Photo courtesy of Rachid Dahnoun / Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority

Here at Tahoe South, we specialize in Lake Tahoe weddings (go figure). However, we’ve discovered that—regardless of the destination itself—there’s a set of common FAQs when it comes to destination wedding planning.

So if you’d like to get a leg up on your destination wedding planning, keep reading. You’ll find that very set of questions (and answers) right here!

Destination Wedding FAQs

Q: What exactly is a destination wedding, anyway?

A: A destination wedding is a wedding celebration that happens in a place that is (A) amazing and (B) not where you or most of your guests live. Places like Hawaii, Europe, and Lake Tahoe (of course) are popular spots for these types of weddings. That said, destination weddings also typically require at least some travel and long-distance planning and coordination. And size-wise, these events run the whole gamut, ranging anywhere from just the two of you to hundreds of happy guests.

Q: I’ve heard that destination weddings can be more affordable than traditional ones. Is that true?

A: It is! Of course, the final cost for any wedding depends on many factors. But with the right approach,  destination weddings can save couples some serious cash three main ways:

  1. Unlike traditional weddings, with destination weddings couples aren’t expected to cover the cost of all the guests’ meals. This frees up funds for personal travel and accommodations.
  2. Destination weddings tend to be in the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful places (like Tahoe South). That being the case, these weddings don’t require the same elaborate design and decor as do weddings in more traditional spaces.
  3. Destination resorts (like many of our venues) offer flexible destination wedding packages at bundled prices that are typically much more affordable than the average banquet hall package.
loving couple

With a destination wedding, love is in the air wherever you go. (Photo courtesy of Danu Hidayatur)

Q: How do we make sure our guests can afford to attend our destination wedding?

A: If you plan to invite guests to your destination wedding, forethought is the key to ensuring good attendance.

  1. When choosing your location, consider distance and accessibility for your guests. For example, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, choosing somewhere like South Lake Tahoe would be a safe bet for good attendance. Getting Grandma on an 11-hour flight to France might be another story.
  2.  Look into group room blocks. If you give enough advanced notice, and you’re willing to drop a small deposit, many venues will extend ultra-low group room rates.
  3. Start your destination wedding planning early. To secure the best travel rates, your guests will need nine to 15 months.

Q: Why have I heard that destination wedding planning is less stressful than traditional wedding planning? That doesn’t seem possible!

A: We know, right? You’d expect planning a long-distance wedding to be way more complicated. But destination wedding packages can be customized to include everything from the florist to the DJ. With most of the vendor coordination handled onsite by professional planners, your time is freed up for planning personal travel and taking care of things like dress shopping (you know, the most important stuff).

destination wedding snow couple

Whatever the season, your Tahoe South destination wedding means all kinds of cozy romance. (Photo courtesy of Yana Lizunkova)

Q: What’s the best way to travel long distance with my wedding dress?

A: Two words: garment bag. Airlines tend to be super accommodating to wedding couples, often allowing them to hang wedding-day attire in the cabin closet. To be safe, call in advance to double-check. If your airline won’t allow you to use the closet, just bring your dress as a carry-on.

Q: What’s the best way to get our destination wedding marriage license?

A: This is probably the most common destination wedding planning question. And its answer depends on where and how you plan to get married. There are a few things to consider:

  1. For the easiest solution, plan to have a symbolic ceremony, then obtain your marriage license from your home state before or after the event. This popular option will simplify the paperwork.
  2. Obtaining a locally issued license does require more complicated paperwork. However, some couples appreciate the nostalgia of a “binding” connection to their destination wedding location. Also, many packages include marriage license footwork in the deal. Be sure to ask.
  3. If you’re considering a Tahoe South wedding, check out our California/Nevada marriage license guide. For other states in the U.S., simply enter the search, marriage license in [State], and you’ll find what you need.
  4.  For info on the legality of international destination weddings, check out this article on FindLaw.
cute couple having a snowball fight

Snowball fights are always allowed at Lake Tahoe destination weddings

Q: What percentage of our guests should we expect to show up?

A: The average total attendance for destination weddings is 40 guests. But factors like distance and time are unique to these types of events, making it tough to establish an average for attendance. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your guests can afford to join you by thoughtfully choosing your location and time of year.

If you’re wondering how to plan a destination wedding at Tahoe South specifically, you’ve come to the right place! Visit our homepage where you’ll find links to tons of info to get things rolling right away.

Happy destination wedding planning!