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Not to sound cliché, but if you plan your destination wedding, will your guests come? For all parties involved, a destination wedding sounds good in theory. For your guests, it’s a chance to visit a new location and to experience the joy of your wedding day.

When considering having your wedding celebration 100 miles or more from your residence…

Be prepared for how stressful it will be to organize a wedding in a foreign place. Make sure you have a trusted local wedding planner who knows the ins and outs of the location and please plan to visit the area prior to signing on the dotted line.

Think about the location. Is it easy to get to? Is it somewhere where your guests will enjoy themselves? Is it sentimental or meaningful? Expect that some close friends and family won’t be able to attend, so try to gauge their availability before signing a contract.

Create & mail your Save-The-Dates at least five months prior to your wedding day. Last minute flights to any destination location cost more than flights booked four to five months prior.

If you’re feeling particularly generous, financially assisting with accommodation is always appreciated and remembered. Have your wedding planner arrange for group rates on transportation to and from the airport and accommodation where possible.

Plan to spend quality time with each guest before and during your wedding day. If budget allows, invite all your guests to your rehearsal dinner/pre-wedding celebration party. For those guests arriving two days prior to your wedding day, offer prearranged activities such as a morning chartered tour of the city with a stop at a museum or park and boxed lunch. For those guests arriving later in the day, schedule an evening boat ride with light appetizers and beverages.

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