Have you always dreamed of a wedding on the beaches in Maui, the Caribbean, or in the country of your heritage? It is possible to turn your dream wedding into reality with less expense and difficulty than you may think. According to a recent study conducted by a bridal group, 16 percent of couples are now planning destination weddings in exotic places due to the desire to save money. Yes, a destination wedding can be less expensive and much more luxurious than the traditional wedding ceremony, and it can do dual duty as your honeymoon, too.
A traditional wedding ceremony requires you to gather family and friends who are most likely scattered across the country for a wedding ceremony that will last an average of four hours. If you plan a destination wedding, your celebration can turn into several days of relaxing memories created with those nearest and dearest to you, as opposed to a few hours with a hundred or more people in a formal setting.
As an added perk, destination wedding can actually cost less than traditional weddings for the bride and groom. One reason for this is that many hotels will offer a basic wedding ceremony for free if you plan to honeymoon at that hotel for a specific amount of time. The destination wedding can, however, be a bit more costly for guests in terms of price and vacation days, but so can it do dual duty as vacation for them, too. So get those “save-the-date” cards out in a timely manner, along with all the details about the fun and accommodations that await them should they choose to join you.
Arranging a destination wedding can also be easier than planning a traditional wedding. Most hotels and resorts offer wedding planning packages and services, and you are welcome to add your own wedding favors, wedding cake assessories and the like for a personal touch. After the location and hotel have been chosen, it is vital to send out the invitations at least 5 months in advance in order to provide your guests ample time to plan the necessary travel arrangements, and, if necessary, organize for passports. Keep in mind that not everyone you invite will be able to afford to attend your destination wedding, so do not be disappointed. Just remember that a smaller wedding in a romantic locale can be more intimate and romantic.
Hint: You can assist your guests with their travel arrangements by reserving a block of rooms at the hotel. Inquire about a package discount; normally hotels will reduce the rate of the rooms if you reserve a certain amount of rooms for a specific amount of time.
You should arrive a day earlier than your guests to ensure that the preparations are complete, and to arrange guest rooms, wedding favors, bridal party gifts, table decorations and group activities. Welcome guests and your bridal party to their rooms with small gifts left to thank them for making the trek, perhaps a collection of sunglasses, sunscreen, and a personalized beach towel for a tropical destination, or a themed wine stopper, corkscrew and personalized wine glasses in the wine country. Of course throwing some chocolate into the mix is always a good move, too!
When you are finished with the preparation of the rooms for your guests, sit back and relax for a while in your wedding paradise. This is one of the advantages of a destination wedding: The hotel or resort will take care of all of the tedious details for you. Your ceremony area will be decorated for the wedding, as will the area for your reception. This provides you time to unwind, relax and enjoy your fiancé, your family and your closest friends in your dream destination, before, during and after the wedding, together creating the first special memories of your married life together. It doesn’t get any better than that.