Planning a destination wedding can present a whole new set of challenges to any couple. Not only are there plans to make for venue, reception, travel and accommodations for the celebration, planning and foresight need to be had for the guests and wedding party participants.
Though your head may spin just entertaining the idea, there are some major advantages to having your wedding in a far-away-land called Eastern North Carolina. Aside from the inherent beauty that beach locations may offer, there’s the allure of new experiences, new scenery and an unforgettable and likely one-of-a-kind experience to cement your nuptials into everyone’s memory.
If you’re planning on whisking your beloved and all of your loved ones here for your special day, we have a set of triplets for you called “Don’t Even Think About Forgetting This Stuff”.
This list goes on a few assumptions:
- You’ve advised your wedding party of the destination location.
- You’ve visited the destination as a couple and agree to wed there.
- You’ve done a bit of research regarding tourist season, climate, marriage and residency requirements, etc.
Must-Haves Typical in Travel
There are many comprehensive lists of tips you can find online for travel but only one East Carolina Bride so we’ll keep this section short and sweet.
Check for toll roads, construction and detours, hopefully eliminating foreseeable delays like missing that left turn at Albuquerque. Study up on attractions, high-crime and traffic nightmares in the area. Keep local travel info and emergency numbers handy.
Establish and stick to a reasonable budget with a small cushion. Remember how you peed a little when you found out how much taxis cost last time you traveled? Yeah, cabbies don’t need more of that stuff.
Bring along apparel for various types of weather. Some climates are like a Weird Al concert – everyone is confused, no one knows what’s going on and no one knows what’s going to happen next. And don’t even bother with meteorologists…they can’t be trusted.
Bring Airborne and drink plenty of water…you know…germs. And yes, we’re aware we sound like your mother but we just want you to be careful! So bring a sweater!
Must-Have Plans for a Far-From-Home Wedding
Usually, when you think of timelines for a wedding, you don’t see the words “specific” and “flexible” standing beside each other but that’s really what you need when you plan a destination celebration. This includes working in time to relax. What we mean by “relax” isn’t scheduling mani/pedis with your friends, it’s not having drinks by the pool with the wedding party…it’s literally laying in your hotel bed, focusing on nothing except breathing, sleeping and not having to look presentable. Seriously, you’ll need this, trust us.
You’ll need to work out a plan for the safe-keeping and transportation of any wedding gifts, money and other acquired items. An option may be to have guests donate to a honeymoon fund, wait to give gifts until after your return or have them purchase items on your registry you can pick up in the store or receive at home.
You’ll also need a final destination for leftover food, flowers, décor and other items used for the ceremony and reception. Leave some extra room in your luggage or bring an empty bag for these items. Beware that anything remotely fragile may be at risk while being transported.
It’s a courteous gesture to include any additional and pertinent information to your guests before they plan on departing. This could include local transportation information, tips on attractions and eateries and anything you’d want them to know to ensure a wonderful and comfortable trip.
Lastly for planning, and this cannot be overstated, confirm your accommodations before you leave. Actually…confirm everything. Your photographer, catering, venue, officiant, confirm that your fiancé really wants to go through with marrying your half-crazed, stressed out, sketchy-family-having self. Everything. The last thing anyone needs is to be stuck in an unfamiliar setting without a crucial aspect going as planned on the most important day of their life. Control the chaos, people!
Must-Haves to Actually Get Married
Oh, we know. You’re thinking you won’t forget these things but you might. We won’t say we told you so if you do but best to be safe and just add these to your list.
Your marriage license, wedding day underoos (yes, the special ones we know you can’t wait to wiggle into), your vows, extra makeup and/or hygiene items, jewelry and accessories (because it would be a travesty if you forgot that uniquely made and outrageously expensive hairpiece you purchased), and…oh, those little circley things that shine? The rings. Please remember those.
Probably not a bad idea to research that you have everything actually required in order to be married.
Make yourself a checklist or two and start preparing early. Planning a wedding somewhere here in Eastern North Carolina and far away from home will soon be something a little less scary and seem like a totally attainable adventure!