Tropical Destination Wedding Dos and Don’ts

In a summer when none of us are going very far, I’m dreaming of skipping town for an island vacation. Or better yet, a tropical destination wedding! There’s so much to love about having your big day somewhere sun-soaked and tropical. A trip of a lifetime with your loved ones, white sand beaches, cocktails and endless sunshine… A tropical destination wedding is a chance to create a truly memorable experience with family and friends. But, of course, the flip side of this sunny vision is that a tropical destination wedding has its own set of logistical questions. Here are some of the biggest dos and don’ts to keep in mind as you start your destination wedding planning.

DO keep your guests informed. As you plan your tropical destination wedding, it’s important that you keep guests up to date on your plans. That starts with sending out Save the Dates sooner rather than later, so they can plan for the trip. Provide as much information as possible along the way. For example, travel routes, accommodation options, childcare facilities (if relevant), dress codes, weather, and activities. The more info you have available, the fewer questions your guests will need to ask you! A wedding website is the perfect solution. Treat it like a mini guidebook, and update it often. It’s also a great place to send Covid-19 updates if needed, though we hope that won’t be the case!

DON’T forget to do your research. Of course, it’s easy to get lost in the fun aspects of dreaming up a tropical destination wedding and honeymoon. But don’t neglect the less exciting aspects early on. For example, you’ll need to properly research local weather, to ensure your wedding doesn’t clash with storm season. You’ll also need to look into the legal elements, and make sure your paperwork is in order, and ready in time. An experienced destination wedding planner can help with all the practicalities, and keep you on track.

DO choose a dress that suits the location. Needless to say, a wedding in the tropics isn’t an ideal place for a heavy, ornate ballgown. But if that’s your style, that’s okay too – just consider the weather! Keep your destination in mind when you go dress shopping, both in terms of style and weather. For example, lightweight fabrics and sleeker silhouettes are easy in a beach ceremony. They’re also a lot smaller to travel with and can be brought in a garment bag or carry-on. The same goes for the groom. Ditch the suit or tuxedo and opt for light cotton pants and a linen shirt, for example.

DON’T underestimate the climate. Your clothing isn’t the only place you need to consider the weather at your tropical destination wedding. Strong winds can blow away chairs and flowers at an outdoor ceremony, while the blazing sun will make things hot for your guests. Take the climate into account when planning your ceremony time and location, and ask advice from your resort or wedding planner. Have a later ceremony start time, offer parasols to shield the sun, and prepare ahead for a flawless guest experience. And like always, don’t forget to have a backup plan.

DO arrive at least three days before the wedding. If you’re having a destination wedding, don’t cut your arrival too close. Make sure you touch down at least 3-5 days before the big day. You’ll have time to adjust to the climate and time zone, fulfill any legal requirements, and most importantly, relax and have fun with your guests!

DON’T limit your planning to the wedding itself. Speaking of fun, one of the best parts about a destination wedding is enjoying a once in a lifetime getaway with your special people. Make it count by planning a few fun activities for the days and nights before and after the wedding. This will allow guests to get to know one another, as well as get a taste for the destination. Start with a welcome dinner or reception, and be sure that everyone has an updated itinerary on arrival.

Tropical destination weddings do take a little more planning and preparation, but they are so worth it!


Image by John and Joseph Photography