This blog post was updated on October 8, 2018.
With the Royal Wedding on Friday, a select 1,900 celebrities and dignitaries are making the journey to London.
Then there are the rest of us, invited to destination weddings this spring and summer by mere commoners.
Perish the thought! Not every couple can have their faces on kitschy mugs and dinner plates to lure guests to their wedding locales.
However, destination weddings have become a normal trend in the wedding industry with couples selecting to get married in the Dominican Republic rather than in their own republic.
And unlike Kate and William’s destination wedding guests, we don’t all have private jets and designer dresses at our disposal to make the travel process easy. Planning is much more difficult, especially when you don’t have a personal assistant or unlimited supplies of cash. While I work on figuring out how to afford a personal assistant, here are some ways to prep for traveling to destination wedding.
Play With Your Budget—Before your tell your best friend you just can’t afford to travel to Bora Bora, see if it is feasible by laying out a pretend budget. Consider the cost of airfare, hotels, transportation and food you are willing to spend. No trip is successful without drawing up spreadsheets of what you think you can spend on different areas and comparing those numbers with actual rates you find upon further research.
Don’t Sit Pretty on Reservations—Not only will you annoy the bride by not sending your RSVP in a timely manner, but you may also lose out on destination-wedding deals if you sit around and wait until a month before the big day to book travel. Couples often negotiate deals on hotels for guests making the journey to their wedding. However, these deals are usually only reserved for a set number of people. Flight prices are only going to rise if you wait until the very last minute. A destination wedding will end up costing much more if you wait to send in that little RSVP card with just 30 days until the wedding.
Don’t Check Your Wedding Outfit—Most brides don’t want to let their wedding dress out of their sight. Carrying it on the airplane is usually the only option. Brides should call their airline before the big flight and make arrangements ahead of time. If you are press for time, consider investing in a special garment travel bag to place the dress in so that it counts as your carry on bag. Many airlines will allow you to place the dress in first class in a hanging closet area. For guests, you don’t want to risk lost luggage with all of your wedding essentials, including that brand new suit. While bags do show up eventually, most guests take flights on Friday nights to make those Saturday morning weddings. Don’t put all of your wedding attire in to one basket with the airlines.
Put The “Destination” Back in Destination Weddings—The destination aspect to destination weddings is often lost in all of the details of the wedding. Don’t forget to do a little research on where you are going and what that locale has to offer. If you are forking over the money to come to the wedding, you should be able to get a little travel out of the deal and not just spend time in churches and rented halls. See if a local sports team is playing that weekend. Find out about summer festivals. Despite your reason for going, it doesn’t have to be all about the wedding. Just don’t tell the bride.
Planning a destination wedding in Hawaii? Check out these great deals on flights to Honolulu.