In May 2009, I stood beside my friend, watching as she promised to be another’s till death due she part. A cool breeze cooled my body as rings were exchanged. The blazing sun bounced off the diamond as she waved to guests. Then there were the photos. I walked along the beach, as a part of the wedding party, and posed with the bride and other bridesmaids. Our long turquoise dresses matched the Mexican sea; it rolled behind us as we smiled brightly.
A destination wedding – it’s what I have always envisioned when dreaming of my dream wedding. The wedding becomes more of a vacation than a stressful affair, which leads to less bridezilla antics. But how does one plan a destination wedding? What are the costs and is it really worth it?
To have a destination wedding or not to have a destination wedding…that is the question! I may not be Shakespeare but I can help future brides, including myself, plan a destination wedding on a budget.
- Group Discounts: You can get group discounts for your destination weddings, especially from hotels. Hotels want business, and if you guarantee 80-100 people will book their facilities, then you have yourself a deal! There are also affordable wedding packages offered that may include tourist attractions, shows, and spa packages. Aside from guests discounts, hotels also offer packages for the wedding day. This may include the wedding cake, a bottle of champagne for the bridal suite, and/or the bridal bouquet. So when planning your destination wedding, ask away so you have less to pay!
- Save Your Guests Money: Many couples fear that they will say their “I do’s” to an empty room. Family and friends may not be willing or able to spend a lot of money on your nuptials. So make it easier on them. Nix the wedding gift and maybe even the bridal party. Also, make sure to give your guests as many travel options as possible, including a list of different hotels (from 2 star to 5 star) where they can stay.
- Partner Up: If a friend doesn’t have help with lodging expenses, she or he may skip your destination wedding. To solve this issue, compile a list of your guests with all their plus ones. Figure out who is coming alone and who can potentially partner up and share a hotel room. However, make sure to do this with enough time. The roomies should exchange an email or two before shacking up on an island.
- Save The Dates: Since you’re wedding is far away, you must send “Save The Dates” as soon as possible. This gives your guests enough time to calculate expenses and save.
- Hire A Wedding Planner: You don’t know the area, so hiring a wedding planner may lessen the stress. They can connect you to florists, priests, or reverends, and can help if their is a language barrier (you are in a foreign country). You can plan the wedding yourself, but a wedding planner can ease your plight.
- Visit The Location: Pictures are worth a thousand words, but a thousand may not be enough for your wedding day! Photos can be doctored, so please visit the location of your wedding before booking. You want your venue to be amazing! So take the trip to guarantee it is everything you’ve dreamed of. Besides, face to face communication can do wonders. You may even be gifted with an extra deal!
I hope this article helped brides-to-be who dream of a destination wedding. It definitely helped me. Now, I just have to meet my match. That way I can say my “I do’s” and “till death do us part’s” while the sun kisses my skin and the waves crash along the shore.