• Magdalena - ATB's founder

How to choose the perfect location for your destination wedding

So you know you want to have a destination wedding, but how do you choose the right location? How to make sure you make the right choice?

photo: Cristina Gottardi via Unspash

If you are anything like me, you are drawn to all sorts of beautiful places, but when it comes to choosing one particular style or theme (and sticking to it), you find yourself at a loss.

In the past, when I was to choose a location for something as trivial as my next vacation, it usually went something like this:

On Monday, I think all I want is to wear a flowy dresses, soak in the sun and enjoy delicious local food in a small, authentic restaurant on one of the Greek islands.

On Wednesday, I want to channel my inner Brigitte Bardot, wear 60's-style sunglasses and ride my vintage bike with baguette and wine in the basket, looking for a perfect picnic spot in the lavender fields of Provence.

On Friday, all I can think of is letting loose and dancing till the morning hours on one of the white-sanded beaches in Mallorca.

Then on Saturday, I want to enjoy a hot summer evening sipping Prosecco on a terrace overseeing the gorgeous Positano, and thinking ahead to a yummy bowl of pasta I'll be eating later.

Finally, on Sunday, I start panicking because at this point choosing the location becomes impossible due to what feels like my multiple, irreconcilable personalities.

Sounds familiar?

How do you decide on a destination for something as momentous as your wedding?

Here are the 7 steps to follow.

1. Start with something personal

Is there a place that has a special meaning to the two of you? Perhaps a place where he proposed, or where you went on the first vacation together? Maybe the two of you are foodies? Or water sports fans? Your love for a particular city, cuisine, music, culture or even architecture style can all bring you closer to finding that perfect destination wedding location.

2. Decide on the backdrop

When you picture your dream wedding, what do you see?

Is it set by the sea or against the mountains? Do you see a garden, a terrace with a view or perhaps a vineyard? A grand hotel or a private villa? Imagining the perfect setting for both the ceremony and reception plays a huge role here.

3. Do the research & get inspired

If you haven't started a "destination wedding location" board on Pinterest yet, now is the time! Wedding blogs, architecture magazines, travel-themed Instagram accounts are all fantastic sources of inspiration. Don't worry if at the beginning your ideas are still all over the place!

4. Look at the bigger picture

Destination weddings are usually 2-3 day events, so remember to look into accommodation available in the area you are considering. Your guests will thank you for it! Having a variety of accommodation options available in the area of your wedding location is crucial to your guests' comfort, and... your peace of mind.

5. Estimate your budget

The budget might not be the sexiest of criteria to consider, but I'd be lying if I said it does not play a part. It is important you establish what you want and what are you willing to pay for in terms of the location. Some more remote venues offer great deals but that paired with the travel cost might not seem like such a bargain anymore. Which brings us to the next step...

6. Consider the travel time & distance

Is the location you are considering easy to travel to? If you'll need at least one connecting flight, a car ride and then a boat to get to the venue, perhaps it is better to consider it for a holiday, not a wedding weekend. Keep your guests comfort in mind too. You don't want them to be too tired to party, due to long travels!

7. Talk to a wedding professional!

Consulting a wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings is always a good idea. An experienced destination wedding planner can often be a true matchmaker!

They can help you find a perfect fit for your style and budget. They can also introduce you to locations you didn't initially consider. Europe alone is home to many hidden gems when it comes to locations. Croatia, Montenegro or Malta are some of the Wedding Industry's best-kept secrets and might be a great alternative to popular destinations like Italy or Spain.

There's one more thing you need to do.

Once you have decided... trust the decision you've made!

99% chances are, that after you made that decision you will stumble upon photos of other gorgeous destination wedding locations, and you may then think to yourself: did I make the right decision? The answer is: YES, YOU DID! If you have followed all the steps, considered all the pros and cons, there is no reason for you to doubt your choice! Pro tip here? Pin these new found gorgeous locations to your "our next holiday" Pinterest board!

So, are you ready to start planning your destination wedding?

Here are 7 things to consider and get you started!

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