PLAN A DES­TI­NA­TION WED­DING

Ea­ger to tie the knot at a far-flung des­ti­na­tion? En­sure smooth sail­ing for all in­volved with these handy point­ers.

New Zealand Weddings - - CON­TENTS - By ANYA TRUONG- GE­ORGE

En­sure smooth sail­ing with these handy point­ers

1 Ac­ces­si­bil­ity

Aside from be­ing an ideal ex­cuse to com­bine a hol­i­day with your cel­e­bra­tion, many cou­ples choose a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding be­cause they want to get mar­ried in a spot they love. But while that pri­vate is­land in the mid­dle of the Caribbean may have been an amaz­ing place to visit, con­sider its ac­ces­si­bil­ity (and sub­se­quent ex­pense) for your guests. If it’s a small is­land na­tion, how many flights will be required to get there? Or if it’s a pro­vin­cial town in Europe, how long will it take to drive from the near­est air­port?

2 Set the date – early 3 Look­ing af­ter your guests

Don’t ex­pect all your guests to be able to at­tend – tak­ing time off work and fork­ing out travel costs can be a big ask for some. To help, ask re­sorts for group book­ing dis­counts, or com­pile a list of ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions for your guests to choose from. Pre­pare guests a few weeks be­fore the wed­ding by gath­er­ing and send­ing in­for­ma­tion about the des­ti­na­tion such as a map, sug­gested ac­tiv­i­ties in the area and what to pack. It’s also a nice idea to ar­range trans­porta­tion to the wed­ding venue. Send out save the dates to your guests at least six months prior to give them am­ple time to bud­get and plan. Raro­ton­gan wed­ding plan­ner Tr­ish Tau (wed­ding­plan­nerraro­tonga.com) says prices for flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion are de­ter­mined by peak tourist sea­son, so keep­ing this in mind could save money for you and your guests.

4 Hire a plan­ner

A pop­u­lar op­tion is to hold your wed­ding at a re­sort or ho­tel. Wed­ding travel spe­cial­ist Anita Gat­ley (wed­ding­travel.co.nz) sug­gests find­ing a re­sort wed­ding pack­age that in­cludes an event plan­ner, or find a lo­cal one your­self. Hav­ing an expert on the ground who speaks the lan­guage and is fa­mil­iar with the best lo­cal ven­dors will not only save you time and re­search, but will also save you stress. Let them know early on what you en­vis­age – a great wed­ding plan­ner will give you reg­u­lar up­dates dur­ing the whole process.

5 The fine print

Ask ex­perts, such as your wed­ding plan­ner, what the le­gal mar­riage re­quire­ments are in your cho­sen des­ti­na­tion. France re­quires you to be in the coun­try at least 40 days be­fore you can marry, while other coun­tries such as the Cook Is­lands only need you to be in the coun­try three days prior to the wed­ding to ap­ply for the mar­riage li­cence.

Con­sider plan­ning

ac­tiv­i­ties for you and your guests to par­tic­i­pate in a day or two be­fore the wed­ding. It's not only fun, but helps to make guests feel more wel­come and at ease.

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