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Hi, I'm Michaela, the heart behind Lovely & Planned. This blog is all about elopements and destination weddings, but you'll also find general tips and advice on wedding planning. I'm so happy to have you here! Grab a cup of coffee and stay a while!

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How to Plan an International Destination Wedding in 2021

If you want to find out how you can plan your long-awaited international destination wedding still during a time of uncertainty, you’ve come to the right place.

Thanks to vaccination rollouts, destination weddings are slowly starting again. However, international ones are a whole different story. And predicting the future of such weddings would be like reading a crystal ball. No one knows how long travel restrictions will be in place, how different countries will continue with their COVID-19 regulations, or how new virus variants may influence the near future.

But one thing I do know for sure is that couples are excited about getting married and are eager to continue with planning their destination wedding abroad.

To ensure you are all set, once the world opens up again, here are some tips on how to navigate your international destination wedding planning during this time of uncertainty.

International Destination Wedding Planning Tips

  1. Every country, state, county, and even city, has its different regulations. Make sure you follow the restrictions carefully through the news and the country’s official website. 
  2. Before you even start planning, discuss with your partner which route you would like to take if sudden changes are necessary. Would you be willing to downsize your wedding? Would you rather postpone? Or would you want to cancel your destination wedding altogether? If you know that beforehand, you can discuss the option with your guests, your venue, and your vendors right from the beginning.
  3. Start planning and booking your vendors now for your 2022 or even 2023 wedding. We have already seen a soar in inquiries for next year. Many venues and vendors are already fully booked. Usually, I recommended booking your venue first, and then gradually the rest of your suppliers. However, as demands are incredibly high, I recommend booking as many vendors as possible simultaneously.
  4. Book a destination wedding planner that knows the country’s regulations. They know the requirements for vaccinations, testing, and quarantine. They also assist you with potential backup plans, and they negotiate with your vendors and venue. I can’t stretch enough how important it is to have a person you trust on the ground in case you must postpone, downsize, or, at worst, cancel your wedding. 
  5. Have three different guest lists in place. The first list should be your ideal list and include all the people you would like to have at your wedding. The second one should be a smaller list, and the third one should be the must-attend list. 

More tips for planning your international destination wedding

  1. Look for a venue that can accommodate your ideal guest list number 1 but is also flexible and can downsize easily to guest list option number 3 if necessary.
  2. Keep an open conversation with all your guests, your venue, and vendors. If possible, inform everyone at least three months in advance if there are any changes. 
  3. Adjust your budget planning and budget for COVID-19 tests in case your guest must take a test before attending your wedding. 
  4. Provide face masks and hand sanitizer. Your guests’ safety should be your highest priority.
  5. Read every contract carefully. Make sure you understand all the clauses, and you know what happens if you need to downsize, postpone or cancel your wedding due to Covid-19 restrictions. Also, ensure you know what happens if you must postpone or cancel your wedding due to travel restrictions. Vendors and venues may not apply the same COVID-19 cancellation policy if events are possible at your chosen destination. Still, travel restrictions make it impossible for you or your guests to attend. If you plan on hiring a wedding planner, do so before you sign any contracts. Your wedding planner will ensure you have solid clauses in your contracts for all possible scenarios. Have a written confirmation of every agreement you make after signing the contracts. This is always important, but especially during a time of uncertainty.

Now more than ever, it’s important to remember that it’s not a question of whether destination weddings will take place again but when!

If you have any questions about planning your international destination wedding, send me an email at michaela@lovelyandplanned.com or get in touch with me right here

Love, Michaela 

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