Destination I Do
Thursday, April 19, 2012

Destination Wedding Advice: Barton G. Weighs-In on Weddings Away!

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox & Barton G.
Photos courtesy of Barton G.

For those of our readers which are unfamiliar, Barton G. is a world-renowned concept designer here in the U.S. His roles as an event designer, restaurateur and creative director make him the perfect person to design a dream wedding away. In 2009, Barton G. bought and rebranded Miami’s infamous Versace Mansion. It now serves as one of the chicest places to say “I do” in South Beach and has fabulous food to boot. We asked Barton G. to weigh in on destination weddings and share is event planning knowledge with all of you.

Where does the jet-set crowd head for destination weddings and honeymoons these days?

• Miami remains a hot destination, as well as private islands in the Caribbean. Those who are truly in the know — fashionistas in particular — are heading for Tulum, Mexico.

What is the proper protocol for asking your guests to pay for their flight/accommodations?

• There is no protocol — it depends upon your own financial resources. In many cases, people are traveling to your wedding no matter where it is. A destination wedding simply means that they’ll likely be in more interesting surroundings. The key, no matter what, is to make your guests feel at home — offer welcome baskets at the hotel, a list of things to do and places to go, hot night spots and hidden jewels in whatever destination you choose.

How long before the actual date do you recommend heading to the destination with your fiancée?

• A minimum of six months. Ideally, you’re able to visit the location during the time of year you’ll be marrying there and revisit it a month out from the wedding to do your final planning.

How far in advance should you secure a block of rooms, DJ, catering, etc. at the destination?

• As far in advance as possible.

Any suggestions for incorporating the regional fare of the destination with family classics?

• It’s always delightful to bring regional fare into your menu for the day — food and beverage wise, as well as with entertainment and florals. Ideally, there’s a mix of home and the destination, familiar and unfamiliar, for an unforgettable day for you and your guests.

Do you recommend using the resort event planner or hiring an outside planner? Why?

• The best advice here is to hire the person with whom you feel most comfortable. A resort event planner will be most familiar with the destination, but you run the risk of a cookie-cutter approach to your special day. An outside planner is much more likely to customize your wedding day to your particular needs and likes.

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