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Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you have just one or a dozen questions for us, you've come to the right place!

We know navigating through the planning process of a destination celebration can be a bit tricky. That's why we're here! To answer all of your frequently asked destination wedding questions (and any you may have about our services as well!)

General Questions


What is a destination wedding?

A destination wedding is an opportunity for couples to celebrate their marriage at a gorgeous destination of their choosing away from home. Our couples get married all over the world, in stunning locales like the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii and Europe. Destination weddings can be intimate (just the two of you), limited to close family and friends, or a grand affair with hundreds of guests. Get inspired by some of our beautiful real wedding couples' celebrations!

What are the benefits of having a destination wedding?

Nowadays, many couples opt to forgo traditional (and expensive) weddings in favor of a more intimate gathering at a destination they love. Destination weddings allow couples to extend their celebration from four hours to four days (or however long you see fit), while creating a lifetime of memories with their close friends and family. Because they are often more intimate than traditional weddings, destination weddings can also be more affordable for couples.

Is a destination wedding right for us and our guests?

If you're thinking of planning a destination wedding, it's likely important to you that your closest friends and family members will be able to attend. Before you commit to planning a destination wedding, run the idea by your loved ones. If there are relatives who you know you want present on your special day but are unable to attend, you might prefer to have an intimate destination wedding and a reception at home so all your loved ones can be a part of the celebration. Additionally, choosing the right destination may also affect who can attend. If your destination is particularly remote or expensive, fewer guests may choose to attend. So make sure to consider your guest list when selecting a wedding location.

How are destination weddings cheaper than traditional, at-home weddings?

For starters, when having a destination wedding, the couple is not having to front the cost of each guest’s meal, like they would be for a traditional wedding. This enables the couple to only have to spend what’s needed for their own travel, accommodations, and wedding package details. Luckily, since destination weddings are typically in beautiful, exotic locales, the need for design and décor details is minimal. And since the breathtaking surroundings can do the talking for you, there’s no need to splurge on extravagant elements you would use to decorate an at-home ceremony or reception space. Lastly, many all-inclusive resorts offer pre-designed wedding packages (don’t worry, most can still be customized!) all for one bundled price that is usually cheaper than a banquet hall’s package. For more tips on how to save money on a destination wedding, click here.

How do I ensure my guests can afford to attend our destination wedding?

Traditionally, the best way to help ensure that your guests can afford to attend your destination wedding is to plan in advance so they have ample time to plan and budget accordingly. It’s also important to consider the resort, destination, and time of year you’d like to marry. For example, if you live in Florida, a Caribbean wedding will likely be more accessible for your guests than one in Hawaii. Or if you live on the west coast, Mexico may be a great option. Our hotels and resorts around the globe are well-versed in working with budgets of all sizes, and we also have an "Easy Payment Plan" to help spread out payments for your wedding guests. And, it’s easy to lock in affordable rates with low deposit amounts for your guests by creating a group room block ahead of time!

Why are destination weddings less stressful to plan than traditional, at-home weddings?

Choosing to have a destination wedding means putting the reigns in the experts hands (us!) This relieves lots of stress from the wedding couple in terms of coordinating travel, accommodations for a large group, plus the wedding details themselves. With someone to do it all for you, there's no reason planning a destination wedding can't be as relaxing as laying right on the beach! Destination weddings also tend to have a smaller guest list, so there's less people (and opinions) you need to keep track of. Lastly, by booking an all-inclusive wedding package, there's no need to have to find separate vendors like you would for an at-home wedding. With many resorts, your florist, DJ, Justice of the Peace and more are included in one succinct package price. Talk about easy at 1, 2, 3!

How far in advance should I be planning my destination wedding?

While 9-15 months is an ideal amount of time for securing the best travel rates, we have worked with couples that have planned gorgeous weddings with only a few months (or days!) to spare. If you do have time to plan further in advance, we always advise couples to start the process sooner rather than later, particularly with large groups. Check out our step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

What are the legal requirements when getting married out of the country?

Every country has different legal requirements for weddings. Most require some form of ID (like your passports and birth certificates) and a marriage license application. Our Certified Destination Wedding Specialists are happy to help you work through the legalities, as they have extensive knowledge of the requirements at your destination of choice.

How should I travel on a plane with my wedding dress?

Traveling with a destination wedding dress can seem tricky, and perhaps even a bit stressful. But it doesn’t have to be! To ensure your gown makes it to your destination safely, we recommend either having it with you in your carry-on, or better yet, taking your dress on board the airplane in a garment bag. Most airlines will accommodate wedding couples by allowing them to hang their day-of attire in the closet for you. It’s always a good idea to call ahead and see what their policies are, to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. Then, simply sit back and enjoy the ride to paradise! Click here for more advice from real brides!

How much does a destination wedding cost?

On top of the benefit of having an extra unique experience with your loved one(s), choosing to have a destination wedding allows you to have the celebration of your dreams while still keeping within your wedding budget. The average cost of a destination wedding for our couples has remained under $10,000 for over five years.* Be sure to check out our cost savings page to receive expert tips on how to save money when planning a destination wedding.

*Includes accommodations, airfare and wedding package. Does not include wedding extras. This data solely represents the Destination Weddings Travel Group customer base.

How do I get a destination wedding marriage license?

Depending on where you are getting married, destination wedding marriage licenses can be obtained in different ways. First, decide if you’re having a legal or symbolic ceremony. Many couples choose to have a simple, symbolic ceremony away, and make it legal either before or after the destination wedding, in your home state. This helps avoid more paperwork and potentially chaotic travel plans. Check with your Certified Destination Wedding Specialist to ensure you are following the proper protocol of having a legal destination wedding in your chosen locale. For more information on destination wedding marriage requirements and required travel documents around the world, click here. If you are a Canadian resident, click here.

What percentage of guests actually attend a destination wedding?

Building a guest list for a destination wedding can seem overwhelming at first; how many people do you invite? who makes the cut and who doesn’t? Destination wedding guest lists are notorious for being smaller than traditional wedding guest lists, and also tend to consist more of the couples’ closest friends and family members as opposed to a twice-removed cousin and favorite high school teacher. But how many guests will actually attend? There’s the steadfast and overarching 80% rule, which applies to most events and states to assume 80% of guests will attend any given event. With a destination wedding, however, it’s harder to gauge due to the travel requirements and financial commitment. We suggest surveying your guest list ahead of time to gauge how invested each guest is in attending the celebration. And, of course, we always recommend giving your guests ample time’s notice to plan for the festivities. The average number of guests at a destination wedding is currently 40.

How do I travel with destination wedding gift bags and wedding favors?

Traveling with destination wedding gift bags and wedding favors can seem difficult. We first recommend checking with your destination wedding venue to see what they can accommodate and bring onsite. Although some items may be sold at a premium in your destination (sunscreen, for example), other things may be easier (or cheaper!) to obtain onsite. If you need to bring things from home, the ideal case would be packing them in your carry-on. If you need a separate checked suitcase, we suggest labeling that suitcase as the ‘gift bag’ bag; that way, you can find everything you need for assembly in one place once you get to your resort (yes, we highly recommend assembling all destination wedding favors and gift bags once you get to your resort). One final tip is to, of course, ask for help! Enlist a bridesmaid or other VIP guest to be in charge of the ‘gift bag’ suitcase, and have them help assemble everything with you, too!

Where do I get my hair and makeup done for my destination wedding?

Destination wedding hair and makeup is a part of the celebration that bride’s get very excited about! What look will you go for; beachy boho or glam with glitter? Depending on your destination wedding venue, you may decide to have your hair and makeup done at the resort salon, or perhaps in your own hotel room! Be sure to check with your Wedding Specialist, and see what your wedding package offers. Most resorts offer on-site destination wedding hair and makeup, whether it be in the bridal suite, beauty salon, or your own guest room. Certain all-inclusive resort bridal suites can accommodate the entire wedding party, whereas some may only accommodate the bride and perhaps one VIP guest.

Working with Us
Who are you as a company?

The Destination Wedding Travel Group is the world's leading destination weddings travel company. We are headquartered just west of Boston in Wayland, Massachusetts with international corporate offices in Canada and the UK. We have been planning destination weddings for over a decade and have planned nearly 25,000 successful romantic celebrations. We have over 200 Certified Destination Wedding Specialists in the U.S. and Canada who have award-winning experience planning dream destination weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries and vow renewals. Meet our team!

Why book with SMLW India?

We have successfully planned nearly 25,000 amazing destination weddings and arranged travel for over 500,000 guests. Our Certified Destination Wedding Specialists (all 200 +) have years of experience planning destination weddings and frequently visit the locations they recommend to their couples. They will work with you from the start of your engagement to the minute you say I do (including emergency after-hours service during travel time), to help you choose and book the perfect destination and coordinate with the on-site wedding planner. Best of all, our services are completely free.

As an industry leader in romance travel, we have extensive connections with hundreds of hotels and destination wedding resorts around the world, meaning we ensure you get the best price and top-notch amenities. Our services include a wedding website where couples can tell their guests about their celebration and communicate with them before the big day. We also offer complimentary email save-the-dates, personalized to your wedding theme and taste! Check out even more reasons to choose us!

Do you have a list of resorts that you work with?

Of course! Head over to our destination wedding 'Destinations' tab, browse countries and regions that interest you and choose from hundreds of wedding venues with our Resort Finder within a region of your choice. You can also find resorts through the Preferred Partners page, which includes over 150+ properties that represent, to us, the very best in destination weddings. Ready to start the fun part? Explore our amazing destinations!

Do we have to pay for our reservations in full right away?

The simple answer? No. offers an exclusive "Easy Payment Plan", which allows you and your guests the flexibility of spreading the travel payments out and picking a payment dates of the 1st or 15th of each month that work best for you. You can use the "Easy Payment Plan" to schedule out payments up to 60 days before the wedding. Just ask your Specialist to guide you through the process!

How do I get the best prices on travel packages?

Our Certified Destination Wedding Specialists are well-versed in finding competitive packages for you and your guests. We also provide special offers for our couples for weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries and even vow renewals. Additionally, we encourage you to book early to lock in the best rates and secure space.

How much experience do your Specialists have?

Our Certified Destination Wedding Specialists are hand-selected from the best in the industry, based on their extensive experience and knowledge in planning destination weddings. They are with couples from the beginning stages of the planning process to welcoming them home as newlyweds. All of our Certified Destination Wedding Specialists are familiar with the destinations and resorts they recommend to couples and stay up-to-date on the latest destination wedding trends. You can meet our award-winning Specialists here!

Will I need an on-site wedding coordinator?

Depending on the ceremony details, we usually recommended that you work with someone at the location to help finalize the details. Many resorts and hotels have complimentary on-site wedding coordinators, who maintain reputable local vendor lists and can help organize your big day. Your Certified Destination Wedding Specialist will set you up with a wedding coordinator at your resort and assist you as needed throughout the process.

What are the fees?

Each of our award-winning Certified Destination Wedding Specialists work with a limited number of couples in order to provide personalized service and ensure a perfect celebration every time – so our services are ALWAYS 100% free to you.

Do you plan international weddings too?

Yes! We plan weddings globally and we specialize in all kinds of destination weddings.

Is there a fixed fee for planning?

We never keep a fixed fee for planning, rather work within a standard range.This range of fees is completely based on numerous factors like the nature of the event, number of days involved, number of guests to join, destination, and so on. We customize the wedding to your needs and the price will be completely based on that.

Do you plan weddings adhering to covid protocols?

Yes! We plan weddings adhering to covid rules. All our partners and employees undergo regular temperature checks and covid tests are done throughout if any symptoms are shown

Do you plan budget friendly weddings?

We always respect the client’s budget and strictly adhere to that.

Which is the best place for a destination wedding in India?

The "Royal" feeling you get in Udaipur cannot be replicated anywhere else! The different locations, the lake, needless to say, you can guess our favourite scene in "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani". There is something special in Udaipur air that just adds this jolt into every wedding we've planned there. Udaipur is definitely on top of our Indian Destination Weddings list.

Which is the best place for a destination wedding abroad?

Our favorite has to be Seychelles; the exclusivity and the peace draw us back to this island. The clear blue water and the misty tropical smell are just so refreshing! When you search for Seychelles on the map, all you find is a small dot to the East of Africa on the Indian Ocean, but this small dot comprises 115 different islands and is all more beautiful than ever. So this location is definitely on top of our Overseas Destination Weddings!

Which is the cheapest place for a destination wedding in India?

This depends on which season you want to opt for. The most simple example is during the winter season, hills and hill stations are very inexpensive and during the summer season, locations like Jaisalmer and Jodhpur are very affordable.

Which is the cheapest place for a destination wedding abroad?

It has to be Thailand for us.

Which place is good for a Summer destination wedding?

In India, Mussoorie and Shimla are our absolute favorites. The weather is pleasant with that chilly tone and the backdrop is to die for!

If you want to opt for an abroad location, Italy and Seychelles. Hands down.

Which place is good for a Winter destination wedding?

In India, we would recommend Rajasthan and Goa. The perfect weather and vibes for your Indian wedding!

If you want to opt for an abroad location, Thailand and Malaysia are very good picks.

What all services do you provide?

— Complete wedding planning - End- to- End like venue booking, decor entertainment, Hospitality and logistics, and all other
— Partial wedding Planning - The client books the venue and we take care of every other thing
— On Ground Management - Client books all the vendors and we manage them and execute the wedding

We can broadly divide our services into three categories.

The first one is Complete Wedding Planning where we look into the end- to- end work such as venue booking, decors, entertainment, hospitality, logistics, and everything for your big day. We look into each and every aspect and plan it to your liking.

The second one is Partial Wedding Planning, where you book the venue and we look into the other aspects of the planning.

And finally, comes the Ground Management, where you book all the vendors and everything and we manage them and execute everything to perfection on the day of your wedding.

What all packages do you have?

Based on what kind of services you opt for, like Complete, Partial, or Ground management, we have packages for the mentioned.

Where are you based from?

Our office is located in Delhi, but we specialize in destination weddings which allows us to travel so much and be familiar with different popular locations all over the world! This also means no matter where you are, we can plan your wedding with the same dedication at your preferred destination, because we are experienced in this.

Ready to start planning your romantic celebration?

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Preferred Partners

Amazing Thailand
Dubai Tourism
Abu Dhabi
Sigapore Tourism Board
Sri Lanka - Wonder of Asia
Moscow Tourism
Saint Peter Burg
Wedding International Professional Association
International Wedding Awards
Kerala = God's Own Country
Wonderful Indonesia
Gujrat Tourism
Tourism Malaysia
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