River Winds Farm and Estate

Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

Hosting a destination wedding that is far away from home means you’re in for a much greater event and schedule of activities than a local ceremony. Destination weddings are usually more intimate affairs, so you can really plan out how your guests can get the most out of exploring and enjoying their “vacation” getaway to your wedding. It will also be a two-for-one wedding and honeymoon for you and your partner. Consequently, planning such an event is a bit of a project.

Before you jet off to marry your love, consider these important details:

Choosing a Location

You’ve probably decided on a destination wedding because you have a particular place in mind. Not all destinations are the right spot for hosting a distant wedding. The island you fell in love with on vacation may not have any of the accommodations you need for a wedding event. When you decide on a destination wedding, make sure you choose a location that is safe, and will have all the resources you need for your event. Remember things such as accommodations, accessibility, childcare and transportation.

Out of the country, make sure there are no travel warnings, political unrest, or health issues happening in the region. Make sure all your guests will feel comfortable and secure with your location, and be able to get around on their own.

Hire a Local Professional

Since you are planning a wedding that is away from your regional area, it’s wise to hire a local professional to help you coordinate your wedding details. This will save you time and money since there are so many details that are difficult to determine from a distance, and someone local will likely get better answers and service. This will save you from spending hours on the phone and computer trying to figure out what will accommodate your needs.

You will need feet on the ground at your location to make sure what you see on a computer screen is legitimate, and to handle local details in person. They will help you have everything organized before you arrive, and be able to finalize last-minute preparations so you don’t arrive to all the hectic details to manage yourself.  

If not a planner, than look for hosting your destination wedding at a resort with an on-site concierge-coordinator.

Guest Lodging & Accommodations

Asking your loved ones to travel for your wedding is a significant request. While many will be happy to join you on your wedding excursion, do your best to make their arrival and stay as comfortable as possible. Check on availability of accommodations around your date. It would be terrible to plan your wedding only to find many of your guests can’t find adequate lodging.

While you don’t have to feel obliged to cover the cost of guest accommodations, it’s thoughtful to offer a list of places to stay close by for a range of budgets. If you’re providing lodging, negotiate and reserve room blocks or multiple condos to save money, keep everyone in the vicinity of the wedding, and to make transportation easier.

Providing All the Necessary Resources

Everyone attending your destination wedding will be traveling, and likely unfamiliar with the location. Make sure you or your planner provide resources for various needs such as provision shopping, healthcare, childcare, transportation, and hospitality options. You essentially become a mini-tour guide when you ask people to travel to your wedding. You don’t want your guests to feel lost and abandoned when they arrive.

Planning the Itinerary

A destination wedding is more than a one-day ceremony and reception event. Since everyone is traveling, destination wedding activities typically span several days. You want to help your guests acclimate to the location, and enjoy all of their time there, by working out an itinerary ahead of time.

You don’t need to manage guests’ time every moment, but hosting a welcome party and/or expanding your rehearsal dinner to include the larger group for a party afterwards is a nice touch to bring the whole group together. Put together some sort of meet and greet at the first part of your schedule.

Everyone enjoys activities that help them explore new places. Even if you don’t schedule and spring for guest tours or excursions, providing a list of places to go and landmarks to check out will make the most of your guests’ time. Consider interactive activities that will help people get to know one another, such as tours, a wine tasting, or a spa afternoon.

One of the reasons you have chosen your destination location is because it is beautiful and a place you want to share the experience of visiting!

River Winds Farm & Estate Offers a Perfect Destination Wedding Location

We have the whole package to make you and your guests feel welcomed and entertained in Southern Maine! Our Estate has on-site lodging available, several event spaces indoors and outdoors, and many activities that can be enjoyed right on the property. We are also conveniently located, just minutes from the interstate, beaches, charming Maine communities, and local restaurants and shopping.

We hope you will Contact Us to discover what your Maine destination wedding can be at River Winds!