1.Select the perfect Wedding Location
Your wedding locations sets the mood for your event and determines the travel time and the budget. The activities you can plan depend on the location you choose. You want a location that is complimentary to your personality and wows your guests.
Depending on the location you choose you will need to find out what the best time of the year would be. Luckily in Hawaii the weather is amazing all year and you just have to worry about time where it is busier, like during Ironman in October or during the summer month. Be aware of Hurricane Seasons.
Take a planning trip. Scout the perfect beach, reception location, hotels and meet with vendors. If you can't swim a planning trip hire a wedding planner who lives on the location and can help you with recommendations and to plan your wedding. It will help you to make sure everything is taken care of and your wedding planning will go much smoother. A good wedding planner will make a big difference on your wedding day.
A destination wedding doesn't have to be more expensive than a wedding at home. Of course this depends on were you live. If you choose a tropical destination you most likely will have your wedding outdoors, which saves you the additional cost of a reception hall.
5. Marriage License
Make sure you understand the legal requirements of the country you are getting married in. Some countries such as France require you to arrive 40 days before you are allowed to marry. England requires you to be there 7 days before your wedding. In Hawaii you can just get your license the day before you wedding. If you are coming to the US from a European country you will also be required to have an apostle. Without an apostle your marriage won't be recognized back home.
6. Wedding Planner
Get a local wedding planner. This is especially important if you don't speak the language well. If you need to rent a tents, chairs or any other supplies you will find it very difficult to do this without the help of a local wedding planner. Some vendors just won't return your calls. Many vendors prefer to work with a local wedding planner they know, so they are sure they will get paid and they are not dealing with inquires that are only checking prices.
Some beaches don't allow set up of chairs, other beaches don't allow Limo drop offs. If you want to avoid a lot of frustration hire a local wedding planner.
7. Be upfront
Let your friends and family know about the destination before you ask them to be standing by your site. Travel cost can be out of their budget and it gives them a chance to decline gracefully.
Research group rates for flights and hotels. Provide informations how to get to and from the hotel. Invite everybody to a welcome or rehearsal dinner. Your welcome bags should have the essentials they need for the location. A list of things to do is also a nice touch.
9. Dress right
When you select your wedding gown and shoes keep in mind the climate and location. While a long trail might look beautiful it's not very practical if you have to walk over lava to a beach. Consider the terrain when you select your shoes. Shoes to wear for the walk to the ceremony site might be a good idea. You can switch shoes once you get there.
Calculate extra time if you plan a destination wedding. Send out safe the date cards 10-12 month ahead of time so your guests can plan their vacation and book their trip. Leave yourself enough time to meet with vendors and wedding planners so you can make an informed decision.