Destination Weddings – Where to Begin?

Written by Josh Tully
Images by Katy Lunsford.
Thinking of a destination wedding, but feeling a little overwhelmed?

I get it, especially right now with the current situation we’re all in. Our world, as we know it, has temporarily shrunk. But this too shall pass, so don’t rule out a destination wedding and don’t be overwhelmed by wanting to get married in your favourite location especially if this is somewhere overseas, maybe it’s somewhere you’ve travelled as a couple.

Don’t get put off by thinking whether your guests will like the location, or whether they will want to travel – in my experience the yes response rate is always higher than expected. Who wouldn’t love a wedding combined with the feeling of being on holiday with your closest friends & family organised by someone else.

A good test is to ask yourself – would you say yes?

I’ve been planning destination weddings for the past 5 years now and the atmosphere from the moment people start arriving all the way through to the departure is electric. Everyone has time to do what they want to do but also catch up with people that maybe they’ve not seen for years, not forgetting in the middle of it all they get to witness your marriage. What is usually a one day celebration, overseas it can be 3 days or even a week long celebration.

When thinking of the location, think about what you want people to feel. Think about the places you’ve travelled as a couple and loved. Don’t spend your time looking at locations that don’t mean anything to you. Agree on what you both want people to remember your wedding for, striking the right balance between intimate and memorable.

3 Day Wedding Schedule

A destination wedding should be full of fun and some down time, that’s the joy of inviting your friends and family to join you in your favourite spot in the world. I’ve put together my go to schedule for a 3 day destination wedding.

Day 1

Pre wedding BBQ – Make this the evening where everyone can catch up, or even meet for the first time over some cocktails. If the venue can offer it, then use a space that you don’t intend on using on the wedding day. I try to use a different part of the property across the weekend.

Day  2

Wedding Day! Work out the timings based on the sunshine, you don’t want people getting heat stroke during your ceremony so this is really important. This will usually mean a later start to the day to ensure it flows from one element to the next. I try to plan everything to take place outside as this is the beauty of being abroad, of course you must always make sure there is a backup – nowhere can guarantee perfect weather!

Be creative with the use of the venue – Marry under a tree, eat dinner in the gardens and dance under the moonlight!

Day 3

Post wedding brunch / pool party – This is the day that most of my couples always say ends up being their favourite as there is no pressure, no time constraints, no speeches, just simply a day for enjoying this precious time where everyone is in one place.

The next blog post will cover choosing the right venue in more detail but make sure you are prepared for the most common question you will be asked – ‘How do get there?’

You should 100% choose a location that suits you but take into account how people will reach it. Look into airports, ferries, convenience of transfers etc. I advise the distance from the airport shouldn’t be more than 2 hours, but that’s a personal opinion.

Having everyone in one place is a very rare occasion especially after the 2020 we’ve all just experienced, where we’ve been forced to stay apart from those we love, and live a more isolated life than we once did.

Your wedding is a special moment so use it to bring everyone together, give them something to look forward too and most importantly allow time to embrace those you’ve not seen for a while.

A destination wedding is not just a day in someone’s calender it’s an entire experience – a family reunion, bringing together your worlds in one place, and introducing friends that may have never met.

I consider myself incredibly lucky to do what I do, I get to create someone’s dream day but it’s the love and warmth I feel on the day / weekend when I see everyone coming together that keeps me doing this job.

If you need any help or advice on planning a destination wedding then please do not hesitate in reaching out. We manage unique venues in unique locations, including Chateau de Brives and Le Grand Banc, which you can find listed in the Delicious Destination category right here.

I have no doubt, with the help of Coco Wedding Venues, you will find your dream destination wedding venue!


Venue La Vue France

Photography Katy Lunsford

Planning Josh Tully Management

Florals Agnès Laye

More from the blog

Discover our Venues

Refine your wedding venue search by location, capacity, type, and style.

Visit Venue Finder

Be Inspired

Planning advice, real wedding edits, and venue showcases to inspire you.

View Blog

Suppliers We Love

From photographers to bridal fashion and styling, find the best wedding suppliers right here.

View Suppliers