consider equally dreamy European wedding destinations.
Another thing to consider when drafting your list is to look at the demographics. This information will tell you if you need to privilege family-friendly destinations or party destinations (or maybe both!).

Venue: Villa Agape | Photo: Alberto e Alessandra Fotografia Italiana

Consider your wedding date and the season

Consider the weather, season, and climate as they will highly impact your wedding day. While rain is usually considered a good omen for a happy marriage, it’s certainly not so happy news when you’re planning an outdoor wedding (even though you will end up with priceless memories). This is even more important when choosing your destination wedding location: if you’re planning a June wedding in the Maldives, you might have to think again as the monsoon season starts in May, peaks in June, and stays all through summer.
The weather and season will also impact your wedding destination location choice, as a high-season often implies fewer availabilities across several aspects of destination wedding planning like flights, vendors, accommodations, to only name a few.

Photo courtesy of venue: San Montano Resort & Spa

Consider and research legal marriage requirements

Let’s say you want to get married in Venice, do you know how to get married in Italy? Always start by asking questions like what are the requirements to make your wedding official? Am I authorized to hold a civil wedding as a foreigner in my favorite wedding destination? These are important questions to ask yourself, and essential factors for determining whether you should pick a destination or not.

Photo courtesy of venue: Villa Arvedi

Now here are our tips to make sure you pick the best destination wedding location

  • Lists are your destination wedding planning best friends:
    Make a list of your favorite travel spots, your dream wedding destinations as well as a list of your no-gos. Then proceed by elimination using the above list of things to consider.
  • Consider picking a destination wedding location that also matches your honeymoon dreams:
    Or at least go for a destination that is close to your dream honeymoon location. You will certainly be happy to do without a long flight after all the excitement of your wedding trip! Think of destinations like Italy, where you can have for example your wedding in the Tuscan countryside then get a complete change of scenery by spending your honeymoon cruising the Amalfi coast!
  • Don’t lose sight of your wedding vision and mood board:
    Make sure your location matches your wedding theme and your personality. For example, if you’re all about art and culture, then choose a city that is known for it like Florence…
Photo courtesy of venue: Col Pradat Lodge
  • Reach out to your favorite destination wedding location’s consulate:
    This is your best and most trustworthy source for inquiring about the legal aspect of your destination wedding to make sure you can actually officialize your marriage.
  • Consider entertainment options:
    Privilege destinations that have a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing and things-to-do. This will become a much-appreciated feature when the time comes for planning guests’ entertainment!
Photo courtesy of venue: Villa Valmarana ai Nani
  • Reach out to local destination wedding experts:
    Get in touch and chat with local destination wedding experts and ask them all the questions you have in mind. They are the best source to advise you on whether your wedding destination choice fits both your vision and requirements. Luckily with platforms like WedBoard, you can chat commitment-free with wedding experts and planners!
  • Plan a short visit to your favorite destination wedding location:
    In the internet era, this is not so mandatory anymore. But if you have the time and can afford it, then by all means go ahead and do it! This will give you a more practical and realistic idea of how things will or should go.
Photo: Shevtsovy Photography | Venue: Villa San Luigi

In conclusion, choosing your destination wedding location is not only about going for your favorite travel spot or dream city. You’ll need to consider a few other factors to plan the perfect destination wedding weekend (or week!).
Stay tuned for more inspiration and information on unique and top destination wedding locations and wedding venues. And if, like us, your heart is set on Italy (understandably so!) then head to our helpful articles on the best regions in Italy to get married in as well as how to choose your destination wedding venue. We’ve got you covered on all-things destination wedding related!

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Feature Image: Venue : Villa Agape | Florist: Flowers Living | Photo: Tali Photography |Planner: Lisa Giolo

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