Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Consider having a Destination Wedding

If you can afford it, a destination wedding is a fabulous way to start off your marriage. Many honeymoon resorts have facilities, a place to hold a wedding ceremony and a reception with a caterer, find you an officiant, and provide you with a wedding cake in addition.  Friends and relatives often would love to join you for a wedding at an exotic place, it's a vacation for them too.  Who comes though, depends on their affordability and you might help their chances of coming by finding affordable solutions for your guests.

A destination wedding is called by many other names, location wedding, elopement wedding, and weddingmoon (wedding plus honeymoon). You make the destination wedding any way you want it, it can be a simple ceremony between the two of you, a small ceremony at a romantic destination with close family and friends, or a large destination wedding shared with many enjoying a fabulous good time and a good excuse for a vacation with many family and friends that you know.

The location where you have your destination wedding, must fit your budget and style, will it be a tropical paradise, a hotel resort, a French chateau, an elaborate estate, on top of a ski slope, or a beautiful fall or spring wedding with beautiful scenery. Pick a place that you always dreamed of and be sure the place you pick can accommodate your wedding guests.

Find your wedding guests with have a great place to stay, help them find discounts, find a lower airfare, have multiple options, find a great place for those that can afford it and also find a cheaper nice place to stay for those who have to watch their money.  When making arrangements for a destination location make sure everyone books early for flights, as for many destination locations, there are limited flights to many spots and many flights often fill very early. It's a good idea to find a travel agent that will organize your wedding parties travel arrangements. Make sure the travel agent has expert knowledge of the destination wedding location. It would be great if many of your wedding guests can share the same flight and talk about old times and make new friends and if they bond together, they might find someone to do things with, at the destination.

Also find places of interest for them, pick up a travel guide for that location.  It is a good idea to fly down in advance and check out places to stay and locations and activities of interest and share that information with family and friends interested in attending. Create your personal brochure to send to your wedding guests, maybe get your hands on or create a map of the wedding destination. Inform your guest that they will be required to bring a passport, and if they don't have one, how can they get one, and let them know that the passport processing often takes a couple of months. Include important addresses and phone numbers in the brochure including local doctor, pharmacy, travel agency, rental car, as well as contacts for the places you recommend to stay, and for the ceremony and wedding reception locations. Also include a few restaurants to eat at during the week, find restaurants at different levels of the price spectrum, find fancy expensive, middle of the road, and very inexpensive restaurants.

Also you want to become aware of legal requirements for getting married at a destination.  Is there a residency requirement? are there marriage fees? do the documents need to be transcribed to the local language?, is there a public notice that must be posted? can you bring your own officiant? etc.  You need to consider how to handle wedding gifts, maybe leave instructions to leave them with family or a friend back home. You should gather and forward advice on how your guests can access money, at the destination location, can they use the almighty dollar, or do they need to convert money to the local currency. If so, where can they convert currency, is it by converting monies at a bank at the airport or local hotel, or can they use an ATM for conversion and where might you find ATMs at the airport, the place your guests are staying, and at the ceremony and reception locations

It's also a good idea to pack one outfit in each others luggage if one of the pieces of luggage were to become lost or stolen.  Make sure to keep cameras, jewelry, sunglasses, prescriptions, suntan lotion, bug spray, itinerary documents with you and always keep all these things in sight when you are traveling.  Make sure to take photos and a few videos of your destination wedding or you will deeply regret for not taking them sometime later.

Unless you are planning a destination wedding in Las Vegas, you will need to start researching and planning your wedding as early as possible. Unless you know the wedding destination well, it is advisable to work with a bridal consultant that is very familiar with the destination location. A bridal consultant that knows and has a relationship with many wedding vendors at the destination. Someone to help find you and take care of all your wedding needs such as finding you a caterer, wedding cake, decorator, florist, ceremony and reception location, photographer, videographer, dj's, and wedding musicians. Some of the more reputable destination wedding planners are listed below.

Destination Wedding Planner Websites

When traveling to your destination wedding location, always get there a few days in advance of the wedding to insure there are no problems with the paperwork and that the paperwork gets processed. Also you want to nail the details with all the wedding vendors and it's helpful to know them in person before the wedding. Getting there early helps the body recover from jet lag, so you can enjoy your wedding instead of being tired with jet lag fatigue. Many island locations allow weddings only from Monday through Friday, and many of these places recommend having your wedding either near sunrise or sunset, it's just too uncomfortably hot for your wedding guests to have the wedding when the sun is high, you don't want to fainting from the heat.

It's also a good idea to leave a gift basket or bag in each room for your arriving guests. Include suntan lotion, bug spray, bottled water, delicious munchies, and items that remind them of the area. You also want to leave them a map of the area and your brochure of things to do, places to see and restaurants to eat at both on the expensive side as well as the cheap side.

Be sure all agreements with all your wedding vendors are in writing before paying for anything, try to be sure your vendors have references and check the references out before booking. In some instances, you may be able to get drink tickets or bar beads and pay for a certain amount of drinks instead of an open bar. You also might want to work out drink check arrangements in the event you have a rehearsal dinner type of arrangement the night before the wedding.

The top American destination wedding location place is for Disney World in Orlando Florida, and it's also one of the more popular destination locations for weddings for the International jet set too. After Disney World the next top 10 preferred American destination locations is as follows.

Top Destination Wedding Locations for American Couples

1. Hawaii
2. New York City
3. San Francisco
4. Miami/South Beach
5. Las Vegas
6. New Orleans
7. Aspen, Colorado
8. Lake Tahoe
9. Martha's Vineyard
10. Napa Valley

Top Destination Wedding Locations for Americans to Foreign Countries

1. Paris, France
2. Rome, Italy
3. Venice, Italy
4. Bahamas
5. Florence, Italy
6. Sydney, Australia,
7. London, England
8. Tahiti
9. French Riviera
10. Fiji

Now if you are looking for a fabulous destination wedding resort to get married at, the following places, listed below are some of the most beautiful places to get married in the world. Check these locations out!

Destination Wedding Resort Location Websites

Example of Save The Date Memo for a Destination Wedding

Save the Date!  "Bride's Name" and "Groom's Name" are getting married on "Wedding Date" in "Country of Wedding Destination" at the "Wedding Destination Location".  Please let us know if you can celebrate with us or if you won't be able to (or if not just not sure yet!). "Email" or call us at "Phone Number". For travel arrangements contact "Travel Agent's Name", our Travel Agent at "Travel Agent's Phone Number".

Remember, you will need a Passport to Travel to this location. The flight to this location will book early, please let us know your RSVP by "Date of Commitment", we truly hope you can celebrate this wonderful occasion with us!

Some destination wedding locations require a religious ceremony and some do not. It is highly recommended to visit and check the destination wedding location, preferably in the season you are to be married, may be a year before your wedding. It is a significant financial commitment to ask someone to attend your wedding at a destination wedding, don't be offended if some of your guests say they can not attend. Another thing is to have patience in getting RSVPs back and give your wedding guests plenty of time to make their decision.

So if you want your wedding time to be extra special and you are able to pull the funding together for it, consider a destination wedding location to get married and it will be fabulous and a memorable occasion for both and your wedding guests.

See you on the other side!

No comments:

Post a Comment