Destination Wedding? 10 Tips for Planning Your Trip to Florida
Oct 25, 2018 | By: Kiss the Planner, Inc.
Planning a wedding can be stressful! Compound this with the dream of a destination wedding, and it can all seem a bit daunting. But it doesn't have to be! Below I have gathered ten tips to consider before deciding on the details of your dream destination wedding, and why having a knowledgeable event planner is essential.
1. Prepare yourself and your guests for heat.
While destination weddings are considered the crème de la crème of weddings, there are some things to consider before jet-setting to your dream location. Florida is synonymous with heat, but the effect this can have on your wedding plans is not to be minimized! In Florida you can almost always count on heat and humidity. Florida has four seasons… warm, hot, very hot and brutally hot. The most treacherous months are June through August. However, May and September are often brutal as well and April and October are sometimes equally as hot. What this means to you is a lightweight gown and to your bridal party and guests it means loose comfortable clothing in light colors.
2. Consider the rain factor.
Florida weather is a very tricky, especially in the summertime. It can be beautiful all day long and then out of nowhere- whammo- the clouds roll in, the skies open up and down it comes, fast and furious. It’s a warm rain but it is plentiful none-the-less. On certain summer days you start to think you just might need an ark. Other days it certainly looks like it will be a problem, but then the clouds mysteriously roll away almost as quickly as they came. Make the most of your time enjoying your wedding destination by being mindful of the month your big day will take place!
3. Anticipate strong winds, especially near the beach.
If you intend to get married on a beach, know that you might want to consider wearing your hair up, be veil-free (or secured by some creative means), as well as make sure that you have securely-fastened décor items. Ceremony arches and huppahs can easily come undone and take off like a sail. Paper fans or programs will likely fly off chairs if not securely fastened with a weight or ribbon.
4. Take advantage of ways to keep them cool and comfortable.
Sunscreen and bug spray work wonders in sunny Florida and water is essential. Pack these items in your hotel welcome bags and make sure a drink station of some kind is provided for guests as they gather and wait for the ceremony to begin. Provide small hand-held fans and shade them with hotel umbrellas or purchased parasols to distribute prior to the ceremony. The Florida sun is stronger than you might imagine and burning your guests to a crisp isn’t advised.
5. Make sure your venue has a back-up space.
Heat, wind, rain?…backup plan! If you are set on getting married in an outdoor area, a tent may be more than a something to consider, it may be something you can’t manage without. Since the weather is so unpredictable in Florida, it is imperative that your venue have an indoor backup space in case of inclement weather. If your desired location does not offer one and tenting is not an option, then that venue shouldn’t be an option either.
6. Choose the region accordingly.
South Florida, North Florida and Central Florida and have quite a different vibe from each other, as do the West Coast and the East Coast. Miami is a high-energy town with an eclectic mix of cultures, (predominant Latin American) and lots to do, while Palm Beach is pristine and lovely and the Florida Keys, casual and chill. The Florida Panhandle offers a rustic charm and Orlando has the magic of Disney and attracts kids of all ages.
7. Pick a venue that best suits your needs and personality.
For your destination wedding, Florida has more venue options than you might first suspect. Is it beach-all-the-way-baby, a magnificent historic property or rustic, rural and charming? Florida offers all types of venues and in light of the long distance, it’s wise to have an idea of what you are looking for before you get there. You may not have as much time as you might like and with umpteen venue options it would be worthwhile to think that through in advance.
8. Consider your guest’s budgets.
Find a location that has more than one price point for hotel stays. Not everyone can afford to stay in the lap of luxury, yet some guests wouldn't think of staying in anything less than the finest of hotels. Offering a variety of options that are not too far apart from each other makes sense, and allows for guests from all economic backgrounds to be able to attend your destination wedding.
9. Plan activities for your guests to enhance their stay.
Your guests are coming a long way to be with you on your special day. Make it special for them with popular Florida activities such as a trip to the aquarium, beach volleyball, windsurfing, parasailing, paddle boarding, jet skiing or snorkeling off a catamaran sail. These are excellent ways to create a memorable destination wedding experience for both you and your guests! A dinner cruise aboard a yacht charter on one of the picturesque Florida waterways is a popular choice for a welcome reception and a great way for guests to take in the sights without moving a muscle.
10. Find someone who specializes in that area.
Without guidance the task of locating the right venue, navigating the roads efficiently, choosing the best vendors for your needs and communicating effectively can be a real challenge. Hiring a planner in Florida can save you time, money and heartache - you are able to fully relax and enjoy your destination wedding! Planning a wedding when you have never done that before can be challenging enough. Add to that the long distance factor, the cultural differences and host of unknowns and you have sound reason to solicit help from someone who lives there locally. Your wedding planner will have your back and is ready to take the load off of you so you can relax!