Easier said than done, isn’t it? Choosing your destination wedding venue is the cause for stress in a lot of couples, as it’s very hard to decide on just one place! This one looks fancy, but this one looks nice too. Meanwhile, I dreamed about the other once since I was a kid. Decisions, decisions! But for every problem you have, I’ve got a solution. If you follow these steps and consider your options well, you’ll find the perfect destination wedding venue and you won’t have any regrets!

Step 1: Prepare your budget

This is very important for any kind of financial decision you have to make, but when it comes to wedding planning it’s basically the one that decides everything. So make a budget, and stick to it fiercely! Almost all of your decisions will be made with this limit in mind, so try not deviate from it too much (unless you have a good reason to). This should include just about everything, not only the venue, so keep that budget handy!

Step 2: Have your guest list ready

Here we have another important step that you shouldn’t be flexible about. Your guest list will be the determining factor in a lot of these decisions, so try not to move this number too much or you might have to re-budget. That’s a big no! It’ll increase your costs by a lot, and it might even push you off the venue you really want. On the other hand, when you consider your options, try to stick to the venue that accommodates your guest list neatly! For example, let’s say you have 100 guests and your two options can host 150 and 300 people respectively. To cut costs, I’d go with the one that can host 150!

Step 3: Transportation is important!

As you might have expected, if you’re planning to have your wedding abroad (say, for example, in Punta Cana), you’ll need to keep your guests’ transportation in mind when making your decision. Most locations will be close to a resort or hotel where people can stay, but you need to make sure the travel time isn’t long, complicated, or too expensive. Otherwise people won’t be able to attend! If you’re stuck between two gorgeous places, this might break the tie for you.

Step 4: Find some destination wedding venue options

Finally, the step everyone’s waiting for! With these initial parameters you can start looking for places that fit your wedding. This is the most exciting part! You’ll be bombarded with beautiful locations that anyone would be lucky to have, but only one of them is yours. But don’t be too quick to judge, because we have more to go through! And don’t forget to compare them against each other with transportation, budget, and guest list in mind.

Step 5: Ask for recommendations on the best destination wedding venue

Since you’re going somewhere new, a very good idea would be to ask around for recommendations and ideas. Chances are you know someone who’s been there, or you could ask online! Another option is to read some of my articles, because I talk in-depth about wedding venues and many more things that you might need during the entire process. But people’s opinion matters, so don’t be afraid to probe a little bit for good intel!

Step 6: Read many, many reviews

Preferably, recent reviews! Everyone’s experience varies, so while your friend from the office had nothing but good things to say, your aunt has a very different opinion. Well, to save yourself some trouble, look up your venue options online and see what everyone has to say. Maybe it was fine some months ago, but last week it had a leak and it’s the rainy season? Or perhaps the staff doesn’t clean it very well? That’s the sort of thing you should keep an eye on!

Step 7: Ask questions to several destination wedding venues.

It’s never too many questions when it comes to your wedding! Get in contact with the owners or wedding planners of your preferred venue and try to ask as much as you can. Every bit of information is good. If you can visit personally, even better! This leads me to my next point.

Step 8: Visit the different destination wedding venues!

Exciting, isn’t it! Before you close any deals you need to see it for yourself and make sure everything is in order, and that’s where your opinion will come into play! Take a short vacation, a week or so, and visit the last few venue options you’ve been thinking about. As you do you should try to look for smaller details that weren’t listed before, like a corner in disrepair or old furniture. The little things, you know? This is when you can make your final decision after all you’ve gone through, so choose wisely!

And that’s all I can say! This is a quick guide of a very long and drawn out process, so take it with a grain of salt. This will take a few weeks if not months to complete, so don’t rush it! Here it sounds simple, but you should do this with your fiancé and your loved ones by your side. Remember that this is a special day that you’ll remember forever, so make sure everything is as it should be!