popular trend today is the destination wedding, where the bridal
couple ties the knot in a romantically exotic or tropical destination.
The bride and groom might be traveling alone or they might have
guests attend. So, destination weddings can be as intimate as
two or as grand as several hundred guests. The wedding might take
place onsite at a resort or at a select location near the resort
(such as a waterfall, beachside cliff, or quaint chapel).
some advantages with a destination wedding. Combining your ceremony
with your honeymoon can save a good deal of money. Your guests
get to enjoy a vacation. Plus, done right, your destination wedding
can simplify the whole wedding planning process.
weddings can take place in a wide variety of settings, the most
popular today is at a tropical beachfront resort. This includes
destinations such as Hawaii; Fiji; Mexico's Riviera Maya, Cancun,
Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas; and Caribbean's Jamaica, Bahamas,
St. Lucia, Grand Caymans, and Virgin Islands. Other destinations
include Disneyworld, a cruise ship, Vegas (always popular!), a
villa in Tuscany, or a sunny Greek Island. As you'd imagine, the
destination and the ceremony location will be major factors in
total cost for the bride and groom as well as for the guests.
Sit down with
your fiancée and discuss the possibility of a destination
wedding. Consider the type of destination you'd both enjoy - such
as the beach, the mountains during ski season, or any other location
that has special meaning to you as a couple. Discuss possible
dates, budget, a guest list, and expectations.
I also recommend
in the early stages of planning that you and your fiancée
agree with the "must-attend" guest list - those folks
who absolutely must attend your destination wedding in order for
it to happen. For example, if you don't want to get hitched without
Grandma there but Grandma refuses to board a plane, you'll want
to find that out upfront. Now, with your "must attend"
list, check with those folks to make sure they are able to go.
Be sure to talk dates and budget with them.
decided on a destination wedding, you'll want to establish a relationship
with a travel agent who specializes in destination weddings. She
will help you select a destination and resort that will fit your
budget, preferences, and requirements. Your travel agent should
also be savvy regarding the pros and cons of the different locations
as well as the marriage requirements in the various destinations.
It's a good idea to get the process started about ten to twelve
months in advance. It's possible to book a destination wedding
with as little as 45 days advance notice, but resorts book a very
limited number of weddings per day, so have flexibility on your
dates and resort selection if you're putting your destination
wedding together 5 months or less in advance.
written by Cindy Grant, Expert Family Travel.