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Choose Your Style Of Destination Wedding

Todays Date: November 17, 2018

Planning a destination wedding can seem romantic and wildly creative but can quickly turn into a swampy mess if you let it run away from you! Check out these tips for choosing what type of stress-free wonderful wedding get-away best suits you. Remember, it should not only be the wedding of your dreams, but a vacation that is truly enjoyable for both you and your guests.

Before we delve into the choices, please be aware that if you are a “control freak” this may be difficult for you. Other countries may not operate in the timely manor and customs that you’re used to and you may be communicating with someone in their second language. Patience is going to be your best friend and you must learn to relinquish control as well as place a great deal of trust in your planner. If these are aspects you will not be able to handle you should either plan on going down frequently to arrange/approve all aspects of the wedding in addition to arriving ahead of time or not have a destination wedding.

What type of wedding are you interested in having?

A small adventure or beach ceremony with 10 people or less? Or something a little larger/more formal with a reception,meal, ceremony, etc.? Come up with a comfortable budget (understanding you’ll most likely end up spending a bit more) and guest list and narrow your choices down from here. Have you and your partner write down your goals and dreams in a wedding ceremony. Compare your lists and see which apply to both of you, are aspects you MUST have included and which are points you’re (both!) willing to compromise on.

The Adventure Ceremony

Small adventure ceremonies can easily be planned with the help of a local tour group. Most countries have tour groups that specialize in customizable tours that you can tailor almost to a tee. Ask them for suggestions and give them some guidelines as to what you’re interested in doing for a super awesome itinerary that has a little bit of local flare and a little bit of yours for a lovely memorable occasion. In this instance most of the planning will most likely be on your end. You’ll need to inform guests as to appropriate attire, what to bring and provide them with an itinerary. Your best bet is to prepare an FAQ and mail it to guests with the invitation and a revised cliff notes version a month before you leave for the adventure. You want your guests to be happy and prepared not surprised and cranky! Create some personalized wedding favors that are both useful and personal that guests can enjoy both while on vacation and once back at home. Customized koozies are a super-fun favor that can be personalized with just about anything you want them to say.

The Beach Ceremony

Similarly, with a beach ceremony you can either contact a tour group or set it up on your own with the help of a smaller local hotel and/or contact. Do your due diligence and research beaches, weather for that time of year and realistically choose decorations that aren’t fragile or difficult to transport. This option is perhaps the most “free” of the 3 in that you’ll really need to be flexible with your expectations. If you don’t have a local contact, plan on arriving perhaps a week ahead of your guests and take your time gathering what you’ll need to create your special day.

When planning an outdoor ceremony, always, always, ALWAYS have a back-up plan in mind. This will certainly reduce any stress and anxiety over whether, an “integral guest” who cancelled at the last minute, a hotel that didn’t deliver on some of your requests, etc. Keep in mind, no matter what,your guests are attending to be a part of a loving and momentous occassion in your life. Whether or not the roses are hot pink or fuchsia will not be something they remember, whether or not you were relaxed and happy will be.

Resort Ceremony

Looking for more of a resort experience? Large hotel and resort chains often have an entire department dedicated to wedding planning. They often provide varying degrees of menus depending on the amount of people and style of wedding you’re interested in having. Packages can be as comprehensive as including a ceremony space and as customizable as choosing your wedding “a la carte”. Prices also often include table clothes and silverware and can even include flower arrangment and music packages.

The wedding planner at the resort is sure to be choc full of helpful information and will be your much needed liason for planning. Spend some time and chat with him/her about your visions for your wedding day. Give her a specific theme and guidelines as well as executive decisions you’d like her to make. Establish a time to check in and which mode of communication is most convenient for the two of you (email, phone, fax, etc.).

Be sure to keep all records of expenditures and receipts to prevent any disputes over the final bill and make sure you clearly understand everything that is included. It is generally a good idea to try and take a trip down with your partner to be a few months before the big day so you have a clear idea of how everything looks. If time and/or budget don’t permit for a trip down, ask your planner to send you some pics! She’s working hard to make sure your big day is exactly as you want it. Be clear about your expectations and she’ll be clear about whether or not they can be delivered. Don’t expect her to know what you want and establish a solid relationship early on.

Legal Ease:

While having the ceremony abroad is a wonderfully romantic and easily customizable idea, the actual legalities can be quite tricky. Each country has their own (often unique) set of laws and requirements for what constitutes a legal marriage. Your best bet will often be to have a small civil ceremony in your home state (in front of a judge) either before or after the getaway. Explain to your local contact that you’d like a priest, rabbi, spiritual advisor and where you’d like to have your ceremony. Take advantage of the intimate ceremony and include guests as participants.

Establish a list of contacts and phone numbers before heading to your destination so that you can arrive and hit the ground running. Create a free blog guests can refer to if they don’t remember a bit of information you’ve sent. Update the blog with automatic weather widgets, current events at your destination and an itinerary. Guests can comment and coordinate flights with each other making the experience all the moer personal. Most important, enjoy! It’s your wedding day!

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