First Things First
Deciding where you're going is obviously the first thing to do, 'cause you can't very well book the reception hall (or lanai) in an apparition of a place. Here are some factors that might help you reach a decision:
Cost. If price is a consideration, plan to do comparison shopping. Season. You want to get married in August in Miami? Keep in mind that late summer is the height of hurricane season in the Atlantic! Travel. If you know that the farther away the wedding, the less likely it is that your family will show, that should narrow down your choices a bit. Accessibility. Is it easy to find out about this place? If you've called and e-mailed for information to no avail, that's not a good sign.
After you've taken care of these issues, you can move on to the more specific decisions, including choosing an exact date, looking through the various packages, and personalizing your ceremony. These decisions will be made infinitely easier when you speak to the site's wedding coordinator.
Do I have to hire a wedding coordinator at a destination wedding site?
The coordinator is almost always included in a destination wedding package and is a vital source of information. He or she is your primary contact and can offer recommendations when you're unsure at any given point during the wedding planning. This person will also fill in the blanks (by answering your many questions) during the wedding planning process.