Planning Tips & Ideas
Planning your wedding can be stressful, and when you're looking at a Destination Wedding, the pressure increases. But, with proper pre-planning, the process goes much smoother.
To that end, we’d like to provide some tips and ideas to lessen the stress and increase the enjoyment of this very special time:
- Decide on a location. For ease of travel, affordability, natural beauty, variety of venues and vendors, and essential infrastructure, we suggest Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach!
- Let your wedding party know that you’re having a destination wedding before asking them to commit.
- Send out your Save the Dates at least 10–12 months in advance to give your guests the time to arrange travel and time off work.
- Send your official invitations at least 4–6 months in advance.
- When looking at the when, consider the time of year and the weather you’re likely to encounter, and how that will affect what you wear and whether you have an indoor or outdoor ceremony.
- Think about scheduling your ceremony on a weekday instead of a weekend: not only will everything be less crowded, the price will likely be lower.
- Choose a wedding planner who resides in your chosen destination and visit as often as possible so you can bond with the planner, meet your other vendors, and make sure you’re all on the same page.
- Zoom meetings and other video calls are invaluable to avoid confusion when you can't visit: they're more personal than email and it's easier to coordinate in real time.
- Arrive a few days early to acclimate and create welcome bags and/or plan a welcome reception for your guests.
- A great gift bag contains both useful and fun items! We suggest lip balm, sun screen, spare sunglasses, the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor’s Guide, hand-crafted candy from a local shop, and a commemorative item or whimsical toy to make your guests smile and remember the event.
- Explore things for your guests to do. Try group nature tours, visit museums and galleries, and seek out restaurants that feature live music and dancing (we have many!).
- Create a Wedding Website and keep it updated.
- Add a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section and an easy contact form, as well as a detailed schedule.
- The following sites offer free or low-cost Wedding Website hosting (usually no more than $20 to maintain a site for a full year) as well as other helpful services:
a. Minted.com b. TheKnot.com
c. WeddingWire.com d. WithJoy.com
- Email your guests all the relevant event and destination information, like the URL of your Wedding Website, contact information for your event planner, etc., so they’ll always be in the know.
- If you create a gift registry (often those who cannot travel to the wedding like to send a gift instead), be sure that all gifts ship to your home and not your wedding destination.
- Consider hiring both a videographer and a photographer for more vivid reliving later. There’s usually no overlap between the two, unless requested.
Honeymoon and Beyond
- Be sure to take advantage—and encourage your guests to, as well—of our uncrowded beaches, countless outdoor and water activities in pristine nature, top-notch fishing and golfing, multifarious cuisine, culture galore—from art galleries and museums to historical sites and live performances of all kinds—and maybe best of all, sunsets you’ll remember forever.
- If the wedding party is staying in the same hotel and you're looking for some alone time for your honeymoon, consider moving to a different hotel, resort, or secluded island vacation rental to have a honeymoon to treasure.