“Planning a Destination Wedding” is a challenge as good as ” planning a wedding in your own Home Town” 🙂
While its a fantasy phase for most of Brides its a nightmare as well considering not only you have to please yourself but you also have to make everyone happy who is attending your wedding overseas!
How soon one should start looking into Wedding plan is a subjective question however as a rule of thumb 18 to 12 months in advance to wedding date would make your and Guest’s life simple. You (Wedding Couple), require a lot of time to reserach the destinations, venues, options, wedding planners etc and reach a stage where you are ready to send Save the Date card and inform the plan to your Guests. You need to assure that your Guests have enough advance notice to decide on their own travel arrangements, flights and holiday (For many of them it could be the annual holiday).
Therefore if you start 18-15 months ahead of wedding, you might take 3-4 months time to zero down on the basic plan where you could advise your Guests about the stay, flight, Visa and logistics.. your Guests will still have atleast an Year’s time to plan their travel arrangements.
As the plan progress you shall realise that its imperative to figure out accurate Guests List 5-6 months in advance, It is therefore advised to give a cut off date to your Guests to send RSVP so that you could sort your own budget and estimates well in advance. You might need to intimate the Hotel, Caterer and the Planner about expected number of Guests helping them to gear up accordingly.
Some of the key decisions and the best time to decide on them are
1. Date of Wedding : 18-15 Months
2. Wedding Planner, Destination and Venue, Wedding Website : 15-12 Months
3. Accommodation and travel related arrangements : 12-10 Months
4. Guests List : 8-6 Months
5. Food Menu, Color Scheme, Decoration style, Flowers, Themes, Cake, Photographer, Videographer, Beautician, Giveaways, Bridal Dress, Jewelry, Invitations etc : 8-6 Months
6. Wedding Events Itinerary and Day wise time Timeline : 4-3 Months
7. Final list of services and deliverable by Wedding Planner : 3 Months atleast
8. Music : 2 Months
9. Transport and Logistics involved during Events : 45 days atleast
10. Final draft of Wedding Plan, Telephonic/Email conversation with the required Vendors like Beautician/DJ/Photographer etc : 45 days
Atleast 30 days ahead of Wedding date you should offload all the details and “deemed tensions” to the Wedding Planner! Just relax and get yourself ready to begin a new phase of your life.