Destination Wedding Planning Questions to Ask

A wedding beach gazebo in a tropical location waiting for the bride and groom to arrive.
••• Jeremy J Saunders/Getty Images

Planning any wedding can be nerve-wracking. When you want that wedding to take place at a destination away from home — one that you may not even see before the wedding — you owe it to yourselves to ask a lot of questions before you commit and sign a contract.

destination wedding is one of the most beautiful and happiest occasions a couple can experience together. However, you do need to go into the planning of a destination wedding with eyes wide open.

With that in mind, these are some of the questions to ask with once you've narrowed down the number of places you will consider to host your destination wedding.

Getting Started

Begin by emailing or phoning the hotel manager to ask:

  • Do you hold destination weddings at your resort?
  • Is there a dedicated wedding planner on site? Can she be reached by email?
  • What services does your wedding planner provide? Is there a fee?
  • How much time would we need to reserve our wedding in advance?

Staging a Destination Wedding

Questions to ask about the ceremony and reception:

  • What private indoor and outdoor areas of the resort are available for a wedding? Are indoor spaces air-conditioned?
  • How many people can each of them accommodate?
  • Can you email me a layout and images of these places?
  • Do you have an online photo gallery or can you email me pictures of other destination weddings that have taken place at your property?
  • What do you offer in the way of decorations?
  • What time of day do most destination weddings occur? Why?
  • Will there be other weddings taking place during the same time as ours?
  • If we want our wedding on the beach, what is the set-up?

Calculating the Cost of a Destination Wedding

Get a price estimate and see if you can negotiate a better deal.

  • What is the cost of a destination wedding at your resort, or is it included in the price of our stay?
  • Do you offer a set destination wedding package, or do we choose the elements individually?
  • Can you email a price list to me? Do you expect those prices to change by the date of my wedding?
  • If I want to bring friends and family members, do you offer a discount on the price of rooms?
  • Do you offer a complimentary bridal suite?
  • How many guests are permitted at your standard destination wedding? What do you charge if we exceed that number?
  • Do you require a down payment? How much? When is the balance due?
  • What is your cancellation policy?

Destination Wedding Details

Of course, add your own questions to this list.

  • Who performs the ceremony at the destination weddings at your resort?
  • What if we want a ceremony that honors a particular religion; can someone of that faith be provided?
  • On the other hand, what if we want a non-religious ceremony?
  • What do brides and grooms typically wear at your resort for destination weddings?
  • Will someone be available to iron my wedding dress?
  • Can I have my hair and makeup done on site?
  • What do you do if I schedule an outside ceremony and reception -- and it rains?
  • What type of flowers are available locally? Is there a florist on site?
  • Is live music available? Can you email an mp3 file of your house musicians?
  • Can we supply our own music on CD?
  • Can you email me suggested menus for the reception?
  • What can you supply in the way of a wedding cake?
  • Do you provide photography/videography services? What is the cost and what do we get for that amount?

Destination Wedding Legalities

Every country has different marriage laws. It's important to ask about the specifics of legality for your destination wedding.

  • What are the requirements to get a marriage license in your destination?
  • Do we need proof of any medical tests?
  • Is there someone who can handle the details for us and will guide us through the process?
  • If we have to travel offsite to get the license, does your resort provide transportation?
  • Are witnesses required?

Folks Who Can't Attend the Destination Wedding

There will be folks who can't attend the destination wedding.

Help them to be there in more than spirit.

  • Can you make a webcam available during the ceremony?
  • How long will it take to get our pictures back, and can they be quickly posted on an online album?
  • What type of Internet access is available on your property?

Additional Destination Wedding Questions to Ask

It's your wedding. Ask away. There's never too many questions!

  • Do you have a dedicated honeymoon suite? Can you show me what it looks like?
  • Is there a private terrace or outdoor area where we can hold a rehearsal dinner?
  • Is there a charge for guests to participate in sports at the resort?
  • Can you arrange a special tour or activity for our guests?
  • Do you mind me asking all these questions?