There comes a point in every bride-to-be's wedding planning where a half-joking but also very serious question is posed, "Shall we just elope?"
Destination weddings can help cut the stress by streamlining the planning and co-ordination, thanks to all-inclusive wedding packages offered at resorts and venues.
New Zealand hair and makeup artist Leanne Goff owns Bula Bride , a Fiji destination wedding website designed to help couples plan their big day. She says there are several common challenges.
Check the requirements for a legal wedding
Each country has its own set of requirements for a legally binding marriage ceremony. Goff says that alone is a good reason to hire a local wedding planner who understands the country where you're getting married.
"Ensure you have researched everything you need to know, from applying to be married to the signed marriage certificate, to ensure that the right paperwork is completed and your marriage will be legal – this a very important thing to do!"
Consider the climate when choosing outfits
In tropical climates, heat and humidity can affect not only how you feel on the day, but also how well items travel. For island weddings or other destinations where heat might be an issue, Goff recommends choosing lace and patterned fabrics that don't mind being rolled up.
"Just simply unroll your dress immediately once you get to your resort and let it hang for a couple of days," she says.
Other fabrics such as satin or crepe wrinkle easily and need to be steamed before they are worn. Grooms should opt for breathable linen or cotton fabrics, and not be afraid of shorts as perfectly acceptable wedding attire.
Choose a child-friendly resort
Even if your wedding is a strict adults-only affair, chances are your guests aren't going to want to leave their young children back at home for a week. With that in mind, Goff recommends choosing a resort that has plenty of options for keeping young kids entertained such as kids' clubs and nannies.
"Most resorts will be able to provide you with nannies to watch over the little ones throughout the reception, if you choose to include them." Goff says nannies can then accompany children back to their room to allow the adults to continue the party.
Accept that not everyone will attend
One of the joys of a destination wedding is the financial saving, as not everyone on your list can attend. The downside is that may mean close friends and family won't be able to witness your big day.
"Yes, it can be hard when someone you would love to have there cannot make it," says Goff. "But it is important you accept this will be the case when planning your destination wedding, as this happens to almost everyone."
Understand cultural nuances
Take some time to learn about any cultural differences in the country of your wedding. For example, "Fiji Time" is a very real deal in the islands, and refers to the relaxed (read: slower than normal) communication.
Goff says to be prepared for slow responses to emails. "It really helps if a bride takes time to prepare a list of questions for her resort on everything she wants to know, so that most things are covered in one email."