1. Understand the basic ‘culture’ of your destination. Most Caribbean destinations for example have a very laissez faire approach to many things. If you understand the basic cultural attitudes it can help with preventing unnecessary frustrations.
2. Pay attention to the legal requirements. Refer to the local contact on the island – not the travel agent or cruise ship personnel. The coordinator or on land contact can confirm what is needed at the time of your destination wedding. Requirements can change.
3. Photography – it is popular to travel with your photographer. But the local photographer already knows the places and ways to get the best shoots and understands the sun and how it affects the photo shoots in his or her country.
4. Do your homework and research but trust your coordinator. Not everything you read on the web is true or relevant. Your coordinator is able to appreciate your needs, circumstances and desires and make recommendations based on a more complete understanding. He/she will be your invaluable eyes, ears and voice on land.
5. Backups – consider your back up options. It is not always sunshine. Beach weddings should have weather backups unless there are only a few people involved.
6. Be considerate about the comfort of your guests – but it is still your special day. Weddings at 12:00 in the day on a beach are not going to be comfortable for anyone –unless you have an air conditioned tent. Timing for a beach destination wedding is very important
7. Understand what it meant by ‘private beach’. In some countries/islands, a private beach is simply one that fronts a private property and you therefore gain access across that private property. It does not mean that you are void of other guests enjoy the sun and sand.
8. Many island destinations have other unique locations available. A destination wedding is already different, but there is still room for further uniqueness and diversity. Consider something different while doing something different.
9. Simple elegance still prevails. Remember to take advantage of the natural beauty of your destination and play off of it.
10. Double duty – remember that some items of décor can serve double duty. This is great for couples on a budget or for cruise ship weddings where they are not allowed to take flowers with them. For example, bouquets can double as table centers.