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The Dirt on Details: This Wedding Expert Shares His Advice

Words by Jennifer Stein
 
Destinationweddings.com is kicking butt and taking names. Every time we visit, they have more tricks up their sleeves than ever before, making it easier and easier for couples to plan destination weddings. We interviewed Bud Carmichael – President of Destinationweddings.com – on their brand new registry, why people are choosing destination weddings and some general advice for couples planning a wedding away.
 
DIDO: Tell us about this new honeymoon registry available through www.destinationweddings.com — who should consider the option?
Carmichael: Our research has shown that destination wedding couples tend to get married later and therefore usually have established shared living accommodations, i.e. an apartment, condo, etc. As a result, these couples do not need the traditional wedding gifts (toasters,silverware, towels, etc.) The honeymoon registry allows friends and family to contribute to the couple’s honeymoon, even if they cannot attend the destination wedding. While cash never goes out of style, contributing to a romantic ocean side dinner or a moonlit sailing trip allows the invited guest to feel involved.
 
DIDO: What are the reasons couples should consider a destination wedding?
Carmichael: Many of our couples have given us the following reasons why they chose to have a destination wedding.
 
·         Something different– The couple simply wanted something exotic and romantic.
·        Money well spent- Many couples want to put the money spent on a traditional wedding to other uses: i.e. down payment on their first home/condo, paying off student loans, etc.
·         Friends have done it- The couple attended a destination wedding in the past and had such a great time they decided it was for them.
·        Been there done that- One or both of the individuals getting married were married before and had a traditional wedding.
·        Neutral ground- The bride and groom come from different parts of the country, i.e. bride is from Florida while groom is from Texas. Having a destination wedding allows every one to win and avoids the decisions regarding whose home town to pick.
 
DIDO: What is the usual time frame for sending out save-the-day cards?
Carmichael: Couples should send out a "save the day" card as soon as they have decided to have a destination wedding. Our wedding web site allows the couple to email a "save the day" card as early and as often as they like. In other words, you could send out your first "save the day" card and say something like “We have decided to get married a year from February, somewhere warm, probably Mexico.” The couple can then follow up with another notice when they have chosen the actual resort and have price estimates. Early and often is our motto! The more advance notice you give, the more likely it is that people can plan ahead and budget their time and money as well as plan for work and family responsibilities.

DIDO: How many events should the couple invite people to? Should they schedule something everyday or give guests some alone time to explore the destination? 
Carmichael: The number of events is often driven by budget, location and number of guests attending. We have had destination weddings include bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners, receptions, etc. We have also had just as many that included only the ceremony and reception. Certainly, your guests will appreciate some free time, especially if they are treating the trip as a combination wedding and mini-vacation.
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