Planning your Magical Destination Wedding

While many women dream of a traditional wedding, destination weddings in exotic locales are all the rage these days. When you think about it, a destination wedding makes perfect sense. With a move toward elegant yet more casual affairs, some couples are opting to combine a wedding celebration with a dream vacation or honeymoon. Hawaii vacation rentals offers a variety of locations to choose from.. Many all-inclusive resorts are equipped to handle all the details, making it a convenient option. If you choose to stay at a private villa, you may be able to find a local event planning company that will coordinate your special day to make sure the wedding and reception go exactly the way you dreamed it would be.

Making the Decision

A traditional wedding typically features a meaningful ceremony followed by a reception with flowers, music, a formal celebratory meal and a magnificent wedding cake. A destination wedding can provide all of those elements in a fabulous location, minus the large crowd of invited guests. Most destination weddings are a bit more private, with only very close friends and family invited to share in the festivities. They are also generally more casually elegant, with the bride and groom in traditional wedding attire and the guests a bit more relaxed in their dress.

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Advantages of Destination Weddings

There are many advantages to choosing a destination wedding over a traditional wedding. Without expenses associated with classic celebrations like limousines, rental spaces and a separate honeymoon, a destination wedding may end up costing far less. Traveling to an amazing destination with your inner circle of friends and family provides the opportunity to come together in relaxed surroundings to create wonderful memories. Because everything is in one place, destination weddings are easier to plan, saving you time and worry. Best of all, you will get to marry your soulmate in the location of your dreams.

Popular Destination Wedding Locations

Once you decide on a destination wedding, it is time to select a location. Popular spots include a pristine beach on a Caribbean island, exciting Mexico, beautiful Hawaii and a romantic castle in Europe. Many hotels, especially in Mexico and the Caribbean, offer all-inclusive package deals for the wedding and for guests. A wedding coordinator can arrange for someone to officiate at the ceremony, a photographer, some decorations including flowers, and the wedding meal. Cruise ships can provide a venue for a destination wedding. Some have dedicated wedding chapels, or they can arrange for portside weddings.

Renting a Villa                                           

Another option is to rent a private villa for the ceremony and to put up your guests. Locations like St. Barts in the Caribbean have villas for rent with private pools, separate bedroom suites and cottages, waterside locations and outdoor terrace dining spaces perfect for entertaining guests. If you rent a villa, look into hiring an event planning company who can fashion the menu, secure top entertainment and hire videographers to record the event. They can also arrange for extra touches like a profusion of tropical flowers, romantic mood lighting, fireworks and just about anything else your heart desires

Before you Go

Make sure to plan your destination wedding carefully so that you will adhere to the special rules in your chosen locale. Destinations outside of your native country may have requirements that have to be met in advance of your trip. You may be asked for proof of age and eligibility to marry, in the form of a letter from your clergyman or lawyer. If you have been married before, make sure to take along your divorce decree. If you are widowed, bring the death certificate for your spouse. Be prepared to pay a fee to the marriage officer or registrar, and provide witnesses to the ceremony. In some cases, witnesses can be provided by the destination. It is important to find out about any waiting period that applies from the time you obtain the license to marry until the ceremony, since this can take up to a month.

Who to Invite

Think carefully about questions of protocol, like who should be on the guest list, who pays for the hotel, and how much time the wedding couple must spend with guests. It is up to you to come up with a guest list, but be aware that some people may not attend because of expenses or scheduling so many days away from home and work. A destination wedding is typically an intimate gathering of the bride and groom’s immediate family, wedding attendants and a several close friends. You may want to schedule a party when you return and invite a larger group.

Destination Wedding Etiquette

The bride and groom are generally not expected to pay for guest accommodations. Make this clear on the save-the-date card, the invitation and the wedding website by stating that a block of rooms is being held, with pricing and directions. If possible, offer a range of rates at local hotels that are convenient and affordable. Check out air/hotel package deals to get advantageous rates. Guests will not expect you to pick up the tab for all meals, but you will probably want to pay for a rehearsal dinner and brunch the next day. If you have chosen an all-inclusive hotel, meals are provided. Expect your guests to stay on after the wedding and take some vacation time. If you want to limit the time you spend with others, party before the wedding ant then go off to another hotel, or an entirely different honeymoon destination. While your guests will probably give you a wedding gift, a small token is acceptable because of the expenses they incur.