Getting married in the Maldives or Mexico means a lot of the usual details will be taken care of for you – the venue, catering, décor, accommodation, and more are all handled so you can relax and feel the love. A few things are different to planning a wedding “at home” though, so we’ve put together some expert wedding tips to make your special day even more perfect and worry-free!

Follow Your Heart
One of our favourite things about a destination wedding is that it really is all about you and what you want. Forget stuffy traditions and expectations, endless venue visits or Aunt Edna’s “helpful” advice; this is a chance for you and your love to shake up the old rule book and do it your way.

The Dress
Once you have the perfect wedding dress, getting it to your destination takes some planning. Speak to your designer or bridal boutique about packing the dress ready for your flight, and the care instructions for when you arrive.
When choosing your dress, think about where you’ll be wearing it and pick a style that suits you perfectly, as well as your wedding aesthetic. It’s also so important to be practical and make sure you can enjoy yourself to the max:

Long trains are amazing in an indoor venue, but not so much fun combined with beach sand.
Will you be doing a fair bit of walking around and dancing? Choose something that gives you freedom to move!
Some absolutely gorgeous but “finicky” dresses can make it difficult to do simple things like going to the loo without assistance... Does someone have to unhook 20 clasps or hold onto a voluminous skirt? And will someone be available to help?
Think about the weather – your island paradise will usually be hot so lighter, cooler fabrics are best.

Hair and Makeup
The hair and makeup artists based at our partner resorts are highly skilled professionals. It’s a good idea to make contact well in advance so everything is planned and ready – send them some photos of yourself and what you want, so they can confirm it’s all possible and/or give you some suggestions to look even more gorgeous.

The Venue
The wedding team at your resort can send you photos of venue options and examples of their plans for setup and décor. Have a good look through these and make sure you’re happy.

Confirm The Details – Then Relax!
These details are all being taken care of, but we like knowing exactly what to expect, so check the plans and make sure they know about all your requirements.

Is there food you have you heart set on, or something you definitely don’t want on the menu?
Do you want gifts on the table for guests, or petals for them to scatter after the ceremony?
Some favourite music that should be played, or a tune that’s not allowed?
Do you need someone on standby to look after young kids?

Put it all on the list so the wedding team can take care of it for you, or delegate to a friend.
If there is a glitch or two, don’t stress. The wedding team will have backup plans for issues like bad weather, and the important thing is that the two of you are together in paradise.

Check The Legal Requirements 
The legalities of getting married in paradise can differ, depending on your passports and country of residence.

Non-Maldivian residents getting married in the Maldives will generally need to do the legal side back home, but this can be handled quickly and easily, and doesn’t detract from your special day at all.
Getting legally married in Mexico is possible but requires some documents and paperwork – this can be arranged ahead of time, or it may be easier to do the legal bit back in SA. 

Make a Packing List 
Write down absolutely everything you want to take with you, Trust us, these things will randomly pop into your brain at 3am or while you’re in the middle of a meeting, so make a note or send yourself an email! But also review the list before you pack, and leave out things that aren’t really necessary – leave space for the really important items.
It’s a good idea to practice packing a week or two before you go, so you can make any big decisions and not feel stressed out before your flight. 

Have An Emergency Bridal Kit 
Little things can save the day – a mini sewing kit, bobby pins, mints, Panado, tissues, hand wipes, tampons, backup eyeliner and lipstick, a travel-size deodorant... Put this together beforehand, and ask a friend or the resort wedding team to keep it somewhere safe that’s also easy to get to. 

Plan Your Honeymoon 
Even though you’ll probably be staying on at the same resort for your honeymoon, plan ahead so it fulfils all your dreams. Are there any special experiences you want to try, such as swimming with whale sharks or spending a luxurious, romantic night under the stars? (Yes, that is an option… check out the unique Beach Bubble at Finolhu or luxury sand dune camping at Soneva!)
Booking in advance will ensure that everything is ready and available – and that’s one less thing to distract you from gazing into your lover’s eyes.

If friends or relatives are travelling with you for the occasion, help them plan so they’re occupied and having fun while you spend precious time with your other half.Treat them to a beautiful tour or experience – perhaps they’d like to visit magnificent archeological sites in Mexico, or visit other islands in the Maldives? Of course, there’s so much for them to do at the resorts, from kayaking and other watersports to cooking or cocktail classes.We suggest planning time to see them in between all the activities, so they know when you’re available and when to leave you alone! Plan a fun lunch, a morning at the poolside, a dolphin-watching cruise, or a group diving experience that you can all enjoy together. 

Priority Tip: You could also spend an extra week in paradise after everyone else has gone home. Just saying

Expect The Unexpected 
No matter how much you plan ahead, we’re quite sure you’ll find other experiences you want to try once you arrive in Mexico or the Maldives and feel the magic of paradise! Make sure your plans (and budget) include plenty of free time to simply be together, but also allow for one or two extra activities that you can’t live without. Our team have found themselves completely unable to resist the temptations of things like sand dune escapes, diving with nurse sharks, spending the night in a bubble on the beach, and venturing out into lush forests, to name a few. 

The People Back Home 
A destination wedding is a dream, but there will be people back home who still want to celebrate with you. Consider throwing a little party or dinner after you return from paradise? it doesn’t have to be fancy, but they will love it. And it’s an excuse for more celebration, more bubbly, more love… You can show the wedding photos and give them a taste of paradise too.