While we love to adhere to traditions and tend to plan an elaborate wedding that is in tune with our social status, more and more couples are opting for serene weddings in beautiful destinations in recent times.
To know more, we decided to talk to Namira Hossain, co-founder and CEO of Cookups who had a lovely destination wedding by the beaches in Hua Hin, Thailand to know the ins and outs of planning one.
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind, I would say, the most important is the kind of guests you'll be having. There will probably be very young kids as well as old people who might have limited mobility. So when you think of a location, it needs to be convenient for them. It needs to be close by and easy to get to. If you're making people take a six-hour car journey, it becomes stressful for all your guests, let alone those who find it difficult to move around. Once you decide on a location, you need to keep in mind the amount of area that your guests need to cover as well as making sure that the place is easy to get to. If it's a huge resort, you need to think about carts that will help people move around.
It is also important that you think about the type of food you are planning to provide since you might have guests with very different dietary needs. While the norm is to serve kachchi biriyani, it is also important that you try to accommodate all kinds of guests. You might want to have a vegetarian menu to make their lives easier.
For our wedding, we had both vegetarian option and a Thai menu, and since the resort we booked had an Indian restaurant, we had a wide array of options.
Personally, I am a kind of person who doesn't like big weddings and I wanted only the closest of my friends and family members (I had to fight with my mother who vehemently opposed the idea), and only those who wanted to have a good time. With that being said, we paid for the food only and for the accommodation of absolutely close ones but it really depends on you and how big your budget is (chuckles).
Honestly, it's great if you are able to do that and offer an amazing experience for your guests but I also think that not everyone will expect you to. If someone's planning to attend a destination wedding, they are looking for a good time and would want to celebrate you. I don't think people would mind too much if you didn't pay so you don't have to feel obligated. More and more people are opting for destination weddings but realistically, it must be within their budget.
I would say that the costs can go upwards from$10,000 to as much as you are willing to spend. Once again, it really depends on you. For instance, I had only two dinners and for the rest of the time, people were hanging out and spending time with us. On the other hand, I know someone who had her wedding at the same venue as us but ended up spending way more than we did.
Also, if you wish to have an open bar for your guests, you are likely to incur more costs in that regard.
Having a good wedding planner is key since you'll need local contacts, which is why, my advice would be to hire one. All you need to do is share your vision with them and if they get it, you won't have to worry about anything. We had an amazing wedding planner who did everything for us. I didn't have much of a theme except for a few pastel and light purple colour themes and they executed it perfectly.
If you have a quality wedding planner, you are likely to not face any obstacles per se. But there are things that you might need to take care of such as the transportation facilities of your guests – thankfully, our planner took care of that too.
We chose Hua Hin in Thailand since I wanted a magical place. I didn't want much except for a lot of greenery. We had to look into a lot of resorts before we finally chose The Palayana resort because it met all our criteria. They had a beautiful lawn right by the beach and I knew the moment I saw it that we had found the perfect spot. All you need to do is check out the locations and pick the one that calls out to you.