Wooden tables for wedding dinner decorated with tropical flowers, pineapples, coconuts and glass lamps. View of the ocean. Concept of a tropical destination wedding.

In some areas, the COVID-19 pandemic is waning while in others, concerns over variants are rising, even among the vaccinated.

Even while the coronavirus continues to evolve, weddings are still being planned, including destination weddings. If your dreams still include traveling somewhere magical, keep reading. We’ve got hot advice for keeping you safe and your dreams intact.

Be Flexible

The best advice experts from Brides magazine can give about planning a destination right now is to be flexible and be prepared. As restrictions lift in some areas, people are rushing to finalize wedding plans. But pay attention to health risks, including news on variants and travel restrictions, and to government COVID-19 guidelines.

“Unfortunately, we’ve seen that these two do not always align — sometimes laws being too lax when risks are high and sometimes being too strict when risks are low,” Annie Lee from Daughter of Design and Plannie told Brides. “There has been an unpredictability and capriciousness to when local government officials update COVID-19 rules, so couples continue to plan for both hopeful and cautious scenarios until this is truly all behind us.”

Play It Safe

Whatever you decide to do, make the best health decision for both you and your guests. And that means guarding your mental health, too. Consider taking some of the stress out of any upcoming nuptials by downsizing guest lists and making decisions as far out as you can, including for the next year.

“It will be nearly impossible to secure the right talent once the world opens back up,” Alison Laesser Keck of Alison Bryan Destinations told Brides. “Book everything as soon as possible! Whether you’re doing this by yourself or with a planner, you’ll want to book many of your vendors simultaneously as your venue to guarantee availability.”

Hiring a Planner

A destination wedding, with the added layers of travel and now a pandemic, is much more complicated than your average wedding. Hiring a planner that specializes in destination weddings can help make your big day as stress-free as possible.

“Definitely get one on board before you sign any contracts,” Laesser-Keck says. “There are COVID-19 policies and other things to negotiate. Now, more than ever, these strategies are vital. Also, if you have to postpone again, your planner’s relationships with vendors will be everything.”