Category: Destination Weddings
Brainstorming for places that might serve a double purpose for your big day and the honeymoon to follow? Why not consider the Big Easy?
Destination weddings in New Orleans deliver in the excitement department, and you’re going to find they also provide a number of perks you might not have considered. Even if you intend to have guests of all ages along for the ceremony, New Orleans is well worth careful consideration. Yes, it’s famed for its lively adult atmosphere, but there’s more to this town than often meets the eye.
So, why should you consider hosting your destination wedding in New Orleans? Here are just a few of the many reasons why this city can really jazz up pre, during and post-wedding fun:
- The attractions for your guests – When brides and grooms plan destination weddings they often torture themselves making sure their location will fit the tastes of most of the guests on their lists. New Orleans works beautifully on this score. The French Quarter’s nighttime party atmosphere is awesome for adult guests to enjoy. By day, however, it takes on a whole new feel that’s more than family-friendly. Plus, there’s the world-famous zoo to explore, the Garden District, bayou tours, shopping, musical attractions, museums and much more that guests of any age can enjoy. All the top spots, by the way, are great for honeymoon adventures after the big ceremony.
- The convenience – Destination weddings can be tough on guests’ wallets and difficult to get to. If you need a stateside location, New Orleans more that fits the bill. It’s fairly easy to get to by car from just about anywhere in the Continental United States. Plus, it’s major airport makes it quite convenient for those who don’t wish to drive. Top that off with a wide variety of hotels and resorts set to fit almost any budget, and this particular destination is likely to be music to guests’ ears.
- The resorts – Speaking of those resorts, New Orleans is famous for its southern hospitality. If you choose to have a destination wedding here, you can count on royal treatment from resorts that know how to handle all the little details leading up to the big day and beyond. Speak with your wedding and honeymoon travel advisory for some of the top picks on resorts to work with.
- The food, music and fun – New Orleans is famed for its cuisine that practically defies description. From its crawfish boils to its incredible beignets, you and your guests will delight in what’s on the menu. New Orleans is also famed for its live music – especially jazz, which makes it a treat for those who desire entertainment.
To find out more about New Orleans destination weddings, just check with your honeymoon travel advisor.
One of the best parts of destination weddings is that your time spent with family and attendants is not limited to a 4 hour reception! You get more than one shot to celebrate. Of course, there is always pool and beach time to just hang out or relax with your guests, but we hear from couples that excursions and events before and after the actual wedding day bring families and friends closer together and start their married life off on a high note.
We highly recommend talking to your wedding planner and asking for tips on activities and experiences that are unique and indigenous to that resort and geography. Total immersion in the culture makes for more memorable vacation memories! Here are some examples that our destination couples have raved about:
- Do a pampering session with a local twist. If you are having a destination wedding in Mexico several resorts offer a Temezcal ceremony, which is a fantastic way to experience the Mayan culture. I have seen the word Temazcal many times over the years but who knew it was a mud dome-like structure where people undergo an ancient Aztec cleansing ritual?! The goal of the ceremony is to balance the mind, body and spirit. Feedback from our couples is that they really feel more relaxed and centered after this experience. Sign me up!
- If you and your friends are big into music, the Hard Rock Hotels offer a very cool in-room experience called “The Sound Of Your Stay®.“ Our destination couples don’t always believe us when we tell them that they have their pick of 20 Fender® guitars to bring back to their room, but it’s true! These iconic guitars are available for an in-room jam session, along with professional headphones, amps, and a laptop equipped with digital mixing software!
- Active adventures, such as zip-lining are a fabulous bonding experience! In places like Costa Rica you can’t beat the exhilaration of flying over the rainforest canopy. For any active experiences, our wedding specialists encourage destination wedding groups to wait until AFTER the wedding. Although they are safe, why risk your chances of simple scuffed knees or scratches on faces, etc.
- Foodie families often gravitate to gourmet-inclusive resorts where gastronomical adventures, such as cooking classes and wine tastings, provide fun, social experiences. If your guest list includes a group of people who don’t know each other prior to your wedding, these interactive events encourage conversation. Who doesn’t love to talk about food? Of course, our wedding specialists would chime in here and say, “Have fun but don’t over indulge before the wedding day!” No explanation needed.
Photo courtesy of Sandy Malone
Guest Post By: Sandy Malone, Weddings in Vieques
You might think the question “how many bridesmaids and groomsmen do you have in your wedding party?” would be fairly simple for most couples to answer, but it isn’t.
First, having a wedding party isn’t an assumed thing anymore. Lots of couples are opting to do away with the tradition for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the expense associated with having a wedding party. Both for the attendants AND for the bride and groom. In fact, I’d go so far to say that almost fully one-third of my clients either have just a maid of honor (MoH, in wed-speak) and a best man, or they don’t have any attendants at all.
I have watched couples anguish over this issue – will their friends be offended? Do they have to include the crazy cousin? What if she has more girls in the wedding than he has reliable guys to call on? Oh the suffering that goes along with this one is hard to watch sometimes because I truly understand how seriously my clients take these things.
I remember choosing my bridesmaids – and I did it in the worst way imaginable. Bill proposed to me on December 20th, right before a close girlfriend’s Christmas party. By the time we left the party, I already had two MoHs and two more bridesmaids. Yikes. That is exactly how you should not do it.
On the flip side, this is not something to get all worked up about. The world will not end if you decide to leave somebody out. No really, it won’t. The friendship will probably even survive. That said, if you don’t have a good reason to cut someone, and your wedding party isn’t starting to resemble a roller derby team, perhaps you should find a way to include that person if cutting him or her is bothering you that much. You know yourself. Go with whatever decision is going to put an end to your suffering – worrying about baloney like the makeup of your bridal party shouldn’t suck up this much of your time. The position – being asked – is an honor. And once accepted, it’s a job. Some do it well, others, not so bueno. But regardless, it’s not something you’re supposed to waste time worrying about.
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When Ariadne Khatib planned her romantic vacation to Mexico’s Riviera Maya she had no idea just how life changing the trip would be. While Ari worried about last minute travel details, her boyfriend, Ben, planned a few surprises for her, the best one of all being the diamond ring in his pocket. He had a custom dress made for her, flew down a professional photographer, and finally popped the question at their private oceanfront dinner.
“We were having such a romantic evening and when Ben got down on one knee, I was blown away. It was perfect!” said Ari.
The couple originally planned on a local wedding, but struggled to find the perfect venue. They continuously reminisced over the unforgettable experience that they had in the Riviera Maya, and they felt a connection to the location they couldn’t find anywhere else. As a result, they decided to celebrate with a destination wedding within the same tropical paradise where they were engaged! Click here to read the rest of their story as well as other destination wedding profiles.
Aside from finding the right destination and resort, selecting the perfect ceremony venue can be challenging. By having a destination wedding, you are presented with many different venue options you may have never thought were possibilities. Before making a decision, consider our venue suggestions.
- Beach ceremony venues: A beach ceremony venue is one of the most popular locations couples choose and there’s no question why – turquoise waters, balmy ocean breezes and soft white sand make weddings romantic and relaxing. Most resorts have private beach wedding venues, which means you won’t need to worry about beachgoers venturing through your beautiful ceremony.
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Guest Post By Sandy Malone, Weddings in Vieques
Thank goodness the rules for destination wedding attire aren’t the same as the proper etiquette for what to wear, and when to wear it, back in the real world. That’s a good thing, as the vast majority of destination wedding locations are in warm or tropical climates, and traditional morning coats or tails would likely put half the wedding party into heat stroke before the ceremony is over. But that doesn’t mean that just because you’re getting married on a beach in the Caribbean that you don’t have any say over what your guests wear to your big day – after all, they’re going to be in your wedding pictures that you will hopefully display for the next 50 years in your home.
And yet, unfortunately, some people misunderstand that a destination wedding is a still a real wedding, and proper attire is still required from beginning to end – meaning you don’t go change into something more casual when you arrive at the reception. Frankly, I’m appalled at the number of wedding guests – both children and adults – who change clothes at the wedding reception. The sad thing is this trashy behavior isn’t limited to beach weddings in the Caribbean. I saw several somebodies change into shorts at a reception in DC not all that long ago and could barely hold my tongue.
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Destination weddings are a growing trend. There’s a reason why couples are choosing to get married far away – in fact, there’s 4 of them! For memories that last a lifetime, you’d be hard pressed to beat a destination wedding!
1. Your family and friends are spread across the country. When half the family is East, half is out West, and you’re down South, which do you choose? Meet in the middle on a sprawling ranch, or somewhere tropical in the Caribbean, or even somewhere romantic and faraway like Paris.
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Proclaiming your undying love and devotion in an exotic destination with friends and family on hand to witness the momentous occasion is most definitely romantic and worthy of memories to last a lifetime. It’s the getting there part that can be a royal pain in the neck.
Wedding and honeymoon planning in a best-case scenario can take up a lot of time and effort. The “little things” that are often easy to work around with a ceremony close to home, however, can become real problems to solve when a destination wedding is on the agenda. After all, if one florist in your hometown can’t make the date, you probably know 10 more that can. When you’re talking to florists hundreds of miles from home, that little problem could become a big one.
This is where professional honeymoon and destination planners come into play. These experts can help you take your dreams for a romantic ceremony and make them reality. There are many reasons why it’s not a good idea to go it alone, but here are four of the top:
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Guest Post By Sandy Malone, Weddings in Vieques
When I receive a wedding invitation, I hop online immediately and go to the couples’ registry, and send the wedding gift right away. My timeliness is due to a vicious case of PTSD I suffered a few years ago when I realized that my 12 month window for sending a gift was almost up… for five friends at once. That was one terribly expensive shopping trip. And even though I got the gifts in under the wire, I didn’t feel good about it because I knew that they knew that I barely got it done. Whew!
As a destination wedding planner, I don’t have a lot to do with gifts, to be honest. The vast majority of my clients never receive a single wrapped package in the Caribbean. Once upon a time, I think more guests probably dragged gifts along with them to destination weddings. But nowadays, the new TSA rules and fees that inspire travelers to restrict themselves to carry-on luggage are probably responsible (in a good way) for the lack of gifts brought to destination weddings. The added bonus for the newlyweds: They don’t have to ship boxes of gifts back home.
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Be it a destination wedding or a traditional, you’ll probably have one or more guests who won’t be able to make it to your big day. Of course, after the wedding, they’ll be able to look at photos, watch videos and hear stories from attendees, but that’s it right? Wrong. In today’s world of Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, social media connects people across the world. On your special day, social media will make guests who can’t make it to the ceremony feel like they’re right there with you.
Photo Credit: Amanda Blythe Photography
The Desti Team’s Social Media department has these ideas on how you can use social media for your big day:
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