destination wedding tips

No one knows destination weddings quite like Morgan Childs of Moana Events because she plans weddings here in Hawaii – one of the top destination wedding spots in the world! Couples from Japan, Australia, Russia, Greece, the mainland US – you name it – they come here to get married and it’s easy to see why.

Destination Wedding Tips

For this week’s vendor spotlight Morgan is sharing her top destination wedding tips along with images from What A Day! Photography of a destination wedding that she recently did here for Jen & Stavros on the island of Oahu!

destination wedding invitations Destination Wedding Tips / Moana Events / What A Day! Photography powder blue wedding cake

From Morgan – 

1. Get a local wedding planner who knows the area and has great reviews. There are so many variables that go into traveling for your big day that a planner is the best money you can spend. You want an experienced professional who can guide you through the process and provide valuable advice about local vendors, expected costs and potential pitfalls.

2. Do your research. There are many things to take into consideration when planning a wedding in a faraway location. You want to keep in mind major things like the weather, availability of accommodations, local holidays, passport issues, different marriage license requirements, etc. There are many reasons why you should get married in an exotic destination, but if the costs or headaches outweigh the benefits, it is best to know before you send out your invites.

mint and white tablescape / Moana Events / What A Day! Photography orange and pink bouquet

3. Keep in mind that a wedding cost is a per person cost, so the more people you invite, the more people you will need to host. Couples tend to think that not as many people will travel for their wedding, but these days destination weddings are so common that guest counts are likely to be higher than expected. So, keep that in mind when creating your invitation list.

4. Have a wedding website. Wedding guests who are traveling to be with you on your big day are going to have a lot of questions on where to stay, how to get places and what to do once they are there. Help them out by creating a website where they can access this information anytime they are ready to book their travel arrangements.

destination wedding tips / Moana Events / What A Day! Photography Hawaii destination wedding

5. Always send a Save the Date for a destination wedding. You should give your guests 9 to 12 months to plan for your wedding out-of-state. That way they can find affordable flights and accommodations as well as make time on their calendars.

6. Provide multiple opportunities for your guests to get together with each other. One of the best things about a destination wedding is the amount of time that you get to spend with your guests. To maximize this time and to make your guests more comfortable on vacation, create times and locations beforehand where everyone can meet up outside of the wedding day. You don’t need to host all of these events, but making time for welcome cocktails, activities, and a day-after brunch will really create a memorable destination event.

photo booth props Hawaii wedding Destination wedding tips from Moana Events

Aren’t those great tips from Moana Events?! I am especially fond of the last one. Anything to extend the celebration is an awesome piece of advice in my book!


Photography: What A Day! Photography // Coordination: Moana Events // Reception Venue: Private Estate in Aina Haina, Oahu // Floral Design: Paiko // Cake: Cake Works // Makeup: Leslie Fair // Catering: Hale Aina // Lighting & Rentals: Accel Rentals // Transportation: Cloud 9 Limo.

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About Sara Burnett

Editor of Burnett's Boards, which she founded to showcase global creativity in the wedding industry. Sara currently lives out of a suitcase while island hopping the Caribbean and beyond. Learn More // Follow on Instagram.


  1. Such great tips!

  2. Really handy destination wedding tips, and what lovely images too!

  3. Completely agree with all points, very good post!!

  4. Great tips and looks like lots of fun in those images


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