Destination weddings are increasingly popular — with good reason.  Finding a unique location where you and your guests can celebrate your wedding and relax together can make this once in a lifetime occasion even more memorable.

Many of our clients prefer remote tropical resorts where relaxation is a must.  Other couples prefer destinations where guests have more activities to choose from both before and after the main event. The location you choose should be very personal.  It may be a family summer retreat that holds special memories, the hotel where you and your fiancée first vacationed or an exotic destination you have always dreamt about.

Whether you are planning a destination wedding in Hawaii, Mexico, Italy, the Caribbean, Cape Cod, or even California – your planner’s thoroughness, experience, research skills and resources are critical to anticipate and address any issue that might come up.

A few tips from Carolina Almazan:

Your wedding should be memorable for the right reasons – weddings scheduled during the local hurricane or rainy season trend well on Social Media, but are not favorites with couples or guests.

Make sure there are direct and reasonably priced flights from where most of your guests live. If guests need to take three flights and two boats to reach your favorite location, you may want to consider alternatives.

Offer hotel options at different price points if the location you choose is pricey.

If you prefer an outdoor celebration plan for all eventualities. Access to a backup indoor location can relieve much anxiety.

Make sure the guests you care about most are able to travel before you set your date.

Consider taking care of costs for immediate family and special guests.

Hire a wedding planner who has experience in destination wedding planning.

Anticipate unwelcome surprises such as flight delays and unpredictable weather – particularly in foreign countries.

Research the time it takes to ship items to your location and plan accordingly.

Carefully consider local legal requirements of marriage well in advance.  Schedule a visit prior to your wedding for tastings and to meet with other local vendors. Many clients book our favorite Los Angeles vendors, but we often refer great local talent, especially when it comes to music and flowers.

Once you find your dream location make sure to visit with your wedding coordinator.

Remember that remote locations and many foreign countries can be less predictable than what you may be used to.  Be flexible.

Above all, have fun and enjoy. Your guests will follow your lead.