So, you’re beginning to plan your wedding. Exciting, isn’t it? First you have to pick the venue for your ceremony. Luckily you chose one that won’t break the bank. Next there’s the venue for the reception. Uh-oh, the bank’s starting to bulge around the seams. That’s okay; everything will be fine as long as you keep the guest list down. Hopefully Aunt Gladys’ branch of the family won’t mind if they’re not…
Oh, they do mind.
And so does your cousin’s ex-girlfriend’s brother and his family. And your boss and her husband and three kids. Pretty soon your dental hygienist is perturbed that she’s not invited. Don’t look now, but your wedding budget’s going to explode. It’s about this time you wish you could just skip the wedding and go straight to the honeymoon on some tranquil island somewhere. Right?
Hm…maybe you can. It’s called eloping. Or, in some circles, a destination wedding with just the two of you.
It seems more and more people are foregoing the traditional big wedding for a smaller affair in some exciting destination with just the bride and groom, or perhaps a small number of close family members. And, why not. With the high price of wedding planning these days, a destination wedding or eloping just makes sense.
Of course, just because you’ve opted for eloping or a small destination wedding doesn’t mean you can throw your wedding planning checklist away. It’s just a smaller checklist. Let’s review what might be on your destination wedding planning checklist:
1. Choosing a Destination
This is the fun part. You have many fun choices before you. You can get married:
In a hot-air balloon over Colorado.
On a beach in Southern California with just you, your partner, the wedding officiant, and a million dollar view that’s costing you nothing.
On a roller coaster in New Jersey.
While snorkeling in Maui.
Overlooking Niagara Falls.
While bungee jumping in Las Vegas.
At a historic inn in Vermont.
While planning the location for your destination wedding or elopement, do keep in mind the time of year you’ll be getting married. You can keep the costs down considerably if you go during the off-season of the chosen location.
2. Make the Travel Plans
Making your travel plan far ahead of time will also cut down on costs. Also, be creative when considering the mode of travel. Maybe you could travel by train instead of by plane. A train can add some more romance to your wedding plans.
3. The Legal Issues
You need to check on the laws governing marriage in your chosen location. If you’re a U.S. citizen and you plan on getting married in another country, for example, be sure to research what documentation you might need. There might also be a longer waiting period from getting your marriage license to actually marrying. Also, make sure you have your passport up to date.
4. The Wedding Officiant
5. The Photographer
6. Cake and Champagne
Whatever location you choose, be it a New England inn or bungee jumping in Las Vegas, you will probably find a company which will provide the wedding officiant, photographer and cake and champagne, as well as limousine transportation to the ceremony site. Be sure to ask if they’re included in your package. If not, make sure you have them all lined up before your ceremony.
An elopement or destination wedding can be good for your budget and your stress level. And, if your Aunt Gladys is mad because she’s not invited, bring her back something from Maui. That should keep her happy.