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Destination Wedding Myths Busted

Words by Jennifer Stein

Couples have many preconceived notions when it comes to getting married away from home. Before you dismiss it because your well-meaning aunt gave you an earful of incorrect information, consider the point of view of an expert. Our friends at All About Honeymoons and Destination Weddings help couples get down the destination aisle every day and know a thing or two about what really happens. Jackie Waechter, Romance Specialist and award-winning franchise owner at All About Honeymoons, answers some direct questions to bust some myths about doing a destination wedding.

Q: Will it cost more to have my wedding away from home?  

JW: No, actually it will most likely cost quite a bit less. First of all, you will likely have fewer guests attend because you’re doing a destination wedding. Also, many resorts offer complimentary or low cost weddings when you are staying at the resort. You can also combine the wedding and honeymoon into one trip and get the most "bang for your buck!"

Q: Will it cost more if I have someone else plan my travel? 

JW: Having a qualified destination wedding specialist help you plan your wedding away will not cost you anything additional and will actually save you money because of the discounts they are able to obtain on your behalf. They will also save you hours of work in searching and planning, and ease your stress with
their expertise.

Q: If I use a travel agent or specialist I'm afraid I won't be able to get married at the property I want, only the ones they partner with, is this true?

JW: That is certainly not true at All About Honeymoons and Destination Weddings. I have built relationships with resorts all over the World and am able to match couples up with the resort that best fits their needs.  All resorts are different with varied characteristics and amenities, so working with a vast array of companies and resorts allows me to provide couples ideal options for their special day away.

Q: I'm concerned I will only get price breaks if ALL my guests stay at the hotel or use the same travel specialist I'm using - is this going to happen?  

JW: You will definitely have better pricing and group amenities when booking as a group with one travel agent. It really benefits couples to encourage guests to work with the travel agent chosen as she/he can make the process very easy for everyone. It also takes a lot of work off of the bride and groom by having an expert there to answer questions and guide guests with planning. You can still find some discounts if you don’t book together, but you won’t have the ease of working with one person nor will you find the same level of discounting if you have your guests do it themselves.

Q: Because the wedding will be so expensive, I'm afraid I won't be able to afford a honeymoon if we do a destination wedding.

JW: In most cases couples get married, extend their stay and treat that additional time as their honeymoon. They can choose to stay at the same property or move to a nearby property for more privacy. This actually saves the couple money because they only pay airfare once and have both a wedding and a honeymoon.

Q:  I've heard it's really dangerous traveling to certain places in the Caribbean and Mexico. Will anyone come if I do my wedding in one of these destinations? 

JW: Most areas in the Caribbean are just as safe, if not safer than major cities in the U.S.. My "rule of thumb" is that I won't send clients anywhere I wouldn't take my own family. I have had some guests call me with concerns about safety and when I explain more about the area they are going, the resort and surroundings and set expectations, they realize there is nothing to be concerned about. I've not had any guests back out of a wedding due to safety concerns.

Q:  If I have my wedding during hurricane season in the Caribbean, is it true that my wedding will be rained out?  

JW: It rains almost daily in most tropical destinations, but only for a short period. So yes, your wedding could encounter rain, however, most resorts have a back-up plan in place in case of rain such as an ocean-front or garden gazebo or a covered area of the property. Out of all the regions in the Caribbean, the south-eastern part has the least number of hurricanes and the south-western and the north-east region (The Bahamas) has the most. The Caribbean hurricane season reaches its peak during October with the majority of hurricane formation occurring in the western Caribbean.  All guests should plan to purchase travel insurance which will cover them in the event that a hurricane cancels, postpones or redirects the wedding group.

FYI: Hurricane season lasts from June through October. If, perchance, your wedding does get a bit of rain, consider it good luck and use it as an opportunity to have a laugh and bond with your guests.

Now you have a little more information about destination weddings and the myths you may hear from family or friends, and can rest assured that having a destination wedding will not cost you more. We’d love to hear any other questions you may have, so please email us at info@destinationidomag.com.

A little about Jackie Waechter: She’s been a Romance Travel Specialist for ten years and loves planning honeymoons and destination weddings. She just celebrated 20 years of marriage and has three teenage children. She started her company so she could do what she loves and also be a stay-at-home mom.  In 2012, Jackie won seven prestigious awards including: 2012 Franchisee of the Year with All About Honeymoons and the 2012 GIVC Level 3 Diamond Award. If you’re interested in working with All About Honeymoons and Destination Weddings to plan your wedding away or dream honeymoon, visit them online at allabouthoneymoons.com

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