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You can picture it now: You, your new hubby and all your wedding guests sipping piña coladas on a beach in the Caribbean, a million miles from home. But before you dive in and book a destination wedding, here are six things to keep in mind.

RELATED: 13 Real Brides Share Their Best-Ever Wedding Advice


Don’t Be Surprised If a Lot of People Can’t Make It

You spent all that time whittling down your guest list, but now you’re getting quite a few RSVP cards with one word: “Regrets.” Don’t fret. For a traditional wedding—like a celebration in your hometown—the drop-off rate for guest attendance is usually 10 to 20 percent. But for a destination wedding, it jumps. (On average, you can expect a 50 percent attendance rate, depending on how difficult it is to get to the locale.)

bride skype

…But You Can Also Skype Everyone In

Yep, all it takes is a solid Wi-Fi connection (check with the front desk at the resort for the password) and you can easily conference in your elderly aunt who wanted to be there but just couldn’t swing the travel.


You’ll Have to Pack a Ton of Bags (or Risk It and Ship It)

All the decor, cards and miscellaneous things have to come with you and back—including gifts (yep, even if you tell your friends and family to ship their gifts directly to your home address, there will still be a handful of guests who hand it off to you for the trek home). Not into packing? Make sure your venue is set up to receive and hold important packages—you don’t want your adorable bridesmaid gifts to go missing.

bride dress

…And Designate Someone You Trust in a Major Way to Transport Your Dress

But seriously, this is a big job. And taking it onto a plane isn’t easy. Your best bet is to flag the flight attendant nicely as soon as you (or whoever is carrying your dress) is on board. In most cases, they’ll help you stash it in a closet or find the overhead bin with the least amount of baggage so you can lay it down flat. Assume the worst, and pack a steamer.

vendors beach wedding

Vendor Research Can Be Challenging

Unless you’ve frequented the spot where you’re getting hitched, you’ll have to rely mainly on Google to research vendors like your florist or DJ. A better plan: Hire a local wedding planner who can run point when you can’t be there in person or find out if your venue has a list of recommended people it prefers to work with.

bride and groom

…But You Could Always Plan an Extra Visit (or Two) Before “I Do”

Wedding research and planning is the worst. Unless it requires a plane trip to San Juan. #justsaying

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