Plan your dream wedding from afar with these tried-and-true destination wedding tips.

Hire a Wedding Planner

Ideally, you’ll be able to find a wedding planner familiar with the location where you’re planning to exchange vows. While it’s impossible for you to meet with faraway vendors in the months leading up to your wedding, your planner will be able to communicate your wishes to these vendors. This is an especially important tip if the native language in your preferred destination is not your own.

Put Details in Writing

Miscommunications happen while wedding planning. Due to cultural differences, language barriers and staff turnover in popular destinations, miscommunication are more likely and could lead to serious hiccups down the road. This is another aspect where a planner can come in handy for your destination wedding.

Other ways to make sure your ceremony and reception go off without a hitch include using your credit card for purchases instead of cash. It’s also possible to purchase insurance on your wedding.

Integrate Local Culture

From food to favors, there are dozens of ways to use local products in your wedding. Planning with local cuisine, florals and customs in mind can make your destination wedding more authentic and less work.

There are also be items that may be easier for you to choose at home and ship to your destination. Some wedding planners suggest shipping linens, as available options in your chosen location may not be robust. If you’re nervous about the quality of important vendors such as your photographer, hire one from your current city and pay their transportation and accommodation costs. Just make sure you apply for appropriate working papers in your host country, if applicable.

Make Guests Feel Welcome

Your guests are traveling a great distance to witness your marriage. To avoid any resentment, communicate all details as early as possible with guests. Your destination should be vacation-worthy, as friends and family members are using paid time off from work and purchasing flights to celebrate with you. Plan events for each day, help your guests get to know one another and suggest fun activities nearby.

A few days of lounging on the beach or hiking waterfalls with your closest loved ones sounds like an amazing way to celebrate you and your fiancé’s love for one another. However, make sure at least part of your honeymoon is booked for a separate destination. Otherwise, you’ll end up hanging out with your parents when you’re supposed to be enjoying your new spouse.

Research Regulations

Local law will determine when you should arrive prior to exchanging vows. Some countries require you to be physically in the country for a certain number of days before issuing a marriage license. Other countries have marriage regulations so complicated or restrictive that couples choose to get legally married at home and have a symbolic ceremony in their destination.