It should come as no surprise that we, at The Luxe Nomad, are really into destination weddings. Some of us have had them, and most of us have attended quite a few of them. We’ve seen some serious wedding goals and fails.
With so much to know about planning the best possible wedding, we decided to ask team members and readers alike (thank you to everyone who responded on our Instagram) for lessons they learned when planning or attending destination weddings. Some of the lessons were discovered because they resulted in good things, in bad things and in situations that were downright hilarious (in retrospect).
These are lessons you probably won’t find in a bridal magazine! Read on for inspiration or to laugh, cry and cringe.
Desiree: I took make-up lessons from professionals at Armani in Hong Kong. I brought my own make-up so I could do my own overseas rather than take a chance on a random make-up artist I hadn’t previously met at the wedding destination.
Kathleen: If you’re having an outdoor wedding, you need to make sure to protect the bride! I went to one where the bride was a mosquito magnet. The bridesmaids carried insect repellent around with them to make sure the bride didn’t spend the entire day trying to swat the mozzies away.
Amy: For my wedding, we had people come in from seven different countries from Asia, North America, Europe and Australia. There were a lot of different cultures and languages involved. One thing we did right was planning a bunch of group activities before the wedding. This made sure people were forced to bond, and everyone had a group they were comfortable with on the big night.
Rich: We got married in Vietnam, and we had guests coming from parts of the world that needed to get visas to go in. Something I think we did well was to give everyone information on obtaining the visas and then organise them for anyone who wanted the help.
Elaine: Don’t plan for the groom and his groomsmen to eat anything too nasty during gatecrashing games (Chinese tradition to pick-up-the-bride). At my wedding, they all ended up in the toilet with Bali-belly and missed out on all the evening events!
Joan: Don’t plan to release doves during the wedding or reception. At my friends’ wedding, they forgot to actually free the birds. The poor things spent the entire day in their tiny cages with no food or water.
Karen: It’s all about having a good wedding planner – do your research and spend time finding one with a good record; otherwise you end up with a wedding in the middle of a 42 degree heat wave (normal temperatures at the location are about 25 degrees) with no fans or air-conditioning!
James: If you’re going to plan out activities post-wedding, don’t organise anything that might lead to worsening a hangover. My friends decided to organise a snorkelling trip for the day after. A hungover ride on a rocking boat just leads to disaster.
Alex: Make sure the priest/wedding officiant knows how to say your name! I went to a wedding in Italy, and the priest kept saying the bride’s name wrong. It was so embarrassing!
Nick: If the wedding is by the water, don’t keep the red packets you’re given in any pockets. For my brother’s wedding, the entire wedding party got way too drunk and ended up in the pool. It took them over an hour to find several hundred dollars worth of those envelopes!