There could be a number of reasons why people choose to have a destination wedding. Sometimes, people choose to have their weddings in places that hold important memories for them. Other times, people choose to give credit to a number of considerations including: landscape, climate, style, or just the thought of soothing, relaxing, and alluring sceneries. For some others, it’s just the excitement of having a Nigerian wedding away from home!
An increasing number of millennials and modern couples are choosing to ditch tradition, and just have it their own way. But for whatever sentiments your decision may be based on, there are certain important considerations you ought to make, before delving head-on into a destination wedding arrangement.
Besides finding a partner, the first important consideration that should be made when planning towards any wedding is your budget. If you’re considering a destination wedding, ensure you have a budget that covers all the costs and expenses you may need to incur. These expenses include traveling costs, hotel and lodging, shipping costs for items you may need to ship, booking a venue, hiring vendors, etc. Ensure you are clear on who bears the burden of lodging and travelling expenses; in some cases, the couple may choose to cover these costs, but if otherwise, ensure this is well communicated to the guests early enough.
If you’re not confident on how to handle your wedding finances, reach out to a professional wedding consultant.
The big question - where will my destination wedding take place? When selecting a location for your wedding, ensure to carry out a careful inquiry on the type of location. Consider the security and safety of yourselves and your guests, the political situation, acceptable social practices, etc.
It’s important to take into consideration the weather situation of your dream location. The weather condition in a particular location may have a significant impact on your wedding. For instance, if your dream wedding is a summer wedding, then you’ll need to ensure that your wedding date falls during summer in your location of choice.
Also, keep in mind that the type of wedding you want may somewhat determine what type of location is suitable for you. For instance, if you’d like to sing your vows from the top of a mountain, you’ll need to find a location with breathtaking mountain views; likewise if you want a beach wedding too!
One very smart move to make is to hire a wedding planner with prior experience planning in your chosen location. They know the local vendors better, and can help you select vendors that work for your budget and dream wedding style. It is also worth exploring pre-designed destination wedding packages; these packages typically cover a variety of your key wedding needs such as lodging, venue, provision for honeymoon.
It’s a very good idea that you visit the wedding location before the time of the wedding too. This way, you’re able to assess situations by yourself, and make alterations where necessary.
Plan your logistics well too; from transportation to hospitality, ensure you tick all the necessary boxes. Book flights early in order to get better deals, secure your passport and other necessary documents.
When planning a destination wedding, consideration should be given to the overall experience you want your guests to receive during the event. The number of guests you intend to be present is key to other aspects of your planning such as catering, lodging and size of venue. Given that it’s a destination wedding, you may want to organize certain activities that will make your guests’ stay worthwhile. Such activities may include sightseeing or tour around the town or city, or perhaps a little pre-wedding get-together. Communication with your guests, especially prior to the wedding is very key! Make sure you make them aware of necessary messages regarding flight, lodging, or other expenses they may need to bear for and on the trip. You may do this by creating a general platform such as a website or a group chat where you display such information for everyone to see.
The Nigerian Wedding Experience
As much as it is a destination wedding, you may still feel the urge to infuse the Nigerian experience with it, and this is perfectly okay! However, ensure that whatever experience you intend to have is possible and ideal within your intended locality. For instance, if you want Nigerian food to be served at your reception, it’s important that you make extra arrangements to accommodate Nigerian food vendors, or even better, book a catering service that offers Nigerian options (If available). Similarly, with your music choice, you’ll need to communicate your specific preferences to the DJ if your choice is mainly Nigerian music.
However, ensure that in trying to celebrate the Nigerian way, you do not tamper with the laws, values and customs in your location. For instance, as much as it is a norm to spray money while dancing in Nigeria, it is considered a crime in some parts of the world, and their system of enforcement may be so strict that you’ll wind up in unwanted trouble.
With regards to the officiating exercise, you’ll have to decide on either inviting someone (perhaps a religious officer) from Nigeria, or booking an officiating person at your location. Regardless of your choice, it is important to note that many such officiations are only ceremonial and will not necessarily bind your marriage legally, unless a legal marriage (court wedding) is contracted in Nigeria prior to, or after the destination wedding.
Here are a few destination wedding inspirations for you:
Atlantis, The Palm - UAE
Breathtaking Seaside Reception - Santorini
Rocky Oaks - Malibu
Villa Del Balbianello - Lake Como, Italy
Agafay Desert, Morocco
Scarabeo Camp - Marrakech, Morocco
The Palace of the Lost City - Sun City, South Africa