Weddings & Honeymoons
Congratulations! You’re getting married! Over the next few months, you will be making what seems like a million decisions about your wedding and honeymoon. However, if the thought of all the planning, fussing with family and friends over the little details has you stressed out before you even begin the planning, you may want to consider a destination wedding.
A destination wedding, or “weddingmoon” combines your wedding, honeymoon, and even your reception together in one location. Couples often invite only their nearest and dearest friends and family members to celebrate their union. Or maybe your friends want to combine a vacation with enjoying your nuptials; it’s up to you. The destination wedding is held at a desirable site– sometimes tropical, other times exotic–allowing the guests to enjoy a relaxing, activity-filled vacation while spending quality time with the wedding couple.
If you can’t imagine what a destination wedding would be like, close your eyes and imagine you and your fiancé are standing on a beach, sounds of music and the ocean waves peacefully blending together in the background. You are relaxed knowing every single detail from the setting of the service, to the flowers has been effortlessly arranged to suit your tastes.
Top 7 Reasons to have a destination wedding
Pop in the classic movie “Father of the Bride” and you’ll soon understand why destination weddings are so popular. They are almost guaranteed to be simpler (and faster!) to plan than a traditional wedding and reception for two main reasons:
a) Resorts and cruise lines around the world have made it easier and more appealing to wed on-site. Most have full-time wedding coordinators who are familiar with that country’s marriage license requirements and who offer wedding packages that take care of all your ceremony essentials (photographer, cake, minister, etc.). You step off the plane and sign the papers; they take care of the rest.
b) Tourist boards also promote this, with brochures listing ceremony sites and local wedding vendors in their area.
The second reason destination weddings rule? No scene-stealing family drama. For Jennifer and Marc Schwartz, the initial family strategy session began to foreshadow a very large get-together of extended family and business associates. Predictably, each set of parents had their own ideas. One set thought the wedding should be held in New York City because most guests were from the area. Another set had a problem with the expense of a big-city wedding. Jennifer says that she and Marc never stopped feeling that the event is, first and foremost, about the two people getting married. “It’s great if the two families are in rapport, but if not, who needs all that negative stuff?”
The affordability of a destination wedding has many couples speeding off to the airport faster than you can say “I do.” For instance, a couple can fly to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, get married, and stay for a week long honeymoon for a few thousand dollars, including lodging, meals, drinks, and airfare. Compare that with your average 150-guest wedding costing about $22,000 — which can easily skyrocket to more than $40,000 in big cities — plus a few extra thousand for a honeymoon. To ease the financial burden, many couples opt to travel to a place where they can get married, have a honeymoon, and still have some money left over to start their new lives together.
While formal weddings hold meaning for many couples, linking them to the traditions of their ancestors and culture, others want the experience to be unique, with a ceremony and location that reflect their personality. Perhaps a barefoot beach setting? A snowy mountain-peak ceremony? The world is your altar. Best of all? You make the rules! Feel free to wear a sundress or shorts (even a bikini!), carry fern fronds, hire a steel band. . . if you can dream it, you can do it.
Been-there-done-that couples who are getting married for the second (or third time) choose destination weddings because they’re simple and private. Either the bride and/or groom have done the Hollywood-scale production before and want something quieter or less expensive this time around, or they want to be someplace like a kid-friendly, all-inclusive resort or cruise to help your new Brady Bunch do some solid bonding.
At a typical wedding, you’re on the run, meeting and greeting guests and family. Destination weddings are on vacation time. You’re usually required to arrive a few days early, so by the time your wedding rolls around, you’ve had two to three days of fun with your sweetie, family, and friends. How often can you spend no-rush quality playtime with dear, far-flung friends? This is your chance.
By using a good travel agent, you don’t have to handle the travel details for your guests—we do that! Once you choose the destination, venue, day & time, we’ll help you notify your guests and then we take it from there. As guests contact us, we’ll keep you informed as to who has booked. And you avoid the awkward conversations about payment details (who wants to tell Aunt Edna her credit card was declined?), discussions on what they are willing to spend, travel documents, etc. Instead, you can enjoy selecting flowers & wedding party attire and then order that new luggage. As one Global bride said, her wedding day was spent relaxing on the beach with family and friends before getting dressed and enjoying her ceremony. What can be better than that?
Reasons to Marry Abroad
Stress Free – Your travel agent will help make your destination wedding stress-free. They will talk with you to determine what your destination wedding desires are, and what your budget is. They will alert you of the special requirements that your destination has for getting married there. Some destinations require that you be in their country/island for a certain number of days before you can get married, blood tests, and special documentation. This is when it is essential to work with your travel agent. You don’t want to do this on your own, and arrive at your destination only to find out you can’t get married because you didn’t know what the pre-qualifications were!
Cost Saving – So you have invited 250 people to your reception, including co-workers, business acquaintances and all your long-lost relatives and friends, at a cost of $75 a head. You do the math! For the average cost of a traditional wedding, you could have a luxurious wedding weekend at a fabulous destination. Proper etiquette of a destination wedding calls for invited guests to pay their own expenses, while you may choose to cover those for your wedding party (or more if the budget allows). Your travel agent can help you plan some added perks for your guests like a group excursion, beach barbeque or more.
Granny Won’t Travel – While an exotic location is a great way to keep undesirables from attending your special event, it may also keep away some your loved ones who may not be able to travel, or that are unwilling to travel due to the expense, work issues, or physical limitations. Think about all the guests who are truly essential before deciding on the location. If many of your family members or friends balk at the idea of you having a destination wedding because they can’t be there, don’t let this stop you from having the dream wedding you have always desired. You can have your destination wedding videotaped, and when you return home, throw a reception that includes your video viewing, and share the joy that you felt that special day.
Awkward Invites – Because destination weddings are often more intimate affairs, you can avoid being forced into inviting the cousins you met once 10 years ago, or your father’s boss that you really don’t like anyway. You get to choose the level of intimacy you want for your ceremony and invite accordingly, or you can invite no one and just have a cozy ceremony for just the two of you.
No Extra Traveling – Destination weddings are perfect for couples with families and friends that are scattered across the country or even the world. If a good majority of your guests must travel to your hometown anyway, then why not get married in a fabulous destination that will make you, and your guests happy! They can turn a trip to your wedding into a family vacation.
Wedding Coordinators – Most resorts have a wedding coordinator and staff to assist you with your destination wedding plans and in many cases, those services are complimentary!
Act Quickly! – With a destination wedding, save-the-date cards are crucial. Send them off as early as possible, preferably at least eight months in advance, as your guests will need to budget their money, and ask for time off from work.
Afraid Of A Crowded Honeymoon? – With your family and friends all around, you may be worried if you will be able to enjoy a romantic honeymoon. Many guests will arrive several days before the wedding to enjoy some quality time with you, and then discreetly depart the day after the wedding. If you want to ensure some quality alone time, you can easily get it! After the wedding, you can take off for your honeymoon to another resort, or you can even hop over to another island.
Want To Elope? – Have you had it with everyone telling you what you should do, and what they want? Stop the madness and elope! Our travel agents will be glad to find you a destination where you can get away from it all and have a quiet and romantic wedding for just the two of you, or you and your best friends.
If you think a destination wedding is right for you, then say “I do” to one of our travel agents. Our agents excel at making plans for multiple people from multiple locations. Planning for the most important day of your life will be a wonderfully crazy time for you so finding someone you trust to aid in the decision making and details will be a welcome relief!
Our travel agents can save you money as well as time – two enormous factors for couples planning a life together. Through our love of travel and our reliable relationships with suppliers from around the globe, we can provide personalized suggestions to suit both your dreams and your budget.
Your honeymoon is an important part of the wedding experience, and a much needed escape after months of wedding planning. Our travel agents are here to help relieve the stress, increase the value of your time and dollars and take care of the details for you. Through incomparable experiences and valuable resources, our travel agents specialize in personalized suggestions to match your interests and your budget. And best of all, our services are paid by the supplier and do NOT cost you anything.
Many of our couples have a preconceived notion of what their perfect honeymoon would be. However, sometimes the desires and budget may be conflict with each other. Our travel agents use communication and compromises from the very beginning to make your honeymoon romantic, memorable, and as stress-free as possible
Here are some of the important questions we ask
When it comes to planning a honeymoon, couples often try to pick a destination first. Our travel agents suggest a more productive way to begin. We help you first to define your dream, and then narrow down your list of destinations accordingly.
Picking the right resort is very important for they can transport you into another world for your much needed escape from reality. Resorts are often set in the most picturesque places in the world; they usually include wonderful pools, amazing beaches, culinary delights and relaxing spas. There are two main types of resorts: the all-inclusive resorts make it easy for you to forget about cost once you arrive, as all your food and drinks are included, as well as many entertainment options, and recreational facilities. (Is an all inclusive resort right for you?). Other resorts will be a “pay-as-you-go”, so the meals and activities are in addition to the upfront accommodation expense.
If lying on a beach sounds as exciting as taking a nap, then you may want to consider an adventure trip. We can help you plan that white-water rafting trip, African safari, scuba diving trip, or an exciting trip to DisneyWorld. Another option for adventure seekers would be a cruise. A cruise is like a floating resort that takes you from one exotic part to another. It is the best way to see a lot of destinations without having to pack and unpack all the time. Cruises can take you to the Caribbean, Alaska, Mediterranean and even exotic locations like the Galapagos Islands!
Share the planning. Occassionally a groom wants to surprise his bride with the honeymoon, but this can lead to a disappointing honeymoon for one of you. Why not plan this together, so you both can have the honeymoon you have always desired.
Plan early! The earlier you plan your honeymoon the better, as the best resorts sell out early, and the closer you get to your departure date the more likely your air costs will go up. Availability is also key, as the more desireable locations and rooms are those that sell out first. You will have time to pay off your honeymoon as a small deposit is all that is needed to hold your package.
Set a tentative budget. Decide what you might want to splurge on. Is it worth that extra cost to have a suite with a double Jacuzzi in the room, an adult only resort, or butler services?
Marriages should start out on the right foot, and there is no better way to be on the right foot than with a romantic, stress free and unforgettable honeymoon. After “I Do” your two favorite words should be “stress free,” and we can’t stress that enough. Planning for the most important day of your life will be a wonderfully busy time for you, so finding someone you trust to aid in your honeymoon planning process should be a welcome relief. We hope you will give our travel agents the opportunity to help you create these memories that will last a lifetime!