Hello there! If you’re new to the NaijaTravelShop blog, welcome welcome! And if you’re returning, welcome back! We’re still on our destination wedding series; here we give an overview of destination weddings, and here, we share tips on how to handle and treat your guests, to ensure everyone has a truly memorable experience. Now in this third article, we’ll examine factors to consider in choosing the right location, because let’s face it- it is a destination wedding, so the choice of location can make or break the entire wedding.
One of the first and most important things to consider when choosing a location, is time of year. Depending on which is more important to you, you can either plan your wedding around a “when” or a “where”. What do we mean? If you’ve always wanted to get married at particular place, you should begin by finding out the best time of year to visit that place, and then set your wedding date around that time. If, however, you’re more particular about the time of year you get married-maybe you’ve always wanted a December wedding- start by looking up the best destinations to visit in December.
When doing this research, you’ll notice that one major determinant of location rankings is weather. This is because weather is SUPER IMPORTANT. If you’re going to travel all those miles to a different country, you want to go there when the weather is at its best. It won’t make much sense for you and your guests to travel to a place in the middle of a strong winter such that you have to stay indoors for the duration of the trip. Conversely, visiting the UAE during their heat wave months is also not a great idea. You want to go somewhere that is warm enough to break out the shorts, and cool enough that you don’t come back home sunburnt. Also, it’s great to have your wedding ceremony outdoors, against a beautiful backdrop of nature- I mean isn’t that the entire point? Why travel all the way, and then be forced by bad weather to have a ceremony in a hall, when halls are plenty in Lagos? You definitely don’t want that, so time of year, and weather are some of your most important considerations.
Beyond the weather, you also want to consider the culture of a place. It might look pretty in pictures, but is it tourist-friendly? What is the attitude of the locals towards tourists? The world is at once becoming a global village, and increasingly nationalist, so you want to choose a destination where tourists are not just tolerated but welcomed- and there are many places like this. Some cultural nuances might also be seasonal. During Ramadan, some Islamic countries have certain restrictions around dressing, public eating, and alcohol consumption, that may hamper tourist activists. You don’t want to offend in such instances, so it is important be mindful of cultural nuances and seasons.
Which brings me to my next point, something I’ve called Tourism Factor. How much of a tourist destination is your location? Asides loving you and wanting to share your special day with you, your guests having flown a distance, and will most likely want to explore the area and do fun stuff. Are there sights to see and things to do at the destination you’re considering, or is your wedding ceremony the only attraction your guests can look forward to? At NaijaTravelShop, we usually advise that you plan at least one group tourist activity for your wedding party (we share a bit more about guest handling here). NaijaTravelShop also advises that you choose a destination with a variety of activities, so guests can wander off on their own if they want. Don’t worry, we do all the research beforehand, and give your options of available activities in locations you’re considering.
One more important factor to consider when choosing a location, is entry requirement. Let’s face it, having only a Nigerian passport can be a bit restrictive in terms of travelling. Getting visas can be tough. Or at least not as straightforward as it is for our counterparts in more developed countries. It’s a reality you must consider while selecting a destination for your wedding. Make sure you choose a destination that your guests can easily gain entry to; preferably visa-free or visa-on-arrival. There are actually quite a number of great wedding destinations which are visa free/on-arrival for Nigerians, and NajiaTravelShop is more than happy to point you in the right direction.
All the factors we’ve highlighted above come together to aid in selecting the perfect location which is the bedrock of a great destination wedding. From our next post, we get location-specific, and begin to profile popular wedding destinations- beginning with the beautiful East African island of Zanzibar!
Considering a destination wedding? Click here and let NaijaTravelShop take the stress off you!