Destination Wedding Planning Tips from Nicole Smith

How to Plan a Destination Wedding Abroad

If planning spontaneous vacations together, taking weekend trips to new cities and a shared adventurous spirit is a foundational part of your relationship with your future spouse, a destination wedding might be the right fit for you. To help make organizing your event as stress-free as possible, Vision Events owner Nicole Smith shares her best tips for planning an out-of-state or international celebration. Vision Events specializes in both North Carolina and destination event planning.

Location, Location, Location

Of course, we at Heart of NC Weddings believe that our state has myriad venues and locations to suit any style. However, there’s something magical about declaring your love in a place you’ve always wanted to visit or a tropical getaway. If you’ve already got a dream country or city in mind, consider a venue in close proximity to an airport since most, if not all, of your guests will need to fly in. This will simplify travel plans and cut down on transit time. Knowing if children are welcome at your desired location is also essential in making sure all of your guests are accommodated for.


Nicole recommends couples choose all-inclusive resorts for their big day. “Think of it as a one-stop-shop with skilled professionals who cater to couples wishing to take the legwork out of a destination wedding while still enjoying the perks and allure that comes with exotic locations,” Nicole says. She adds that an all-inclusive package can help cut down on costs, making a destination wedding more accessible for couples.

Plan Ahead

Remember that destination events require planning further in advance than local weddings. Guests will require more time to RSVP, make travel arrangements and plan for time off work, if necessary. “In an effort to assist guests with their own personal planning processes we can often offer payment plans which help take the stress off of their journeys to becoming your wedding guests,” Nicole says.

More time must also be allotted to communicate with vendors who may be located in different time zones. While it’s possible to source vendors by internet searches or scrolling social media, but working with a well-established professional who has connections with vendors in various destinations and can vouch for their reliability is extremely valuable and will save time and stress.

Dreamy Destinations

Nicole’s top destination pick? Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica. She recommends the resort for its convenient location – just a few minutes from the airport – and the on-site events team that Vision Events has worked with several times.

“This gorgeous resort offers several wedding locations to choose from, all spectacular and memorable,” Nicole says. “Options include a popular over-the-water chapel, a church chapel, gardens, beaches, gazebos and a conference center.”

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