Monday, April 1, 2013

10 Tips for a Beautiful Destination Wedding

If you are thinking about traveling to an exotic destination to get married, be aware of what you may encounter in a faraway location. Here are ten things to consider before you are enticed by the beautiful setting and the tropical breezes.

1. Some loved ones won’t come. You may have a long list of guests that are near and dear to you, however when it comes to shelling out $3000 to $4000 for their trip, even the best of friends may have to decline. To increase the chances of loved ones attending, consider choosing a month when folks would have elected to take their vacation anyway, such as January or February.

2. Has your travel agent ever coordinated a destination wedding? Under no circumstances should you work with a travel professional who has not been to the destination that you have in mind. Ask to see their photos from their last trip and inquire about their relationship with the wedding staff.

3. Will your wedding dress safely make the trip? That dress with the super long train from a bridal magazine that you have had your eye on may not be the most practical for a destination wedding. Remember that you have to get it there. This means that if your aircraft does not have a closet, you will have to put it in the overhead bin.

4. Do you envision the small details of your wedding reception to be exactly like what you would get if you had your reception locally? Perhaps you love your local bakery because they make your favorite red velvet cake. Or perhaps you have your heart set on a bouquet of calla lilies dyed your favorite shade of aquamarine. These small details may not be available at your destination.

5. Will the resort accommodate everyone on your guest list? For example, if an elderly relative is attending, is the resort easy to get around without a lot of stairs? Or, is it a couples resort and if so, where will the guests stay that are bringing children?

6. You won’t be able to taste the food prior to arriving on site. At a local venue at home you will most likely attend a tasting to determine your reception menu. At a destination wedding, you have to rely on someone who has been to the resort.

7. Your favorite photographer probably will not be making the trip with you. Ask to see examples of wedding photographs so you won’t be disappointed.

8. Ditto for hair and makeup. Don’t wait until you get to the resort to find out if you can get the hairstyle that you envisioned.

9. Do you want to spend your honeymoon with all your guests? If not, you may want to consider going to a different resort the day after the wedding.

10. Does the resort have private areas for the ceremony or will you be getting married alongside lounge chairs filled with sun worshippers? Ask to see the various locations on the resort and the times of day when you can tie the knot. If you have your heart set on sunset wedding you may have to reserve this time slot in advance.

There are other issues that can make the easy, beautiful and romantic destination wedding your worst nightmare. The success of all great weddings, whether simple or elaborate, boils down to coordination. The first step is to pick a destination wedding specialist and onsite wedding team to make sure that your special day will be customized to your liking.

Here are four simple tips to minimize problems:

1. Once you have booked your destination, get every detail of the wedding in writing so that there are no surprises or miscommunications. Make sure that your requests are itemized and priced accordingly.

2. Give your guests as much notice as possible since there is travel involved. By sending out your invitations immediately after you have booked the wedding, they will have access to the best air and hotel rates.

3. Make sure that you have your birth certificates and/or divorce decrees on hand. You will need to provide these wedding documents to the wedding coordinator so that your marriage license can be processed.

4. Ask about any extras that the resort can provide based on the size of your group. You may be able to score a room upgrade or a free room depending on the number of guests booked at the resort.

With the help of a knowledgeable wedding specialist, getting hitched in paradise can go off without a hitch.

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