How to Plan A Destination Vow Renewal: 10 Tips for Success

Step one, find the perfect destination for your vow renewal. Check!

Step two, plan a fantastic celebration.

Now that you have your destination selected, it’s time for the hard part – figuring out how to plan a destination vow renewal that delights you and your guests from afar. Don’t stress, you can totally do this with our tips! Plus, it will be worth any planning challenges as having a destination vow renewal means you get to enjoy an intimate ceremony plus a built-in second honeymoon.

Whether you’ve decided on a tropical celebration in Aruba, an exotic getaway to Thailand, or a romantic getaway to Paris, you need to consider some important details as you start planning. Here are the top ten tips on how to plan a destination vow renewal from choosing the perfect venue to coordinating every last detail from miles away from home.

Visit in advance at least once

Ideally, you don’t’ want the first time you see your venue to be the day of your arrival. It’s best to plan a trip to your selected destination at least once before booking a venue. If you’re expecting a lot of guests and your budget will allow it, visit again three to four months before your vow renewal to finalize the details. If you can’t make a second trip, you’ll want to arrive three to seven days early to make any final decisions and do a test of the hair and makeup you have planned for the big day.

Hire a professional to help

Having an expert planner or coordinator that is local to your destination or a local one that is experienced in destination events will make things so much easier. A professional can handle any language barriers, make phone calls for you, or even make executive decisions about the flowers and ceremony site for you. Having an expert on your team takes a lot of the planning stress off you. If hiring an independent professional isn’t in your budget, check resort reviews to find one with a strong on-site coordinator.

Select your key vendors in person if possible

In advance of your first visit to your destination, ask your venue for local vendor referrals for florists, rental companies, bands or DJs, caterers, and stylists. You can also check online for better-known vendors at your destination. Set up meetings ahead of time with the top potential vendors so you can meet as many of them in person as possible before making your final decisions.

Be considerate of your guests’ budgets

If the rates at your resort venue might be too steep for anyone on your guest list, be sure to final alternative accommodations nearby in a couple of lower price ranges. Look for locations that are a quick 10 – 15 minutes away. It’s also essential to make sure there will be plenty of rooms available for everyone on your guest list before finalizing your venue and date.

Go with a local theme and style

You decided on the particular destination for your vow renewal for a reason, so take advantage of all it has to offer. Utilizing local flowers, greenery, and elements can significantly slash your décor and catering budgets. Think about bouquet and boutonniere of orchids and seashells in Aruba or lotus and jasmine in Thailand. Serve guests local specialties like grilled fish and coconut shrimp in Puerto Rico or Chakalaka and pap in South Africa to cut catering costs.

Send save-the-dates as soon as you have a destination selected

If you’re hoping to have many guests travel to your destination vow renewal, you’ll want to give them as much advanced notice as possible. They will need time to calculate travel costs and see if they can afford it currently or budget for it in time. This is one of the most crucial planning tips when you’re expecting guests, be they family or friends, to travel to your ceremony and reception.

Make room in your budget for location vendors

The more exotic the location, the higher the chance that you will want to bring a local vendor, such as a photographer, will you. If you decide to ask a vendor to travel, you will need to cover their travel and lodging costs in addition to their professional fees. These costs can add up quickly if not clearly spelled out in a contract, so be sure to negotiate everything upfront to keep expenses and expectations under control. While you wouldn’t have to put your vendors up at the same place you’re staying, you do need to make sure they have clean, safe accommodations within 30 minutes of your venue.

Match your attire to the destination

For amazing photos and your own personal comfort, you’ll want to select attire that is appropriate for your destination and the expected weather. For tropical destinations, breathable, lightweight fabrics work best to keep you comfortable in the heat and humidity. At cooler destinations, you can go with more traditional attire. Keep the destination in mind as well when selecting the color of your attire. Light colors are striking against sparkling blue and green waters. At the same time, darker and brighter colors are lovely against the gray of Paris in the offseason.

Optimize the use of checked luggage

Shipping favors, linens, and other decor is incredibly expensive and risky. Maximize your budget by taking advantage of your luggage allowance and pack as much as possible into your checked luggage.

Carry on your vow renewal attire

Chances are good that you can find a workable replacement for anything other than your vow renewal attire if your luggage gets lost or delayed. Take no chances and carry it on board the plane, even if you have to fold it. It’s better to figure out how you’re going to get the wrinkles out than to figure out a plan B for what you’re going to wear! (Stash that personal clothes steamer in your checked bags.)