Boracay is the most popular destination wedding island in the Philippines. It’s stunning, easy to get to, has two of the best wedding planners in the country and one of the very best wedding venues in Southeast Asia. Here are some simple tips on how to plan a destination wedding in Boracay!
1- Hire a good wedding planner
Even if you’ve visited Boracay a few times, it’s so important to hire someone on the ground who knows the latest government rules that might affect your wedding plans (how late venues can stay open, if certain activities are now banned etc), and will also have the local knowledge to refer you to the best venue options on the island (see #2 below).
The two best Boracay wedding planners are Amanda Tirol and Ronald Soncio. I’ve worked with their teams several times, and both Amanda and Ronald know all the ins and outs of planning a destination wedding there.
2- Find a great wedding venue
For such a popular island, Boracay is actually a little bit limited on great venue options for weddings. The majority of hotels are on the smaller side, and most don’t offer all that much privacy.
In 2020, there is still one clear cut option for a destination wedding venue in Boracay – Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa. It’s still one of the great resorts in the Philippines, combining refined service you’d expect with that brand, with an unparalleled property on two beaches (one private). It’s stunning, has multiple wedding ceremony venue options, and several ballrooms in case you get rained on.
I’ve had the good fortune to explore many of the top resorts in Southeast Asia, and Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort remains in the upper tier without a doubt.
3- Book your wedding photographer
There are a lot of us out there, so here’s a guide to help to choose the right photographer for your Boracay wedding.
I’ve documented several weddings in Boracay, and with its powder white sand and turquoise waters, it’s still one of my favorite places to make pictures.
But just like your event planner and venue, it’s best to try and book your photographer about a year before the wedding!
4- Book everything very early
Boracay is extremely popular, and there’s very limited space on such a small island. So, start making your venue, photographer and planner bookings as early as possible. I’d recommend at least a year in advance.
The best weather in Boracay is between November and late April. If you want to avoid rain, these are the best months to plan a wedding there. And be warned that anything around Christmas, Chinese New Year and Easter will be particularly busy.
If you want to book the Shangri-La, also a good idea to book at least a year in advance if you want a weekend wedding in the high season between January and May.
5- Dress for a beach wedding
Boracay is beautiful, but it’s also pretty hot. Dress appropriately! This doesn’t mean you have to wear t-shirts and board shorts during your wedding ceremony, but it’s also a good idea to consider a wedding dress that breathes and flows, and for the groom to wear a linen suit – great for that tropical yet formal look!
6- Get out and explore with your friends
There’s a reason Boracay is such a popular tourist destination apart from the natural beauty – there’s a ton of activities to do and explore!
From scuba diving and snorkeling to sailing, kite surfing, windsurfing, and even cliff diving, the water activities around the island are world-class.
And if you prefer to stay on dry land, there’s zip-lining, go-karting and an endless supply of other fun activities.
Perfect for a fun day out with your family and friends the day before the wedding!
7- Boracay is perfect for a Hens+Bucks night
Boracay is famous for its island nightlife, from bbq seafood restaurants to bumpin’ beach bars. Although things have been cleaned up a bit recently, you can still have a great night out on the island.
It’s perfect for an epic Hens and Bucks party night!
8- Hire one of the best makeup artists in the Philippines
A good makeup artist for destination weddings understands two fundamental things: how to work with extreme heat and humidity, and how to work with different skin tones.
I highly recommend Bea Almeda. She’s based in Manila, just a short flight over to Boracay.
9- Hire a band
Filipinos love music, and there’s an amazingly high percentage of talented singers and musicians here. Talk with your wedding planner about hiring a band for the evening.
10- Hire some fire dancers
It’s sure to impress your guests. Why not? Ask your wedding planner for details.
I hope this short guide will help you as you plan your destination wedding in Boracay.
Feel free to get in touch below for more information on Boracay wedding photography!