Everything You Could Ever Need to Know to Plan a Destination Wedding

Having a destination wedding usually means you’re in for a much more intimate ceremony. Because you are travelling to your dream day not every one of the 500 people you know will be there! You can enjoy a two-for-one wedding and honeymoon and share some of that time with your guests. Pulling off a destination wedding takes planning and effort. They are sometimes more complicated to organise. This is certainly true where you are travelling abroad. Of course, at the moment, that isn’t possible.

Luckily there are some amazing destinations for your wedding, right here in Queensland.

Destination Wedding Etiquette

When should I have my destination wedding?

This depends on your schedules and availability, but seasonal changes make a major impact. If you want to take advantage of the local environment with outdoor festivities do some research. Check the average rainfall for the month you are planning. Ensure that you’re not positioning your event right in the middle of the wet season. Be aware of fluctuations in tourism; high season may translate to higher booking rates. Low season can mean a lower cost but not always.

When should I notify guests of my destination wedding?

We recommend that save-the-date cards should be sent 8 to 12 months before the wedding. The official invites should go out no later than three to four months before. That will allow guests to plan.

Who pays for guest accommodations?

Guests are traditionally expected to cover their personal lodging and transportation expenses. It is important that you make this as clear as you can. Give them recommendations to accommodations or booking websites. If you’ve booked the accommodation as part of your package then emphasize that each guest needs to reserve and pay for their own room within it. Creating a website for your wedding will allow you to do that very gracefully!

Do I need to help guests book travel?

You don’t need to book anyone’s travel, but it’s a nice gesture to make the process easier. Enlisting a travel agent can help lighten the load. They can then organise group reservations thereby scoring the best deals. They may also be able to snag upgrades and luxury treatments. Start a Facebook group or group chat so everyone can share flight deals or make plans to travel together. Providing a wedding itinerary will keep everyone on schedule and fully informed.

Should I have a registry for a destination wedding?

Given the increased costs of guests attending the wedding, many couples who opt for a destination wedding scrap gifts. If you decide that having your guests is the best gift that you can get then let them know via your wedding website. If you decide to have a registry, be sure to have gifts shipped to your home rather than brought to the venue. The other option is to ask for virtual gifts like gift cards or donations to a honeymoon fund.

Destination Wedding Planning Tips

Choose a location.

When deciding on a destination, keep in mind that it needs to have all of the resources you need. That charming beach town where you spent your childhood summers won’t work if it’s one hotel can’t accommodate all your guests.

Weigh up how feasible the travel would be for your oldest or least mobile guest. A longer journey may be difficult for your elderly grandparents or your pregnant sister-in-law.

Consider guest lodging.

As previously stated, etiquette does not require you to cover the cost of accommodations. It is worth looking at different recommendations to satisfy a range of budgets. It may be that you wish to suggest several options at different price points, so it is really useful if your destination has a range available.

Go local to save.

We suggest that you consider going local for your accessories! Flowers sourced locally can help slash your budget for example.

Visit in advance.

Ideally, you’ll see your venue at least once before booking and again three to four months before the wedding to fine-tune the details. If a second trip isn’t possible, arrive at least two or three days early to make those decisions and have hair and makeup trials.

Meet vendors.

Prior to your first site visit, set up meetings with the better-known florists and rental companies in your destination. Ask your venue for referrals; you might uncover local talent you didn’t know about—and some savings to boot. If you’re bringing specialists from home, expect to cover their travel and lodging costs. Negotiate these expenses up front so things don’t get out of control.

Plan additional events.

Extend all the fun of the big day by expanding the itinerary. Guests will enjoy some extra activities to make their trip even more worthwhile. You don’t have to go for a full wedding weekend, but a welcome party to greet everyone is a popular choice. You could even combine it with or following the rehearsal dinner. You can include interactive activities that showcase the area such as group tours or tastings. You can also close the wedding weekend with flair and say your farewells at a post-wedding brunch or luncheon.

Consider unexpected expenses.

Destination weddings get an interesting rap for being more budget-friendly, but this isn’t always the case. Be sure to include wiggle room in your budget for unexpected expenses. Including a welcome party or day-after brunch will be an additional cost, but well worth it!

Create welcome bags.

Show some hospitality by offering welcome bags once guests arrive. Fill them with items that speak to the locale or that will provide some comfort for their stay. Things like water bottles, snacks, maps, and aspirin are great additions. Warm-weather destinations call for sunscreen or aloe vera while alpine environments are conducive to hot cocoa mixes or mittens.

Tailor your wedding dress to the destination.

Carefully consider the climate and terrain of your wedding day when dress shopping. Breathable fabrics work best in hot, humid locations.

Get away gracefully.

Transitioning into honeymoon mode may require a bit of finesse. This is especially true if you’ve decided to stay at the same resort as guests who have extended their own travels. Be clear about your departure (even if you’re staying on the property). Say your goodbyes amidst the fanfare of a post-reception send-off or next-day brunch. If it’s privacy you seek (without offending your loved ones), move to a different section of the hotel. Some resorts have elevated accommodations (think: luxury suites, over-water villas, or independent cabins) that are positioned separately from other rooms.

Platypus Park Waterside Retreat are one of the premier wedding destinations in Central and SE Queensland. We have been responsible for lots of weddings and pride ourselves on providing a truly unique experience for each.

If you would like to find out more about our Wedding Packages and our facilities please visit the website

You can email us at info@platypusparkriversideretreat.com.au

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