Destination weddings are beautiful and unforgettable. Especially for guests, the intimate, out-of-town affair doubles as a vacation, which naturally puts everyone in a relaxed mood. However, unlike planning your nuptials close to home, preparing for a destination wedding takes a bit more work than usual. To give you an idea, four Pinays share their experiences planning their out-of-town wedding, and provide tips to those who want to do the same.
Wedding destination: Tacloban
"The [toughest] part was logistics. We wanted our local and international guests and wedding suppliers from Manila to enjoy their stay in Tacloban and make their short trip hassle-free.
"We arranged free transportation for all [guests], [from] the arrival to the departure the day [after the wedding]. We also gave them options for their accommodation, assisted them when renting barongs and gowns and also provided food for our close friends and relatives. We even coordinated with a local tour agency for city and Kalanggaman Island tour. These were all part of the logistics. It was a very meticulous task. But seeing our family and guests enjoy their trip was all worth it."
A piece of advice: "Ask for help. You can’t do it all alone. Talk to your partner and ask for his full cooperation and input. Choose a good coordinator; we are lucky and thankful that our coordinator (Rhed Sarmiento) was always available 24/7 to address all our concerns despite the distance.
"[Lastly], let go. No matter how perfect the plans are, there will always be issues and concerns, and you cannot cater to everyone’s needs. Ours were flight delays, medical emergencies, clothing emergencies, and a lot more. In the end, it’s your wedding so savor and enjoy the day. Have fun!"
Destination wedding: Tagaytay-Batangas
"The most challenging part would have to be when we had to go back and forth from Manila to Tagaytay-Batangas to complete all the necessary church requirements and attend supplier meetings. But instead of treating this challenge as something negative, we always made sure to make the most out of our trips and just enjoy the whole experience by having quick dates,"
A piece of advice: "Look for suppliers that are already within the area to avoid all the additional out-of-town fees and prevent any mishaps in terms of transportation and delivery [of goods]."
Destination wedding: Batangas
"[The biggest challenge was creating] the guest list and planning the logistics for them. Given that it's a destination wedding, we had to think about our guests a lot more than usual. We can't expect everyone to be familiar [with the location] since the wedding is not just around the city.
"First of all, accommodation for the day before or after your wedding (or if not, both days) should be an option you should provide your guests. You want your guests to be as chill as possible and not want to rush home after the wedding. You should consider it when selecting your reception. This way you can bargain better deals through your chosen hotel or venue. If people are coming from really far places, and you really want them to be there, you even have to go beyond just giving them an option.
"As with any other wedding, your expenses increase as you add more guests. The same thing happens for destination weddings—except the increase is [even more] significant because of the out of town fees, logistics, etc. It will surprise you if you don't keep it in check!
"I guess destination weddings, in general, force you to limit your guests, [and] it's not entirely a bad thing. You'll end up having a solemn and intimate wedding, and a reception that still goes on even after the band has left and packed."
Destination wedding: Batangas
"As an OFW couple, our greatest challenge was to find an all-in-one venue, where the ceremony and reception will be held. We had to check out places, which will be easily accessible for the guests because most of our family and guests are coming from different places and countries."
A piece of advice: "Having an all-in-one facility is always a win, especially for your budget. Plus, it'll spare you and your guests from the traffic on your big day.
"Also, look for nearby suppliers to save the transportation fee. Be resourceful. If you have a place with a good ambiance, why not turn it into your wedding venue? There are lots of beautiful wedding venues yet to be discovered in the Philippines. Don’t just stick with the trends."