Category: Destination Weddings
Shells, brooches, clay flowers. These are not your mother’s bridal bouquets! An emerging trend in destination weddings is to mix it up a little with your bridal bouquet. You have already bucked traditions by getting married away, so why not choose bridal flowers that are as memorable as your destination? Here are a few options that we think are stunning:
The above flowers are artificial. For real! These exquisite designs by DK Designs are handcrafted with clay petal-by-petal. So vibrant and lovely, they will stand out in your wedding photos. The best part is that these flowers will not wilt or get windblown at your destination wedding. And we love that you can take these home with you and treasure them forever!
Beach wedding brides often like to incorporate beach and shell themes into their wedding. Occasionally, these themes can be overdone. Not so with this beautiful shell bouquet from Sandals and Beaches resorts. The marriage of flowers and shells create a tasteful bridal bouquet filled with personality! The combination looks so striking against the bride’s dress.
Just because are having a destination wedding doesn’t mean you can’t add a bit of DIY flair. Brooch bouquets are all the rage! This brooch bouquet by Nicolasa Cicero adds a whimsical and vintage touch to your destination wedding. Like the clay flowers, you don’t have to worry about how they will hold up, how they will look in your photos and you’ll have the bouquet forever. For more brooch bouquet inspiration, visit our fall issue of Get Married Away.
Choosing a bridal bouquet that suits your wedding and personality can be so much fun! What kind of bouquet will you be carrying at your destination wedding?
Destination weddings are certainly growing in popularity in recent years. One of the top requests for locations for weddings away is Mexico. But sometimes, we have a couple who starts the wedding planning process and then calls to say that they are not going to continue because their family really wants them to have a Catholic wedding.
Not so soon!
Just because you want to get married in a tropical locale doesn’t mean you can’t also be married in a Catholic church. Several Mexican resorts have breathtaking options that allow you to have a Catholic wedding ceremony, while still having that beachy feeling. Here are some of our most sought-after Catholic wedding venues in Mexico:
Photo by Del Sol Photography
Is a gazebo? No, it’s a chapel surrounded by glass. The Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort offers its couples a beautiful and comfortable Catholic Chapel that has spectacular views of the Caribbean ocean!
Your guests will love Gran Caribe Real Cancun’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Oceanfront Chapel. It offers the best of both worlds: you have the full views of the turquoise ocean water and white sand beach and you can still have that religious ceremony that means so much to you and your family.
The chapel at the El Dorado Royale possesses a cozy Mexican charm that cannot be duplicated. Catholic wedding ceremonies that take place here are intimate and elegant. When it’s time to make your grand exit after you say ‘I do” you’ll just be steps away from the beach!
Are you ready to start planning your destination wedding at an all-inclusive Mexican resort with a stunning chapel? Our Certified Wedding Specialists would love to help you plan a memorable destination wedding.
You’ve decided on a destination wedding and more specifically on a beach in paradise. Congratulations!
Once you’ve decided on the resort and the dress, it’s time to begin focusing on the details. From destination brides, we often get the question: “What kind of shoes should I wear for my beach wedding?”
For the bride, who has her heart set on the super strappy, high heel sandals, you are probably not going to like what we have to say. If your “aisle” is sand, then it’s wise to avoid heels. This is the moment you have been waiting for – your true love is standing by the wedding canopy with his eyes glued on you, the people, who mean the world to you are sitting in chairs, heads crooked to get a look at you; the last thing you want is to have issues making it down the aisle. Right?
You have several alternatives:
- Go barefoot. Embrace the breezy, carefree, beach wedding vibe.
- Wear barefoot sandals. These are extremely popular and there are tons of shops on Etsy.com that sell all different styles of this concept.
Photo: Fancy Feet Sandals
- Wear flats. There are some gorgeous flat sandals out there!
- Ask your wedding specialist if your resort offers a “near-beach” alternative, like a gazebo or a sky terrace overlooking the beach. This way you can walk comfortably in your dream heels.
Photo: Beach Palace in Cancun, Mexico
- If you are not in love with any of these options, consider wearing something comfortable for the ceremony and then don your heels for your formal photos.
See, there’s an option for every destination bride. What shoes will you be wearing at your destination wedding?
Photo: Excellence Playa Mujeres
When couples come to us to plan their destination wedding one of their first decisions is whether or not go with an all-inclusive resort. We often get the question: what exactly does “all-inclusive” mean? Basically, it means that guests pay one price up front and do not have to worry about expenses adding up during their stay. Here’s what is included in a typical all-inclusive reservation:
- Accommodations: your room and hotel taxes.
- Food: all food ranging from the poolside grill to room service and late night dining to fine dining. Once you have decided on your resort, be sure to check with your wedding specialists to find out which restaurants require reservations and how far in advance they recommend your make them.
- Drinks: all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included. This means drinks in your room, at the swim-up bar, at the restaurants – you get the idea.
- Tips: gratuities are typically included in the price but most guests bring along some bills to show their appreciation to servers.
- Activities and entertainment: poolside games, use of fitness center and nightly entertainment are all included. Non-motorized water sports are also part of the all-inclusive plan. Motorized water sports, spa services, greens fees and excursions are typically NOT included.
When it comes to booking a wedding at an all-inclusive resort, couples sometimes receive a “free wedding” package and often receive many additional perks– depending on how many guests they bring. For example:
- At Excellence Playa Mujeres, in Cancun, Mexico when couples reserve 15 rooms for their destination wedding, they receive one category upgrade, champagne and chocolate bath turn down, and a one-hour couples seaside massage.
- At the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, located in the Dominican Republic, when a couple books 40 or more rooms, they stay for free and receive a fantastic range of perks: champagne and chocolate, VIP evening turn down, 20 percent spa discount, a private dinner on the beach and two additional room upgrades for parents or siblings.
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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