Thursday, May 29, 2008

Planning the Destination Wedding of Your Dreams

Planning a destination wedding is often much simpler than a traditional one however, there are some key steps you have to follow to make sure this wedding meets all your expectations.

1) Search the Internet, libraries, and travel agencies to determine where you want to have your wedding. You have the whole world from which to choose, but remember exotic distant locales can be cost-prohibitive and prove difficult for people to attend. You may be able to have your wedding somewhere closer to home and yet still maintain that exotic aura you are seeking!

Some popular places that cater to destination weddings are:
· Hawaii
· Mexican resorts
· Las Vegas
· Europe
· Bali
· The Caribbean
· California

2) Make certain you know and understand what legalities are involved if you marry outside the United States (even if you are both U.S. citizens – and don’t even get me started if one of you is from another country!)

When my cousins decided on a destination wedding in Punta Cana, Mexico, they got past all the issues of the marriage license, health exams, and blood tests in a foreign country by getting their license at home and being married in a quick civil ceremony by a judge so that their marriage was legal in the U.S.

3) Hire a wedding planner/consultant who specializes in destination weddings. Many websites, such as The Wedding Experience, as well as local travel or wedding planners can assist you in making all the right choices. The advantage to having this person is that the bride and groom don’t have to handle all the little details and a wedding consultant specializing in destination weddings has all the right contacts at the different locations. He or she even has access to a number of packages that will supply:

a. Hotel rooms at a group rate
b. Airfare specials
c. Ceremony sites
d. Cake and reception packages, champagne toasts, etc.
e. Excursion activities

4) Email all your prospective guests a Save the Date announcement with all details including the date, destination, and package amenities at least 4-6 months in advance of the wedding. They need to make travel plans if they can come (or enough time to notify you well before the event that they are not able to make it).

A nice gesture is to email all the guests before you finalize the date and offer them a couple of different days. Survey them: ask which day is better for them if you want to ensure they can come for the destination wedding week or weekend. One you have handled these matters, then you and your destination wedding team can set up a website for your guests to check on the plans.

You can also discuss all the amenities you are seeking and can afford, and you can let your planner follow your instructions to make this the most amazing day of your life.

No comments: