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The First 5 Steps to Planning a Destination Wedding

What you need to know about hosting an affair away from home.

By Elizabeth Passarella
Small beach wedding receptionLuca Trovato/Getty Images

If a destination wedding is your dream (because, let’s face it, pina coladas seem less fun in Cleveland), read on. We asked Calder Clark (, who plans destination weddings for brides in Charleston, SC and other locations, to gives us the top points you need to consider before sending out save-the-dates with mini umbrellas.

1. Start pricing flights. Where will the majority of your friends and family be flying from? Can they get there without changing planes three times? Check to make sure there are reasonably priced flights and itineraries that make sense (for example, if there are only morning flights or if the flights on Friday won’t get your cousins there in time for the rehearsal dinner).

2. Know the weather. Many coastal areas or islands have lower rates in the late summer and fall because… it’s hurricane season. Look at the average temperatures for the month you’re planning; know in advance if it’s the rainy season.

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Quick Tip


Talk to your venue before renting any items. Ask if you’ll be charged additional fees for using outside vendors and if the site can accommodate additional setup and breakdown time for special lighting, ceremony chairs, or hanging lanterns.