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Thinking about a Destination Wedding?

A destination wedding is a wedding ceremony and celebration held in a location away from where the bride or groom live. Basically it's your wedding, your way . . . just away. Because a destination wedding always involves travel, more time is allotted for the occasion, and the wedding becomes a multiday event.

You may hear a destination wedding referred to as a wedding away or a weddingmoon. Although most couples do segue from their destination wedding right into the honeymoon, it's not necessarily part of the overall plan. You could take your honeymoon before the wedding, immediately after, or sometime in the future.

Even the simplest destination weddings require a degree of planning. If you follow a logical order in doing things, you can feel less stressed, work more efficiently, and accomplish all the necessary tasks on schedule. How much time do you need to set everything up? That depends entirely on you and how complex the wedding you have in mind is.

Breaking down the process to 20 steps, these are the major milestones to creating a destination wedding:

1. Decide that a destination wedding is right for you.

2. Choose possible dates.

3. Consider where to go.

4. Select a destination.

5. Draw up a guest list.

6. Pick a place to wed and a place to stay.

7. Alert friends and family.

8. Make travel arrangements.

9. Decide whether or not you need to hire a planner.

10. Shop for wedding wear.

11. Focus on the type of ceremony you want and the spot.

12. Decide on the type of reception you want.

13. Pick a reception location, caterer, and menu.

14. Select flowers, decorations, and music.

15. Opt for photography, videography, and/or a Web cast.

16. Arrange all group activities for the wedding weekend.

17. Pack all the necessities (from wedding attire to important documents); you can ship remaining items, such as guest welcome bags, to your location.

18. Arrive early to check on the details.

19. Savor every moment of the occasion.

20. Continue on to the honeymoon or head directly home to start your marriage!

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