10 Things to Know Before Planning a Destination Wedding
“Should I have a destination wedding?” is a question that quite literally opens up a world of possibilities. The most straightforward answer is yes — you should take advantage of the unique destinations and breathtaking scenery the world has to offer. Your wedding is your special day, after all, and having a destination wedding is a grand way to celebrate this milestone.
With so many places and factors to consider, you need to know more than an answer to “Why have a destination wedding?” — especially if you know you want to travel for your celebration. Below, you’ll find 10 things to know before planning a destination wedding that will help make your decisions easier. Learn what to know about destination weddings to get a few steps closer to your celebration.
1. Plan Your Budget
Before booking your trip to a destination, sit down and calculate your budget. You’ll need to determine how much you have to spend for any wedding, whether you travel or stay home, so that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Still, it helps you see what destinations and venues are in your price range.
Travel will be among the most significant components of your budget, but as an essential part of having a destination wedding, it’s worth blocking out part of your budget for. Fortunately, one expense you’ll save on is your honeymoon, since you’re already in your dream destination. Book your stay to extend past your wedding day for the ultimate celebration that won’t incur extra traveling costs.
Even with a limited budget, you can still plan the destination wedding of your dreams. Focus on choosing a phenomenal location and consider a venue with plenty of perks to lessen the impact on your bottom line. Villa Punto de Vista and Villa La Isla in Costa Rica can make the perfect location for your wedding. Our hundreds of past wedding guests can attest that the reasonable rate is well-worth what it includes, such as:
- Luxury accommodations
- Daily gourmet breakfast
- Housekeeping services
- Complimentary vacation planning, from transportation to tours
- Full-time private staff
- A chauffeured buggy for your convenience
The staff at your venue should want your special day to be a dream come true, and our Villa Punto de Vista estate staff will help make that possible. With flexibility and quality options in your wedding package, you can get exactly what you need for your wedding and accommodations to help maintain your destination wedding budget. But planning your budget isn’t the only factor that will help you save money on your destination wedding. Read on for nine more considerations to make before you decide on a wedding away from home.
2. Prepare for a Small Guest List
Depending on where you plan your destination wedding, you might not have as many “yes” RSVPs as you expect. With a smaller guest list, you do get more flexibility in your budget, so it can be a blessing in disguise. Still, you’re sure to have some must-have friends and family members. Make sure everyone you want at your destination wedding can go with some considerations:
- Speak with close friends and family to ensure they can travel.
- Give everyone early notice so they can make proper arrangements.
- Consider only inviting adults, rather than families and children, to help save on guests’ travel costs.
- Choose an off-peak time for your wedding which can mean cheaper airline rates.
- Share tips on how to save when booking a flight to help your guests make it to your wedding.
You can always host a more casual get-together to celebrate at home with those who can’t make it, just to gather and have your family meet your spouse’s family. Be considerate with your invitations, as well. If you have friends or family who you know won’t be able to make the trip, speak with them first and then decide if it’s best to keep them off the list of those receiving invitations.
No matter the size of your guest list, you’ll need to make sure there are accommodations available for everyone. Finding hotels in the area of your venue can be challenging. Instead, book with a venue that doubles as accommodations for you and your guests, like Villa Punto de Vista and Villa La Isla, which you can book together or separately based on your needs. The on-site accommodations will help your budget since you won’t need to factor in traveling to and from your wedding venue. It’ll also save you from the stress of organizing transportation for all your guests to get to your ceremony.
3. Know the Marriage Requirements in Your Destination
Every location has different marriage laws, so be sure to do your research before deciding on a destination. You can always try to hold the legal marriage in your country, then travel for a celebratory ceremony and reception in another country if you can’t meet specific prerequisites.
Not every destination has strict rules or challenging qualifications, though. Costa Rica offers an easy and less expensive process of marriage requirements with:
- No blood tests
- No waiting periods
- No applications for a marriage license at home or in Costa Rica
Instead, you’ll only need to complete a form with basic information, have a qualified officiant and two witnesses and provide other relevant information. After your wedding in Costa Rica, you’ll have to wait to legally change your last name if you wish back in the U.S., which is the same process you’d have to follow if you were to get married in the country.
4. Look Into the Weather
Before you get your wedding gown and outfits for your wedding party, know what the weather is like in your destination. Since most destination weddings are set in coastal regions, you’ll likely have to plan for warm weather. Sleeveless gowns, lightweight fabrics and shorter hemlines will keep you from overheating during an outdoor celebration and will be more convenient if you’re holding your wedding ceremony on the warm sands of the coast.
If you’re planning a destination wedding in Costa Rica, prepare for sunshine and warm weather. In Manuel Antonio, in particular, the average daily temperature is between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Pack your sunscreen and your swimsuits and enjoy the year-round water temperature of around 80 degrees after your ceremony. Gentle breezes along the coast help keep things a bit cool, making the picturesque setting even more ideal for your wedding.
Weather can be a bit unpredictable, especially when you’re booking your wedding far in advance. Ensure your venue has indoor space to use for a backup ceremony and reception if you’re currently planning an outdoor celebration.
You should also select a location with a lower risk of hurricanes or inclement weather. Fortunately for those planning a Costa Rica destination wedding, Villa Punto de Vista and Villa La Isla enjoy shelter from tropical storms and hurricanes unlike other destination wedding spots.
5. Consider Language Barriers
Exotic wedding destinations likely mean encountering languages you aren’t fluent in. If you do speak the language of your destination country, you don’t have much to worry about. However, this isn’t the case for every couple. Don’t let a different language intimidate you or make you change your wedding plans. You can still plan a memorable destination wedding in another country with a few extra considerations:
- Search for an officiant who can do the ceremony in your native language.
- Use pictures to help communicate your vision with vendors.
- Hire a translator if you can’t find vendors who speak your native language in your destination.
You may not even have a language barrier to contend with in destinations throughout the world, but do a bit of research and have those tips in mind in case you need to communicate your wedding ideas effectively.
6. Hire a Wedding Planner
When you’re having a destination wedding, a wedding planner will be a valuable asset to the planning process. They can help with language concerns, legal ceremony requirements and local vendors. Planning a destination wedding shouldn’t be stressful! Collaborating with a wedding planner can help ensure that when your wedding date rolls around, the only thing you’ll have to think about is enjoying your special day.
While some venues have an on-site wedding planner you must coordinate with to plan your celebration, the Villa Punto de Vista estate lets you select a planner to guide you through the process. But you don’t need to make that decision on your own. Choose from a variety of trusted partners who have worked with the villas before to create weddings based on couples’ dreams. The rest of the villa staff will be happy to assist you, as well, with a concierge ready to help you with whatever you need.
7. Set Your Priorities
Having a destination wedding is an exciting, yet significant, decision. When you choose a particular location, you may find that you need to prioritize between a few different factors to get what you want from your dream wedding. With a budget in mind, you want to pick a location that has as much to offer as possible without needing to cut down on your guest list or other priorities. Specific locations, though, might force you to choose between:
- Breathtaking views
- Delicious delicacies
- Your dream venue
- Unique experiences
With a wedding in Costa Rica, you won’t have to prioritize between those experiences. You and your guests can enjoy it all in one convenient location. Dine on expertly prepared meals that feature organic produce, dry-aged prime beef, fish fresh off the boat and other locally sourced ingredients. Host your event in the luxurious Villa Punto de Vista and Villa La Isla and enjoy other unique experiences in Costa Rica.
8. Visit Your Destination in Advance
Many couples choose a destination for their wedding based on somewhere they’ve visited in the past, but if you and your partner wish to travel somewhere new and exciting, it could benefit your wedding day to take a special trip there beforehand. You can see if the location will make the perfect setting for your wedding and speak face-to-face with your venue and vendors. Consider visiting a possible destination:
- Before you decide on a venue.
- During the planning process to finalize details.
- Within a few months of your wedding date.
If you can’t make more than one trip to your destination, consider arriving a few days early for a pre-wedding celebration and to wrap up details. You and your partner can enjoy some time together before the big day taking in the scenery and dreaming of your upcoming celebration.
9. Know What Your Destination Has to Offer
For your sake and the sake of your guests, you’ll want to choose a destination that offers not only gorgeous views for your ceremony, but also an all-around exciting and unique experience. Know what brings visitors to your wedding’s destination to enjoy some adventure during your honeymoon and make suggestions to your guests, so they get the most out of their visit.
Plenty of activities in Costa Rica entice visitors year-round and make the perfect addition to a day of fun for you or your friends and family during their visit for your wedding. The Villa Punto de Vista estate boasts of being conveniently located within reach of the breathtaking wild of the jungle and beach as well as close to Manuel Antonio, which has a vivid nightlife and plenty of fun shops to explore. Thus, you’re sure to find great activities to entertain everyone in your party. Suggest these things to do to your guests so they get the complete Costa Rica experience:
- Walk the trails of a national park.
- Relax on the warm sand of the beach.
- Go on a whitewater rafting or tubing adventure.
- Zipline above the treetops.
- Witness exotic wildlife, from colorful birds to sloths, monkeys and more.
- Traverse the landscape on a horseback ride.
10. Consider Minimal Decor
With all these factors to consider, why have a destination wedding? Unique, lush scenery is perhaps the most powerful draw for couples to travel for their special day. Use your destination as the stunning backdrop for your destination wedding, rather than brainstorming a theme. You don’t want to create decor that you need to pack in your luggage, which will take up space and incur extra costs. Instead, let the breathtaking scenery of your destination speak for itself.
A destination wedding to Costa Rica provides a variety of scenic views for your big day. From the rolling waves and glittering waters of the Pacific to the lush rainforest canopy, abundant beauty already surrounds you, so why try to compete with it? Save your time, budget and luggage space with a gorgeous spot for your Costa Rica wedding.
When you select your wedding venue in Costa Rica, consider an option that puts you close to the shoreline and gives you stunning views of the exquisite surroundings. Villa Punto de Vista and Villa La Isla are nestled into a tropical reserve seconds from the beach. The rooftop deck lets you and your guests get a glimpse of the unique Costa Rican scenery. Complete your ceremony with phenomenal views of your destination and leave your decor at home.
Of course, it is your special day, and traditional wedding decor touches can make your ceremony feel like everything you’ve dreamed of. Work with local vendors at your destination to fulfill your floral and other decor needs, but be sure to go light and let the beauty of your location and your venue combine for the most stunning wedding backdrop.
Plan Your Dream Destination Wedding in Costa Rica
Having a destination wedding in Costa Rica surrounds you with mesmerizing natural beauty and gives you plenty of opportunities for adventure, so why have your ceremony anywhere else? With the location in mind, keep your venue and accommodations just as stunning when you plan your wedding with Villa Punto de Vista and Villa La Isla. Plan the destination wedding of your dreams with us. Here you’ll enjoy luxurious accommodations for you and your guests, host your wedding celebration in our stunning venue, and experience everything there is to see and do in Costa Rica.
Contact us today and learn more about planning a wedding with Villa Punto de Vista and Villa La Isla. We’ll help make your destination wedding dreams a reality for the perfect celebration of your special day.