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Planning
Posted by Cayla Capri
Destination Weddings Bon Vowage
Destination weddings cover full
For the more adventuresome bride, a destination wedding can seem like the perfect way to combine two breath-taking passions: travel and the lucky guy on her arm. Truth is, with an unlimited selection of destinations- everything from a Caribbean beach to an intimate restaurant in Paris, to a theme park in the States- it can be a perfect day. Moreover, the fact that it will so effortlessly transform into the perfect honeymoon is just the icing on the wedding cake.
Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
Destination weddings do come with certain drawbacks to take into consideration (though there are ways for you to work around these proverbial bumps down the aisle.) By booking an all-inclusive wedding package, you’ll be eliminating extra costs and handing the bulk of the duties over to the resort’s coordinator. And this is wonderful and all, but before you can relax beneath a waterfall in Jamaica, or a roller coaster in Disneyland, there has to be a lot of clever, thoughtful planning on your part.
the location
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Discuss locations with your fiancé. Maybe you’ve always imagined yourself as a beach bride- barefoot with tussled hair and a crown of flowers, and maybe he’d like to get hitched in his parent’s homeland. Try and find common ground on at least three locations, because even if you plan on booking the destination well in advance, (and you should!) the resort, restaurant or reception hall may not have any openings for the times you desire.
If you’re getting married in a foreign nation, it’s important to research the country’s legal conditions and permit requirements before hopping on that plane. Sometimes, a marriage can only be certified ensuing a blood sample; other times you may need to be legally joined before the ceremony. The resort should be able to provide you with all the necessary documentation information prior to your departure.
the preparations
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You’ll be doing most of your planning over the phone, so please, ask questions! Don’t worry about appearing like a nagging bride, because you deserve to know what’s included in any sort of package your dream spot offers, and most importantly, what isn’t.
Make sure the resort gives you all the figures for any possible additional bills, like cleanup, floral arrangements, local tax, and photography. Luckily, if you go for an all-inclusive package, everything will most likely be paid for in one fell swoop, and that includes the honeymoon. But ask anyway… just in case.
Request the phone number of the official wedding organizer, and don’t be shy to use it if you have any doubts or specific demands. Make a date with him or her the week you arrive so that you can arrange for any specific needs.
Ease any additional stress by asking how many wedding functions the venue's organized in the past (this goes double for non-resorts.) If they’re comfortable and confident, you will be too.
the guests
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One of the advantages of destination weddings is that by combining everything into one neat package, your budget won’t be compromised and neither will your sanity. The best way to keep this a reality is with a modest guest list, complete with only your most intimate loved-ones.
Send out invitations well in advance, so they can make arrangements with work or babysitters.
Be understanding of those who cannot attend due to less-than-perfect financial or physical situations. If their presence at your celebration is of the utmost importance, throw a small party when you return home and invite those who did and did not come. Along with those who attended, share pictures from your exotic trip.
If narrowing down you guest list starts to feel like a ‘Sophie’s Choice’, look into packages that offer free weddings as a trade off for meeting a minimum requirement of guests.
Prepare and mass-distribute an itinerary that catalogues the schedule of events, hotel or resort pricing info, and activity suggestions. Don’t forget to include a checklist of what everyone should remember to bring.
If you’re tech-savvy, create a website for your itinerary that guests can check on a regular basis. Include a section for special requests, as in menu and room specifications, as well as food allergies.
Clearly, there’s a lot to figure out before you head off for your destination wedding. However, it’s a worthwhile pursuit if your wander lust is equal to that of the lust you feel for your fiancé. Plus, once you arrive at your desired location, any stress you felt back at home will melt away with the help of a competent team of wedding coordinators, caterers, photographers and hopefully, the hot Caribbean sun. Prices will be low, spirits will be high and mood will be unique, but most importantly, when you leave you’ll know you’ve begun a new life in a most original way.