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Brought to you by the editors of Destination I Do Magazine, we hope you find this blog to be a helpful tool in creating the spectacular destination wedding, honeymoon or romantic getaway you've been dreaming of. Below you'll find inspiring real-life destination weddings, travel deals, recommended beauty and travel products and much more! For even more exciting ideas and planning tools, visit DestinationIDo.com.

  • Friday, February 22, 2019

    A Dominican Republic Wedding

    Words by Victoria Hill
    Photos courtesy of Swish + Click

    Russell and Sarah’s love for the Dominican Republic’s natural beauty and island lifestyle made it a perfect location for their seaside destination wedding.

    Stationery for Dominican Republic destination wedding
    Newlyweds celebrating Dominican Republic destination wedding
    Groom's accessories

    While the couple admits flying to the small island was a concern for many guests, the promise of tropical drinks and a fun celebration made the journey well worth it. “It was a once in a lifetime experience to enjoy a group trip with a happy ending,” says the pair.

    Although the couple is in the wedding industry at home, they underestimated how different it would be to plan the wedding abroad. Russell and Sarah say most of the vendors they used “did not have websites, wouldn't return emails or calls, and had no way of really communicating what they had to offer, let alone have any type of pricing.”

    The answer to this issue? According to the newlyweds, it was all resolved with a local wedding planner. “In the end, we found it was best to hire a local person who knew the island vendors and was able to coordinate everything for us,” they say. “This is key when doing a destination wedding like we did, otherwise it would not have gone as well.”

    Without the planner, the bride and groom admit it would have been a lot more difficult to communicate. They often used WhatsApp to message and video chat with vendors.

    “With a destination wedding, there are some cons that are different,” says the couple. “Like not being able to get the finer details you might have imagined for your wedding or being hands-on in the selection process of chairs and tables or even the exact flower arrangements, since most of these things are done via email or text conversations.”

    However, the pair says visiting the location before the big day helped them feel more comfortable with the area and allowed them to coordinate details with their planner. “Sometimes, pictures and videos of the location don’t do it justice. You may not understand the layout fully or there could be issues with your plans that you can not see unless you are standing there,” says the couple.

    Aside from vendors, Russell and Sarah say because their wedding was held in a non-touristy part of the island, travel logistics were slightly trickier to coordinate with guests. Visiting the location in person again helped them get a better idea of what to expect. “We were able to give our friends and family a good idea of the pricing, airports available, along with personal notes and suggestions based on our personal travels to the location,” says the newlyweds.

    After all of the planning, Russell and Sarah ended up exchanging their vows just as they had envisioned — and at a good price. “Though the price was about the same as we would have spent here in the States, we did get a whole week with family and friends,” says the couple. “So in our opinion, it was worth way more to do a destination wedding.”

    While the price may have been similar for a wedding at home, the pair agrees the memories would not have been. “On the island, we were able to enjoy a weeks worth of peaceful bliss,” they say. “If it had been here in the States, we would have focused more on the glam and the ‘wow,’ since it would have been a one day event.”

    Vendors: Photographer: Swish + Click & Christine Gosch, Wedding Planner: Laced with Grace & Dominican Wedding Planner, Ceremony & Reception Site: Villa Coco Mar, Hair & Makeup: Juan Pablo Taveras Makeup, Gown Designer: Whittington Bridal & Casablanca Bridal, Calligrapher: Hey Bernadette, Video: 8K Studios, Music: Punta Canal Live Music & Bar: Palace Party

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  • Thursday, February 21, 2019

    How to Choose a Wedding Officiant

    Words by Courtney Kellar
    Photos courtesy of American Marriage Ministries

    Choosing an officiant for your destination wedding is a highly personal, important part of the planning process. Not only will your officiant make your commitment to each other legally binding, but they will set the overall tone for your ceremony. There are few things worse than attending a wedding in which the officiant clearly doesn’t know the couple and stumbles their way through an impersonal and generic ceremony. What’s the safest way to ensure a sentimental and highly personalized ceremony? Choosing your officiant from amongst friends and family. Online ordination has been a growing trend over the years. In fact, it has become common enough that there is a non-profit dedicated to creating professional and proficient officiants online – American Marriage Ministries (AMM). 

    This Seattle-based non-profit ordains ministers online and guides their officiants through the process of creating and delivering a professional ceremony. They also advocate for their ministers across the country to marry all types of couples – ensuring that everyone can marry who they want in a way that reflects their own values and beliefs.

    American Marriage Ministries believes that choosing your officiant is as important as selecting your bridal party. Asking someone to be a bridesmaid or groomsmen can be quite an elaborate process, so AMM thought choosing an officiant should be just as celebratory. That’s why they created the “Will Your Marry Us?” gift package. It’s meant to be an unexpected and touching way to ask a friend or family to get ordained in order to marry you and your spouse. Here’s how the process works from start-to-finish in three easy steps: 

    1. The couple goes to theamm.org/will-you-marry-us and purchases their “Will You Marry Us” Gift Package, which is shipped to them. Then they give it to their officiant (AMM can also send it directly to the officiant if that’s easier).

    2. The officiant gets ordained online through theamm.org and enters his or her unique code that is included in the package. AMM sends the officiant their ordination documents, along with all required legal forms and instructions. 

    3. The officiant and couple can then use the tools and instructions included in the “Will You Marry Us” gift package to prepare and deliver a memorable and legal wedding ceremony anywhere in the USA. 

    “Officiating weddings requires preparation and practice, and asking someone to perform your ceremony shouldn’t be done lightly. That’s why you choose someone who you know, trust, and love to officiate. Our 'Will You Marry Us' Gift Package is a chance to express this appreciation,” says Natasha Anakotta, AMM Director of Marketing & Support Services. The 'Will You Marry Us?' gift package is priced at $95 and includes the following:

    • 1 Copy of our AMM Minister’s Manual

    • 1 Ordination Certificate

    • 1 Letter of Good Standing

    • 1 Certificate Holder

    • Minister Licensing Instructions (where applicable)

    • Minister Licensing Application Materials (where applicable)

    Wedding Ceremony Materials

    • 1 Embroidered AMM Satin Wedding Officiant Stole

    • 1 "Will You Marry Us?" greeting card + navy envelope

    • 1 Copy of Asked to Officiate, Ceremony Writing and Delivery Guide

    • 1 Screen Printed Canvas AMM Minister’s Tote Bag

    • 1 Embossed AMM Minister’s Pin, Struck from Jeweler's Metal

    • 2 AMM Embossed Gold Embossed Presidential™ Custom Pen 

    Choosing to have a destination wedding means you’re willing to think outside the box and go above and beyond to treat your most treasured loved ones. Continue the trend and create a one-of-a-kind ceremony by having a loved one officiate. For more information or to speak with someone at American Marriage Ministries, please call 206-395-9164 or visit theamm.org.

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  • A Bachelorette Spa Package

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  • Create A Custom Wedding Gown

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    Discover how to customize your wedding gown to suit your style, without breaking the bank! It fits …

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