Hundreds of thousands of couples celebrate their nuptials with a destination wedding each year. While many of these weddings take place at resorts where the details are taken care of, some couples are looking beyond all-inclusives and adding local flare.

Including authentic experiences in destination weddings is predicted to be a popular trend in 2018. Give your guests a true Mexican, Italian or Caribbean adventure with décor, music and food inspired by local culture.

Invest time into learning about celebrations, weddings and everyday life in your host country. A local wedding planner and hotel staff are great resources. Then, incorporate authentic elements into your ceremony and reception respectfully.

Just a Taste

Adding a small taste of local flavor into your reception is easy. Use décor inspired by traditional celebrations, such as colorful papel picado in Mexico. You can also send guests home with favors created by local artisans. Jewelry, ceramics and local food are generally available no matter where your wedding is taking place.

Adding Authenticity

Local food and drinks can easily be added to your rehearsal dinner or reception menu. Add in a few side dishes based on local cuisine. Serve locally distilled rum at a Caribbean wedding or choose wines from nearby vineyards in Italy. If you’re hesitant to use local elements in your wedding, treat guests to native entertainment or an authentic excursion before or after your big day.

Dive In to Local Culture

To take advantage of your unique location, consider moving your ceremony off the resort property. Places of worship nearby may open their arms to you and your guests for a truly special wedding ceremony. Find a local musician to play your ceremony and reception. You can likely request many of the same songs you would from a musician at home, played with local flare.

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