I’m guessing you haven’t done this before. If this destination wedding thing is a new concept for you, you probably have a lot of questions, and don’t really know where to start. These are some of the things you need to know, and watch out for, when you decide to get started.

Know what you want: Having a clear picture of what you want for your special day, and your guests’ experience to be will make it much easier to narrow down the massive number of locations, destinations, and resorts.

Know your budget: Without knowing what you want to spend on your wedding and what you want your guests to spend, it will be hard to make a decision on a location. Make sure you have realistic expectations about the type of hotel you are looking for vs. cost per person.

Know the marriage requirements: If you are choosing to have your legal ceremony abroad, as opposed to symbolic, this is imperative. The rules vary in every country, so make sure you familiarize yourself with them before you make a final decision.

Know the perks: Many resorts and airlines offer perks for wedding groups; free passengers, free events, group discounts, upgrades, and other incentives. The problem is they all vary and they all have different restrictions, so you need to be aware of the differences so you can maximize the benefits.

Know your consultant's policies: If you’re working with a Destination Wedding Specialist, make sure you know their policies; a seasoned one will likely have you sign a contract, and they should be detailed within.

Know the resort’s policies: Resorts impose various fees and rules on wedding groups, and it’s good to know them before you make your final selection. What is their policy on guests staying at another hotel? What is their outside vendor fee? Do they charge for private reception venues? These can make a huge impact of your wedding budget, so you need to check the fine print.

Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Buchanan is a Certified Travel Counsellor, Certified Destination Wedding Coordinator, and owner of Paradise Weddings.

Photo Credit: Vacation Idea