Archive 2017

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is the most inexpensive way to reach your target market, regardless of the size of your business.

But what is internet marketing, really?

Defining Internet Marketing

Also called online marketing, internet marketing is the process of promoting a business or brand and its products or services over the internet using tools that help drive traffic, leads, and sales.

Internet marketing a pretty broad term that encompasses a range of marketing tactics and strategies – including content, email, search, paid media, and more.

These days, though, internet marketing is often used interchangeably with “content marketing.”

Why?

Because content marketing is the internet marketing of the present and future.

Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as:

“A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Think of it like this: content marketing (or inbound marketing) is in direct opposition to traditional advertising (outbound marketing), and in direct integration with the patterns and habits of today’s generation.

We don’t like to be sold to, we have our ad-blockers on, and we barely watch cable anymore.

Content marketing serves up content that addresses our pain points, and is there when we want it.

Here’s a great illustration of that from Voltier Digital:

What is Internet Marketing? Your Guide to Today’s Online Marketing

Content Marketing vs. Traditional Advertising

Here’s the evolutional pathway behind the modernized form of marketing that is most successful today.

Selling no longer works (a.k.a., traditional advertising).

Why?

Traditional advertising focuses on pushing messages at the consumer to get them to buy.

It’s interruptive, obstructive, and intrusive.

It shouts, “Hey, look at me!” while waving its arms.

You may try to avoid eye contact, but traditional ads are persistent.

You know what traditional ads look like because you’re bombarded with them every single day.

Think TV commercials, billboards, magazine ads, radio ads, and web banner ads.

What is Internet Marketing? Your Guide to Today’s Online Marketing

Ads have been around for a long time, as evidenced by this traditional ad for “honest-to-goodness” coffee from the 1950s.

Ads may still work in some strategic places.

But Internet users can just click away from ads if they don’t want to see them.

Which is exactly what happens.

According to a PageFair report, 615 million devices in use today employ ad blockers. Additionally, ad blocker use increased by 30 percent in 2016 alone.

You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.

Ads are annoying.

And, they aren’t the way consumers prefer to learn about new products anymore.

Instead of businesses shoving themselves in consumers’ faces, they need to take a different, gentler approach.

Content marketing is exactly that.

Brands and marketers who use it publish content that teaches, inspires, guides, or solves a problem for their target audience.

With some handy tricks, the targets can find that content on the web without it being pushed at them.

If the prospects gain something useful from the content, they’ll keep coming back for more.

Finally, consumers can interact with the brand organically and share their content on social media.

Trust is forged.

Authority is established.

Connections happen.

These loyal followers can then be converted into leads and sales – naturally.

All of the above happens with a focus on giving value to the user.

Help users – offer them value and they’ll reward you in return.

That is what internet marketing/content marketing is all about at its core.

Why Internet Marketing?

Now that you know what internet marketing is, you still may be wondering why there’s so much hype around it.

Well, the hype is totally founded.

Internet marketing has shown proven success over and over again.

Here are some stats gathered from around the web to help give you an idea of why internet/content marketing stands tall:

  • By 2019, content marketing is set to be an industry worth $313 billion.
  • 91 percent of businesses already are convinced of its power and have already adopted it as an essential marketing tactic.
  • Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional, outbound marketing, but pulls in 3x as many leads.
  • If you’re a small business with a blog, you’ll rake in 126 percent more lead growth than your competitors without a blog
  • If you have a blog and publish content, you’re likely to get 434 percent more indexed pages on Google, on average

And there’s more.

From my own content marketing endeavors, I have seen my small business take off.

With 99 percent of our focus on content marketing, we managed to grow our worth to millions of dollars.

Bottom line: This stuff works.

Reasons You Need to Use Video Marketing

We recently published an infographic on how powerful video will become. But the future has already arrived. This has been a full-on video revolution year for marketers. According to Wyzowl statistics, 63% of businesses have started using video content marketing. Out of those 82% of businesses feel video marketing is an important part of their strategy. Video is progressing rapidly and will reach new heights sooner than we think. This trend is fueled by 83% of businesses believing that video marketing gives them a good ROI.

Undoubtedly, video marketing is one of the newest additions to your promotion toolbox. You might still have your doubts. Is it really worth to consider using videos for promoting your business? Do you have enough resources to create and use video content in your marketing?

The answer is simple: Yes, it’s worth it. Not only because everyone’s doing it but because video is one of the most versatile and profitable digital marketing tools out there. Here are 8 reasons why you should use video marketing right now.

1. Video Boosts Conversions and Sales

First things first. Videos can make you some serious money. Adding a product video on your landing page can increase conversions by 80%. And Treepodia team has made it sure that video works well regardless of the category in which you deploy it.

ecommerce-video-verticals-roi

Video can also lead directly to sales. Studies show that 74% of users who watched an explainer-video about a product subsequently bought it. So better start crafting your exciting product videos now!

If you think about it, the effectiveness of video is not even that surprising. After all, vision is our most dominant sense. Most information transmitted to our brain is visual. So if already pictures can boost engagement massively, imagine what moving pictures can do to your business.

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2. Video Shows Great ROI

To get you even more excited, 83% of businesses say that video provides good return on investment. Even though video production is not yet the easiest nor cheapest task, it pays off big time. Besides, online video editing tools are constantly improving and becoming more affordable. And even your smartphone can make pretty decent videos already.

Another good news is that your videos don’t have to be perfect. It’s the content that matters! Latest research shows that users are mostly put off by videos that don’t explain the product or service clearly enough. Low quality and poor design didn’t matter nearly as much. So it’s fair to say that video is like pizza – when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good!

video-pizza

I Learned All My Youtube Marketing from Epic Meal Time (and You Can Too!)

youtube marketingYes, you read that title correctly. That out of their minds, slightly alcoholic team over at Epic Meal Time were the first to teach me about YouTube marketing. As with all successful YouTube channels, they had to build their own channel themselves. There was no network backing them or an executive producer coming on board to show them the ropes. There wasn’t even anyone with any real experience!

Read the full story…

3. Video Builds Trust

Trust is the foundation of conversions and sales. But building trust should be a goal on its own. The whole concept of content marketing is based on trust and creating long-term relationships. Stop selling and let the people come to you by providing them interesting and useful information. I couldn’t have said it better than Mark Schaefer, the Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions:

The new era demands a focus on ignition, not just content, on trust, not just traffic, and on the elite people in your audience who are spreading and advocating your content.

Video does it all. Video content is likely to engage us and ignite emotions. And when we talk about elite people in the audience, YouTubers have become the most powerful social media figure to promote your brand. So, if you are serious about content marketing, you must be serious about video, too.

Promotional videos can foster trust as well. Some consumers are still skeptical about buying products and services on the internet because they fear fraud and cheating. But effective marketing videos present your products in a conversational form. That creates a sense of individual approach which is why 57% of consumers say that videos gave them more confidence to purchase online.

4. Google Loves Videos

Videos allow you to increase the time spent by visitors on your site. Thus, longer exposure builds trust and signals search engines that your site has good content. Moovly gives us whopping statistics: You’re 53 times more likely show up first on Google if you have a video embedded on your website. Since Google now owns YouTube, there has been a significant increase in how much videos affect your search engine rank.

first-in-google-with-video

Make sure to optimize your videos on Youtube for SEO. Write interesting titles and descriptions. Add a link back to your website, products, and services. Give potential customers the way to take the next step. And explore the world of interactive videos, to encourage actions even more.

5. Video Appeals to Mobile Users

Video and mobile go hand in hand. 90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile. From Q3 of 2013, mobile video views have grown more than 233 percent. YouTube reports mobile video consumption rises 100% every year. Since people like to watch videos on the go, and the number of smartphone users is growing, your video audience keeps getting bigger and bigger.

mobile video views

Also, Google tells us that smartphone users are twice as likely than TV viewers and 1.4 times more likely as desktop viewers to feel a sense of personal connection to brands that show video content or ads on their devices.

smartphone-video-viewer-preferences-google

The growth of mobile video means, brands need to be sensitive to the personal experience people have on their smartphones. For example, give them a better choice in the video content they consume.

6. Video Marketing Can Explain Everything

Are you launching a new product or a service? Create a video to show how it works. 98% of users say they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. That is why 45% of businesses who use video marketing said that they have an explainer video on their home page. Of those businesses, 83% said that their homepage explainer video was effective.

Trying to explain a difficult concept? Create animated videos. Animation can bring concepts to life that no text or live video can. Besides, boring talking heads are not enough anymore to break through the clutter. Animated videos are a perfect combination of entertainment, nostalgia, and simplicity. And they work.

physics-and-ballet

Make sure you use a process that will get you results. Use these 20 pre-production steps to make your video content stand out from the rest. Check out the essential tips and examples of best practices on how to make a product demo video.

7. Video Engages Even the Laziest Buyers

Video is a great tool for learning, but it’s also super easy to consume. Today’s life is too busy to have time to read long product descriptions or dig deep into services. The modern customer wants to see the product in action. Video preference is one of the most important driving forces of using video in your content marketing.

lazy-animal

Video marketing can capture a wide audience, and it works on many levels. Even the laziest ones. Make sure you target not only to the eyes but also to the ears of the potential client. Your competitive advantage gets double power!

video marketing statistics

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8. Video Encourages Social Shares

In the 8th annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report Michael Stelzner stated that 60% of the social marketers used video content in 2015 and 73% of the total respondents planned to use it in 2016. And they sure did.

Social networks also encourage video content with their new features. Facebook has launched 3600 Video, Live Video, and Lifestage (A Video-Centric App for Teenagers). Instagram put in place 60-Second Videos & Instagram Stories, Twitter has Periscope. And YouTube is the second most popular social network in the world.

However, in a social media context, video marketers must remember that people share emotions, not facts. 76% of users say they would share a branded video with their friends if it was entertaining. So create fun entertaining videos to encourage social shares. Emotions are not exactly ROI but social shares can increase traffic to your site, and you can take it from there.

people-share-emotions

Bonus Tip 1: Video Ads Work Wonders

Hear this: the average click-through-rate of video ads is 1.84%. That’s the highest CTR of all digital ad formats! And for a 15-second non-skippable YouTube video ad the completion rate is 92%. For skippable video ads, the rate is 9%.

youtube-video-ads-graph

Video ads are also highly effective on social media platforms. Facebook, clubbed with Nielsen, projected the value of video ads on its platform. They learned that 74% of the total Ad Recall can be achieved already within the first 10 seconds of the video. So, fight against banner blindness by making video ads instead.

Bonus Tip 2: Video Is Rocking Email Campaigns

When you’re creating videos already, make sure you to incorporate them into your email marketing campaigns. An introductory email that includes a video receives an increase click-through rate by 96%! That’s a great way to stand out from competition and get your message across.

New Event Planning Trends

The new year is well under way, and all of us in the event space are watching out for the new trends that’ll continue to influence our work throughout 2019. So what’s changed, and what can we expect to see going forward? At all ends of the spectrum – from shrinking budgets to investment in advanced technology – there are several trends you should add to your watch list. Here are the five I’m paying attention to this year:

1. Shrinking Budgets

You’d think that, given that the Oxford Economics and Events Industry Council reports that “meetings generated $1,294 of spending per participant,” event and meeting planners would be given budgetary free rein to produce the kinds of events needed to generate these economic returns.And yet, according to a new survey conducted by Event Manager Blog Editor Julius Solaris and released during his “Event Trends for 2019” educational session at IMEX America in Las Vegas, 55.5% of respondents cited “shrinking budgets” as a concern in 2019 – the highest response rate out of any concern reported.

It could be that shrinking budgets are occurring because events are being asked to compete against the greater number of channels in today’s marketing landscape. Or it could be that organizers haven’t yet succeeded in reporting their ROI or justifying their impact on a company’s bottom line. Regardless, it seems likely that planners will be asked to do more with less in 2019, which makes selecting the right event technology tools even more important than before.

2. Event Personalization

Those event planners facing shrinking budgets won’t want to hear this one, but event personalization is likely to continue impacting meeting and event organization and outcomes in 2019.

For an example of just how extreme event personalization can get, consider the C2 Montréal 2018 event – attended by more than 7,000 participants. Cramer reports that “Between the Conference Blocks, Conference Sessions, and Labs, there were literally 11 different ways for every attendee to experience every hour of the three day event.”

Event personalization extends beyond offering multiple sessions and tracks so that attendees can customize their own experiences. An increasing number of events are adopting non-traditional layouts and session formats as part of their personalization efforts. For an extreme example of these alternatives, take “silent conferences,” which make use of technology so that multiple speakers can present in the same space while attendees toggle between the audio feeds of each according to their own preferences.

3. Adoption of Advanced Technology

While I’m on the subject of technology, it’s worth exploring the explosion of advanced products and systems that have the potential to influence events in 2019 and beyond:

  • Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which could make it possible for event speakers and exhibitors to present experiential learning experiences beyond simple lectures or presentations.
  • The expansion of 5G networks, which could facilitate new forms of technological connectivity as their adoption grows.
  • Increased use of RFID systems for everything from cashless payment systems at events and on show floors, to attendee data capture at every stage of event participation.

These three forms of advanced technology barely scratch the surface of what I expect we’ll see in the event space in the next few years. I’m keeping an eye on these trends (as well as how practical they actually are), and I recommend you do the same.

4. Events as Experiences

Perhaps in an effort to differentiate themselves from others, meetings and events appear to be taking inspiration from experiences such as movies and music festivals.

As an example, Event shares the emerging idea of “Emotional ‘Un-Themes.’” In an article on event trends for 2019, the team reports that “The rise of un-themes involves focusing the event on an emotion or feeling rather than a tangible concept or idea.” The authors describe an event with a “dream theme,” which combined “different dream stages and elements to create varying atmospheres for the event and allowed greater freedom in the planning stage for color schemes and ideas.”

Or, take the example of Forbes’ 2018 Under 30 event in Boston. Rather than simply introduce a musical act, the event transformed into a fully-fledged music festival, featuring performances from acts like Marshmello and Wiz Khalifa.

Certainly, going to these extremes isn’t appropriate for every meeting, and the scale of each event must be taken into consideration. Think about the personalities of your attendees as well, but don’t be too quick to pigeonhole them into limited sets of experiences. Even the most traditional and buttoned-up of audiences may enjoy elements of experience-building at their events.

5. Going Back to Basics

Having said all that, I’m particularly interested in a trend predicted by the Rapier Group: going back to the basics.

Essentially, the Group reports, it’s fine to go all out if you have the money for all the technological bells and whistles available to planners today. But all the technology in the world won’t make up for failing to get core event principles right. The Group explains, “Don’t overthink things – don’t overestimate what you need to offer to create a great event. If you can get the visitor experience just right – which doesn’t need to include flashy tech and an over-amped budget – and delight delegates at every turn, you’re sure to succeed.”

In particular, the Group calls out “ensuring amazing website functionality, a straightforward ticket ordering process, an effortless journey to and from the venue, a strong WiFi connection, and comfortable networking spaces” as the basics organizers should be concerned with. And although Attendease can’t rig up your venue’s WiFi or arrange car service for your attendees, we can help with the first two basics – effective website and ticketing solutions – on the Rapier Group’s list.

Event planning tools

Event planning is a stressful business. In fact, on CareerCast’s annual list of most stressful jobs, event coordinator lands just after police officer, airline pilot, and firefighter. You might not be saving lives or fighting crime — but it certainly feels like it sometimes.

Getting an event out the door requires serious multitasking and a Ninja-skill level of organization. Which is why there are so many apps on the market today — tools that can help you with just about every aspect of event organization.

Too many, in fact.

You want to spend your time focusing on doing great work, not on managing tools. The goal is to figure out which problems you’re trying to solve for, and use the right tools (and only those tools) to make it happen.

Here are the four tools you can rely on to simplify event management and become more productive. They work on their own, and they’re even better together.

Salesforce & Hubspot: Organize attendee information and maintain strong relationships

There’s no more important tool than a CRM (customer relationship management tool) for any business that cares about customers — which is every events business. With a world-class CRM like Salesforce or HubSpot, you keep all your attendee information organized.

Your CRM is particularly critical if one of the goals of your event is to generate sales or fundraising leads. Once you have customer information stored in your CRM, you can track and manage each customer’s journey over time.

But a good CRM also helps you manage vendor, sponsor, and partner relationships. So this tool can be your central hub for organizing every human aspect of your event.

Eventbrite: Simplify your ticketing and registration to drive attendance

Chances are you’re already using an online platform to sell tickets or collect registrations — but not all solutions are created equal.

Your online ticketing platform should go beyond transactions to help you manage your event end-to-end. It should also supply you with valuable data and reporting you can use to make strategic decisions at the right times. And it should help you drive attendance by integrating with attendees’ favorite apps like Facebook and Instagram.

If you use Eventbrite, you’ll get detailed insight about the people attending your event with access to visual analytics, charts, and reports. Plus the Eventbrite Organizer app helps you track ticket sales on your phone in real-time, facilitate mobile event check-in, and stay up to date with live attendance tracking.

Your event management tech should also sync automatically with your entire event planning toolkit, including…

Emma & Mailchimp: Engage potential attendees with email

73% of event professionals say email is a top marketing strategy to improve in 2019, according to a new Eventbrite survey. To get (and stay) in touch with potential attendees, there’s no better channel.

At the same time, 52% of event professionals say they think it will be more difficult to drive sales via email in 2019. That’s why an email marketing platform is critical to track your efforts and improve your sales.

Emma and MailChimp are two of the best email marketing services out there. Using them, you can:

  • Create on-brand, well-designed email campaigns
  • Organize your email contact lists by category (potential attendees versus registered attendees versus repeat attendees, for instance) and target customized messaging to each group
  • Schedule and automate the sending of emails

Bonus points if your email platform syncs with your event ticketing platform, as both Mailchimp and Emma do with Eventbrite. That way, when people buy tickets to your event, they’re automatically added to your email lists, saving you an important manual step (and preventing mistakes or the risk you’ll forget).

Asana: Manage every single detail of your event planning

This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our go-to tool for tracking all the moving parts of event planning, Asana. Asana is a work management tool that helps users plan better projects, track what’s important to their team, and produce better work, faster.

Use Asana to create a project for each event you manage and populate it with every step in your workback schedule. Then, share the project (and it’s workflows, roles, and deadlines) with anyone within your organization who touches the event, so they know who’s doing what by when, and can monitor progress as you plan.

Whether you’re in a big organization or a team of one, Asana even has a customizable event planning template to track to-dos and progress specific to event workflows. You can also integrate the tech with your other go-to tools like MailChimp and Salesforce.

World’s most lavish destination wedding venues

Coco Prive, a private island in the Maldives

Coco Prive
Courtesy of Zapwater Communications

What’s more intimate than renting out an entire island for a wedding? Not much.

That’s exactly what you can do at Coco Prive, a private island in the Maldives. The average venue rate is $45,000 per night, and includes a variety of inclusive services such as a private chef, unlimited drinks, unlimited diving and access to personal staff. According to Venue Report, the venue can only accommodate 12 people.

In total, initial costs for a wedding at Coco Prive can reach around $315,000 for a seven-night getaway wedding, based on the nightly rate provided by Venue Report.

Traveling to the Maldives isn’t cheap, either. Couples looking to be gracious hosts that are planning to pay for travel costs of their guests can expect to pay a large sum, too. A single ticket to the Maldives from New York City can cost around $1,247 on Emirates Airlines, according to pricing available from Google Flights at the time this article was written. For a party of 12, that means covering everyone’s flights could cost around $15,000 alone.

Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte

Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte
Alexander Ipfelkofer/Getty Images

Looking for a fairy tale wedding? Then look no further than the French castle Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte.

Located just outside of Paris, the chateau was the inspiration for Versailles, one of the most famous establishments in the world. It’s also the largest private estate listed as a historical monument in France.

The Grand Salon and West Wing areas of the chateau will run around $47,500, including tax. Staff and coordination fees are $6,100 and chateau insurance is $1,100, both also including tax.

For an additional cost, you can rent the library and buffet room for $24,250. How about some fireworks? That will cost around an additional $11,000 — but that doesn’t include the cleaning costs afterward.

In total, renting the chateau and having fireworks will cost about $90,000. That cost will increase once catering, lighting and other considerations are arranged.

The New York Public Library

New York Public Library
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

No, not just Carrie Bradshaw gets to have a wedding at the New York Public Library. Anyone can have their wedding here — it just comes at a hefty cost.

This massive library, first opened in 1911, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in New York City. Renting the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building starts at $60,000 and requires hiring a professional wedding planner, which can cost between $5,000 – $10,000, according to Angie’s List.

On top of the overall rental fee, the library requires some additional — and unconventional — costs.

For example, the venue’s guidelines warn couples of the potential need of a supplemental dumpster, which is not included in the rental cost. The rental fee includes a five-hour rental time; celebrations lasting longer will be charged a per hour fee. If couples want photos on the front steps next to the legendary lions (which, by the way, are named Patience and Fortitude), it will also require an additional fee and insurance costs, since they are trademarked.

Food, decorations and beverage packages are not included in the rental fee.

Umaid Bhawan Palace

Umaid Bhawan Palace
Leisa Tyler/Getty Images

For those who think they’ve never heard of Umaid Bhawan Palace, think again: Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas held their wedding ceremony and reception at the hotel in 2018. The palace, located in Jodhpur, India, is estimated to have cost the couple over $460,000 in rental fees alone for their three-day celebration, according to E! News.

According to Wedding.net, accommodations at the palace vary by how grand the wedding is intended to be. The indoor space can seat 250 people, while the outdoor space has capacity for up to 1,200 people. The cost per plate starts around $90, meaning even a modest wedding could easily serve up $20,000 or so in food costs alone, excluding tax or other add-on charges for items such as lighting, decorations, fireworks, alcohol and more.

Umaid Bhawan Palace hosts over 300 rooms and spans across 26 acres. The hotel located inside has a fine-dining restaurant, marble bathrooms and a spa. Pricing of rooms vary, but the royal bedroom suite, which sleeps up to three guests had a $1,300 nightly rate according to hotel booking information at the time of writing.

Flying to Jodhpur is costly, too; a single round-trip ticket from New York City can run around $1,500 and includes multiple layovers, according to pricing available from Google Flights at the time of writing.

Palazzo Avino

Palazzo Avino in Italy
Courtesy of Palazzo Avino
This 12th century Italian villa is located on the hill top of Ravello, a village on the Mediterranean Sea. With a town hall only 150 meters from the hotel, Palazzo Avino is the spot for the reception.

Dinner can host up to 120 people and the rental fee starts at $5,650, plus tax. Welcome cocktails start at $45 per person, hors d’oeuvres at $17 per person, and a set dinner menu at $203 per person (drinks not included). Couples wanting to rent the terrace overlooking the ocean will have to fork over an additional $565.

For a wedding reception including the maximum 120 people, this can put total costs around $38,000. Accommodations are booked separately and can cost as much as $400 per night. Assuming each room housed two guests, that could leave the bride and groom with $24,000 in accommodation costs alone.

Getting to the Amalfi Coast requires flying to Naples first, which can cost around $1,000 per ticket, according to pricing available from Google Flights at the time of writing.

Tips for destination wedding planning

Destination wedding planning, that’s what this section is all about!  Knowledge is power,  especially when it comes to planning a destination wedding.  When you know what to expect and you have the right tools, you’ll save yourself a lot of money, time and stress!  Check out all the info on this page for invaluable tips and unique ideas that will make your journey to “I do” a lot smoother.

9 Tips for Successful Destination Wedding Planning

  1. Do a site visit!

    I start with this tip because it can not only eliminate 99% of your destination wedding planning concerns but also aid with the other 8 tips on this list! More about destination wedding site visits.

  2. Excite your guests

    You’re asking friends/family to make a significant commitment of their time and money. This is their vacation too, so you should excite them about the trip.  When I got married, 95% of the people we invited showed up. I chose a fun, affordable location that was a relatively short flight from home. But most importantly, I set the tone from the moment save-the-dates went out. By the time they got formal invitations in the mail, they knew this celebration was going to be unlike anything they’d ever witnessed and they were excited to be a part of it.

  3. Do it all from home

    After all the destination wedding planning, this should be a vacation for you too. Complete as many tasks as possible while you’re still home so that when you arrive at your location, you can relax instead of running errands.  Almost everything can be done from home via e-mail or phone. Make sure you have all the details finalized and in writing before you leave.

  4. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

    Destination wedding planning requires giving up a lot of control to someone in another country who might not even be fluent in your language.  You will not be able to micro-manage every single aspect the way you would if you were tying the knot in your hometown. Don’t get so caught up in tiny details that you don’t enjoy the experience.

  5. Plan Another Event

    pre destination wedding planningWhat I’m about to advise might sound contradictory, but stay with me. You shouldn’t over-plan for your guests.  You’ve probably chosen a really nice location and you should let your guests enjoy their vacation. Planning too many events won’t leave them any free time to explore and do their own thing.  That being said, you should arrange at least one event (welcome cocktails or rehearsal dinner) prior to the big day as a way to thank your guests for making the trip.  It’s also a great opportunity for them to get to know each other. You might even be able to negotiate this for free as part of your group reservation.

  6. Send Invitations Early

    Invitations need to be mailed much earlier than a traditional hometown marriage. You have to give your guests plenty of time to request time off from work, save money, snag the best airfares, arrange for babysitting, etc… Send them out at least 2-3 months ahead of time. More on when to mail your invitations.

  7. Thank Your Guests

    As your friends and family arrive, it’s important to show them how much you appreciate them traveling the distance to be a part of your big day. Plan a welcome party or dinner, greet them with a welcome bag full of goodies like flip flops, snacks, an area map and water bottles. Another easy and inexpensive idea is to include a heartfelt thank you note in your program.

  8. Dress Appropriately

    It’s your big day so by all means, if you’ve always dreamed of a velvet, Cinderella ball gown, go for it.  But if you want to be comfortable, keep in mind your location’s climate when choosing a dress. You can go as elegant or casual as you want, but choose lighter fabrics like chiffon, organza, crepe, silk georgette or tulle. More tips and pictures of beach wedding dresses.

  9. Remember The Honeymoon

    destination wedding planning and honeymoonAfter spending days with a group of people, I can almost guarantee that you and your new spouse will be craving some alone time. The beauty of destination wedding planning is that you can combine it with your honeymoon. Instead of spending time and money jetting off to a whole other country, consider having your honeymoon in the same place.

    How?

    After you tie the knot, ditch your guests and go to another resort or town where it’s just the two of you.  I got married in touristy Cancun where I spent a week with family and friends in a massive five star resort. For my honeymoon, I headed to the more quaint town of Playa del Carmen, an hour south of Cancun and stayed in an intimate boutique hotel. I was in the same country but it felt like worlds apart.

Destination wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming if you do it properly and keep these tips in mind.