How to Start Your Destination Wedding Planning

Destination Weddings by Mango Muse Events

You’re engaged!  Congrats!  You’ve told your family and friends and have basked in the glow of being engaged.  But, now it’s time to start your destination wedding planning. Are you asking yourself, where do I begin?  Starting your wedding planning is easy, but many couples end up jumping ahead of themselves and start to look at magazines and Pinterest before tackling the important items first.  And what are the important items?  Don’t you worry, I’ll walk you through it.

When I was young we would have assignments in school to read the newspaper and understand an article and then summarize it.  To do so, we were told that we needed to understand the who, what, when, where, why and how.  It was a great exercise because it really did get you to understand the content of the article and what it was about.  Starting your destination wedding planning is very similar.

Before you get into the details or start picking out your china, you need to have a clear understanding of your who, what, when, where why and how. Knowing these items will start your planning off on the right foot and give you the information you need to jump into the fun stuff.  Here’s what you’ll need to work through and in what order as it’s unfortunately not in the logical order.  Work on this with your partner, so that you understand how you both feel and can come together on it.

What – The first thing you need to think about is what is important to you.  What is important to you about the wedding?  What is important for you to have?  What do you want your wedding to be like?  Close your eyes and imagine your wedding, what do you want it to feel like?  What do you want to happen?  Try and do this exercise separately to start and then come together and talk about it.

Why – After you explore the what, you want to ask yourself why are these things important?  Why do you care about that feeling/idea/item?  The why should be compelling otherwise, it’s a sign that it isn’t that important to you.

Who – Once you’ve come together and have an understanding of what is important to you both and why then you need to discuss who you’ll be inviting.  Yup, this is the guest list.  This will be your preliminary list, but you’ll need this to understand how big of a wedding you are expecting.  Write down the people who matter to you and see where you come out.  After you have your lists, go through it again and see who you think will actually come.  We are talking about a destination wedding here, so not everyone will be able to make it.  And if having a small wedding is important to you, the list will have to reflect that.  For a more detailed list of steps to create your guest list, check out this blog post.

When – Now that you know what is important to you and who is important to you, you need to figure out when you are going to get married.  How long do you want to wait?  Does the year matter?  Does the time of year matter?  Besides taking into account special timeframes and your own schedules, think about the must have people on your guest list and what their schedules will look like.  The more timeframe options you have, the more flexibility it will give you especially once you go through the next exercise.

Where – Next comes the location, where do you want to get married?  Some of you may already have a destination wedding location picked out because it’s special to you or it’s a place you’ve always wanted to get married.  But for others, you may not yet know where you want to get married or just don’t know what to consider.  The world is your oyster and thus, you need to figure out where the best place is for you and your partner.  Think about the kinds of places you like to travel to, the food you like, the kinds of activities you enjoy and the things that are important to you from the what/why exercise.  These will all play a factor in your decision.  If you are between a few different places, keep those options open as you may find that one might suit you better after the last exercise.

How – Lastly, comes the budget.  How are you going to be paying for your wedding?  Are your parents chipping in?  Are you paying for it by yourselves?  How much do you have to spend for your wedding?  How much do you want to spend?  This may be a good time to chat with your parents (if they are contributing anything) and if you want a more detailed list of steps to help create your budget, check out this blog post.

After figuring out your who, what, when, where, why and how, you may need to revisit some of the earlier exercises like the guest list or the location or the timeframe in order to narrow or adjust your expectations.  But, by working through each of these you now have the information you need to actually start looking at your options and creating your destination wedding.

Bride walking down the aisle at an outdoor destination wedding in Hawaii destination wedding planning by Destination wedding planner Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events

Want someone to take the guesswork out of planning your destination wedding?  We can help!  Don’t wait, contact us here today.

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