Your wedding will be one of the most important days of your life. Why not plan a destination wedding to make it as perfect and memorable as possible?
While there are many places to choose from, you will be hard-pressed to find a place more beautiful than a Caribbean island for destination weddings. Not only will a beach wedding give you the perfect backdrop for photos, but your guests will love having an excuse to take a quick getaway to see you on your special day.
While some may assume that planning a wedding would be difficult from across the ocean, in fact, many resorts specialize in providing wedding packages for every budget. These resorts are staffed with wedding experts whose job it is to think of every detail. Some of these resorts have wedding planning down to such a science that some couples consider it easier to plan a destination wedding than to plan one in their hometown.
Here are five tips for planning a fantastic Caribbean wedding.
Plan as early as possible
While you may not be thrilled to have a long engagement, the earlier you can plan your destination wedding the better. Not only will early planning give you your choice of the time and venue, but it will also give your guests more time to save money for travel, find childcare, and obtain passports. If it is vital that you have friends and family members attend your wedding, make sure you find a moderately-priced venue that will make it possible for everyone to attend. If your resort does not offer a variety of price points, make sure there are quality accommodations nearby at a lower cost.
Save money on decorations and flowers
One of the benefits of having a destination wedding on a Caribbean island is that the beach acts as your backdrop. Embrace this! Simplify your ceremony by using a few natural, local stems to carry as a bouquet.
Look at photos of previous weddings held at your venue.
Think of how amazing your wedding photos will be as you and your love pose on pristine beaches with aquamarine water behind you? You can’t improve upon perfection with decorations. Don’t even try.
Spend your budget on a great party
Your guests may have spent their entire year’s vacation budget to attend your wedding. The least you can do to thank them is to host a fabulous wedding reception with locally-inspired food, drinks, and music.
While hosting an event for a large number of people may sound expensive, you will spend little money on decorations, flowers, transportation, and a honeymoon. Treat your guests to a party they will never forget.
One benefit of having your party at a resort is that the celebrations can continue way past your designated event time. Your guests can move to other bars and restaurants available at the resort and celebrate your wedding until dawn.
Don’t check your bags
While you may not want to wrestle with stuffing carry-ons in overhead compartments when you travel to your wedding’s destination, think how heartbroken you will be if you arrive at your Jamaican wedding while your dress goes to Phoenix.
To avoid such disasters, put all wedding-related paraphernalia into your carry on luggage. Tell your wedding planner or concierge that your gown will require pressing when you arrive.
Speaking of gowns, make sure yours fits your venue. Find a dress made with a breathable fabric that will work in hot, humid locations. Wear sandals or no shoes at all.
Find a resort that specializes in weddings
Why re-invent the wheel? If you are planning a destination wedding, find a place that specializes in hosting such events. Many of the nicer resorts have wedding experts on staff to assist you with planning your special day.
Since there may be a variety of packages available, make sure you understand what comes with your particular choice. Some of these package offerings may be dependent upon how many nights you are planning to stay and how many guests you bring to the resort.
When you are working with vendors at your location, you may be frustrated with their laid-back attitudes. Understand that this attitude comes with the territory. If you are the type who wants to plan everything down to the minute, a destination wedding may not be for you.
There are many benefits to hosting your wedding in the Caribbean. Not only does nature provide a perfect backdrop, but it also provides a neutral wedding location that may be appreciated when couples have complicated family dynamics.
Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.