When planning a destination wedding, it’s easy to get lost in the details or be blinded by the beauty of a frequently instagrammed locale – but let’s not forget the importance of research and the many factors which will come into play when planning your wedding. While planning the chic details of your destination wedding, there are a few things to consider and we’re here to remind you of what you should be taking care of before diving into the “i-dos”!

The Wedding Planner

Hiring a wedding planner to assist with a destination wedding is an absolute no-brainer. After all, are you really going to be able to pull off the luxury destination wedding of your dreams while on the phone with the caterer, texting the Minister, reviewing the legal marriage laws of your destination, balancing wedding dress choices on your nose and jugging wedding invitation options? Not to mention all the non-wedding related tasks that make your everyday life an already hectic one – such as work, chores, children or classes? Have we sufficiently reminded you of how important it is to hire a wedding planner? Good. Because that is by no means an exaggeration. And before we tell you why things can go terribly astray when not paying attention to the details, let’s tell you what you need to look out for when choosing a planner. Let’s start with a professional. That might be obvious, right? Of course you’re going to hire a professional! Well, not so fast on giving this on the “duh” pass. When dealing with Planners in the Caribbean, do your research. The last person you want handling the details of your wedding is a bored empty nester looking for a hobby. Be weary of any planner working from home and replying to your emails from a Gmail account. These are the planners who will not hesitate to call in sick on your big day or drop the ball because their gold fish bit the dust. For many of these stay-at-home-Planners, your wedding is not their primary source of income and therefore is not the most valuable aspect of their day. They may be able to put together a pretty party or two but what you need is guaranteed reliability, a boss they are accountable to and a proven track record for excellence. A full-scale operation. You deserve the best for your big day. Invest in time to research who you are hiring and don’t be afraid to ask for references.

The Destination

There are many things to consider when selecting the destination for your Caribbean wedding. Everything from weather to travel documents will need to be considered when narrowing down your islands. Don’t forget that when planning a destination wedding, you’ll need to consider your guests and their ease of travel. If you’re a bride based in the U.S., for example, look at direct flight options. The Cayman Islands, for example, is only a short 40-minute flight from Miami. No fuss and no hassle. Miami is a major hub, so for your U.S. guests who may not already reside in the MIA, it’s just a quick domestic flight over to the sunshine state to transfer to your Islands Paradise

The Extras

Another thing to consider is are the vendors available at your destination. Are they up to your standards? Think not only of the hotel and food but also of the décor and the companies on the Island that are able to produce a luxury wedding. Is the manpower there? Are they easy to communicate with? Do they understand your needs? Consider that not all destinations have access to all types of flowers – therefore, if you had your heart set on peonies, double check that they’re actually available there. Check on food quality and read reviews for any caterer you’re thinking of hiring. More than that, request visuals. Are they able to put together a beautifully set up buffet or art on a plate? The reviews may say the dish was delicious but did it look as good as it tasted? Last but not least, what are the legal requirements to get married in the destination? If you have your heart set on a legal wedding over a symbolic one, then get to that research! There’s much to consider!

The Seasons

One thing that could make or break all of your plans is the Island season for the date of your wedding. There are basically two seasons in the Caribbean – summer, and summer with a side of rain. Does your special date fall during high season or rainy season and what are the pros and cons of both. Keep in mind that a rainy day in the Caribbean is typically a couple minutes of light showers and then nothing but sunshine. Don’t let the prospect a little rain turn you off to the idea of an August wedding in Paradise – there are many pros to consider as well. First, your guests will much more easily be able to travel during the summer months to an island destination wedding. Second, the prices are going to be much better for EVERYONE involved as it’s the slower travel and wedding period. Third, this means more availability and affordability when it comes to accommodations and venues, less crowded beaches, easy restaurant reservations at acclaimed restaurants and did we mention overall affordability because that’s a HUGE bonus. Saving hundreds on flights and all other aspects of travel is a major pro as opposed to the prospect of slight showers. If you’ve successfully hired a professional wedding planner using our tips, you’ll easily be able to set up a Plan B should the day of get a little rainy. And why not embrace it? It’s a celebration; after all, a little sprinkling of love from the sky should be danced in, not feared.