As a travel advisor, I’ve noticed that last-minute destination wedding planning is more common than ever! Couples have been skipping lengthy engagements and saving money by tying the knot at all-inclusive resorts. Of course, I’m all about it! However, planning your destination wedding in the eleventh hour means you may encounter a few roadblocks. Read on for the expert tips that’ll help you navigate them!
Last-Minute Destination Wedding Planning Tips
First, know that “last-minute” means nine months or less in the destination wedding world. It’s crucial to be flexible about your date, resort, and specific venue as you go into the planning process. Moreover, even if your desired date is available, you shouldn’t book immediately. Check with the resort first to ensure they have enough vacant rooms to lodge all your guests!
Hire a Travel Advisor
A certified destination wedding expert can help you work quickly and efficiently to plan your destination wedding. Enter Bridie Travel! I work with couples to book travel for themselves and their guests. Along the way, I answer all travel-related questions so everyone is on the same page! I’ve visited resorts personally, and I know which ones live up to the hype—and which don’t. I’ll help you scan the availability of my pre-approved picks to book your first choice ASAP!
Once you’ve made your initial inquiry to a resort, expect the booking process to take 3-4 weeks before everything is finalized. I handle all communication for my couples and help them negotiate every step, from booking their date to signing their room contract. Also, note that your guest RSVP date (which coincides with the due date for all room deposits) will sneak up quickly when planning a last-minute destination wedding. Make your guests aware of this so your tardier loved ones don’t miss out on booking!
I have several openings available for this fall and early winter of 2024—but they won’t last long, so secure your spot today! You can schedule a discovery call with me here.
Have an open mind about the location and timing of your destination wedding. It’s best to have a few options in mind since many destinations will be booked on weekends past the 9-month stage. To tell you the truth, a weekday wedding (M-W) is the way to go for a last-minute destination wedding! I realize this isn’t many couples’ ideal—but consider that you and your guests will already be on vacation! When you’re relaxing at a 5-star resort, every day feels like Saturday. Plus, booking during the week is a great way to receive a discount on your wedding package.
It’s also best to choose a large resort that hosts multiple weddings per day. Whereas some smaller resorts only host 1-2 weddings per day (and book up FAST), these resorts are more likely to have an opening when you inquire. Note that September and October are the slowest months for weddings in the Caribbean since that is when hurricane season peaks. The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s unlikely that you’ll host an outdoor wedding during one of those months. However, if you’re willing to host an indoor wedding, they should be your first choice due to increased availability!
Shorten Your Guest List
A last-minute destination wedding typically has a much smaller guest list due to the shortened time frame for booking rooms. Ultimately, this increases the likelihood that a resort will have enough vacant rooms to accommodate your wedding—so it’s a good thing! However, it may mean editing your original guest list. Decide who needs to be at your wedding so you can focus on their travel arrangements. I promise that when the big day arrives, you’ll only be thinking about your spouse-to-be, anyway!
It’s always a good idea to sign a room contract if you expect 20 or more guests (or 10+ rooms). This number represents most resorts’ cutoff for booking into a contract, but a handful will allow you to do so with only six rooms! You can learn more about room contracts and how they work here.
Last-Minute Destination Wedding Planner
Do you want to tie the knot in paradise in less than a year? While there may be some challenges along the way, I promise you we can make it happen! I would be honored to act as your travel advisor to oversee the booking process and guarantee you and your guests a dreamy, stress-free escape. Don’t wait a day longer—get started today!