Destination Wedding Tips
Throw a destination wedding beyond all expectations!
A destination wedding will never go out of style. Turning your celebration into a weekend (or week!) surrounded by the people you love — with a wedding in the middle — sounds totally irresistible! There are so many gorgeous destination wedding locations stateside or within a few hours of a major U.S. airport, but if you’re going to go for it, why not just go for it? From the Caribbean to Europe, a far-flung locale will turn your destination wedding into an adventure you and your guests will remember for the rest of your lives.
Thank you for taking the time to visit us. We are your source for customized honeymoon vacations and destination weddings. Our Destination Wedding Planners are here to assist you with planning your wedding experience – tailor-made to your specific needs. In addition, our Destination Wedding Planners will plan your destination wedding in one of our many exotic locations – whether it be an inviting tropical beach or the excitement and sophistication of popular cities.
It’s often less expensive
Add up the travel, the dress, the reception bill, and you may be surprised to find out that destination weddings are often less expensive than traditional weddings. This is because they generally involve many fewer guests, and resorts and hotels offer all-inclusive deals. For couples looking to create a really memorable occasion without breaking the bank, destination weddings are a perfect option. Here are some helpful tips to help you plan your destination wedding:
Do you want an elaborate bash with all your friends, like Tiger Woods, who rented an entire resort in Barbados? Or would you prefer the Cindy Crawford approach? The supermodel invited only close friends and immediate family for her Paradise Island wedding. The size of your guest list will determine the size of your budget.
If you’re watching your dollars, opt for less expensive destinations or destinations that offer a wide range of dining and lodging options. If you wed in at a top travel spot, consider choosing an off-season date, and explore local neighborhoods with less touristy price tags for other aspects of your event, like your rehearsal dinner.
Your Guest List
At every wedding, there’s usually someone who has traveled some distance to be a part of the festivities. At a destination wedding, nearly everyone travels, including the bride and groom. That being the case, unless you’re Madonna (who footed the bill for all of her guests at her Scotland wedding) it’s best to accept the fact that your wedding may not be large. After all, not everyone can afford the expenditures of hotel and airfare. But that doesn’t mean you should count on guests declining your invitation. Some wedding destinations, particularly fabulous vacation areas, are just too tempting to resist — even if they are expensive.
Give Your Guests A Heads Up
It’s important to give your guests as much advance notice about your wedding as possible. That means sending out save-the-date cards a minimum of five months in advance so your guests can make the necessary travel and vacation arrangements. Reserve a block of rooms at two hotels in different price ranges, and direct all your invitees to your Wedding Website, where you can post all your wedding details and out-of-town guest Information. If your wedding is in another country, consider reserving a block of seats with an airline. Many carriers offer discounts to passengers with groups over ten.
Unless you plan to hop on a plane once a week, you should have someone physically at your wedding location to help you plan, scout for vendors, and handle meetings and details. This person can be a professional wedding planner, a friend or family member who lives nearby, or most likely a resort or hotel wedding coordinator. Whoever you choose, your on-location contact must be reliable, familiar with your wedding style, and aware of your wedding budget.
If you are getting married at a resort, tourist destination, or hotel, consider asking your concierge or ceremony/reception site contact to recommend a wedding planner, or help coordinate the details. Even better, some hotels and resorts have on-site wedding coordinators and customizable wedding packages, so your event can be perfectly planned while you’re literally worlds away. If you have the option, be sure to take advantage of all the services you have available to you.
Determine which decisions are best left to your coordinator, and which you prefer to make yourself. However you split up the tasks, it is imperative you make your requests as specific as possible. You will probably visit your location before the event, so make the best of your time “on location.” You might want to have your coordinator screen several possible vendors, so you can make a quick, final decision.
If you are getting married in another state or country, you will need a local marriage license, and possibly a passport. The passport is simple; just be sure to apply well in advance of your wedding date. Getting the marriage license can be slightly trickier, especially in a foreign country. Contact the local city hall (if you don’t speak their language, get an interpreter!) and get permission to be married in the location. Some places require blood tests, immunization certificates, or doctor’s certificates in order for you to legally marry. No matter where you are getting married, it is best to find out as much as possible in advance. There may be unexpected requirements, such as an established residency, a waiting period, or a certain number of witnesses. For more information about the specifics of getting married in different countries, visit the US State Department at www.state.gov.
I Do, Take Two: 10 Reasons Why Destination Weddings are Perfect for Second Marriages
A second wedding is a second chance for your clients to create a unique and memorable life together. Most brides and grooms have already experienced the traditional hometown wedding the first time, so the second time really calls for a more intimate experience. Chances are, finances are better than the first time around and parental persistence isn’t as intense, so this wedding can be as personalized as possible. Here are 10 reasons behind why one-third of destination weddings are second marriages.
- Your clients have a been-there-done-that attitude, so they already know the dos and don’ts, allowing this to be the most personalized wedding ever.
- Destination weddings are distant events, with no comparison between the first and second wedding. It can be intimate and romantic or an upscale multi-day celebration!
- A destination wedding allows a honeymoon or vacation to continue their celebration. The newlyweds can spend more than a few hours with their loved ones and after the big day is the beginning of their honeymoon celebration.
- Guests experience the ultimate vacation, since they’ll typically arrive a few days early, getting to know each other with a once-in-a-lifetime reunion opportunity for close friends and family. Guests can explore and create a memorable experience of their own.
- Choosing a destination wedding is an exciting way to reduce the increasing cost of traditional weddings, since they’re typically priced in a package and almost everything is included! Plus, are decorations really necessary with views of emerald oceans, floral gardens and mystic mountains alongside the ceremony? Typically resorts offer special wedding rates for guests too, so it’d be an even cheaper vacation than originally planned.
- With family involved, children can be a part of the big day. From being the ring bearer, best man or maid of honor, officiant or giving their mother away, a destination wedding is a perfect way to really create a bond together as a new family.
- Destination weddings can accommodate any size but only 20 percent of invited guests end up joining in on the fun, so it’s a great way to trim down the guest list; on average close to 60 guests will attend a destination wedding. So whether your clients are expecting a grand or intimate wedding celebration, a destination wedding can easily accommodate any size.
- When is the last time your clients have celebrated alfresco in January? Now is their chance to start a New Year and new beginning under the sun in the Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida or Costa Rica, which all happen to fall under the most popular destinations.
- You’ll really get to know your clients because you’ll be asking more than the basic questions of where, when and how. You’ll be cutting into the cake a bit further by figuring out why they want that specific location, what their expectations are and their love story.
- A fresh start for both the bride and groom begins with their dream wedding. Destination weddings are considered simpler and faster, since the couple puts all of their trust in travel agents like you that will take care of the majority, so stress is left at home.