6 Steps to an Amazing Wedding Away

April 18, 2017
Words by Jennifer Stein
Photos courtesy of AM Resorts

Have you been dreaming of a wedding with your feet in the sand and the wind blowing through the palm trees as you take your vows? Trying to plan your own tropical destination wedding can be a confusing and stressful experience. You start reading online reviews, looking at pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, researching various wedding packages and then you call a resort or two and now the confusion really sets in. Here are six easy steps to have an amazing, stress-free tropical destination wedding.

1. Is it even right for you?

While many people dream of a wedding on the beach, you first need to ask yourself some important questions to determine if a tropical wedding is right for you and your guests.

Are you looking to spend more time with your friends and family and not just three hours at a reception? Are you tired of the same old same old and looking for something different? Do you love to travel and enjoy the beach, sun and sand? Even if you had your wedding at home would your guests be coming from many different locations?

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, then a tropical destination wedding might be right for you.  So, proceed to step 2.

2. Determine your budget.

As you think about your budget, you need to think about two separate items. The first would be what you and your family would be paying for, which is typically the ceremony and reception. The second item would be the guests’ travel expenses. Even though you are not paying for these it is important to select a resort that fits within the budget of the guests who will be attending. If you know your guests are on a tight budget, but what you are really dreaming of is the Ritz or Four Seasons, you should find something in-between or you will have a limited number of guests attending.

3. Decide if you are going to have a legal or symbolic wedding.

Did you know there was a difference? Many destination weddings are symbolic. With a symbolic wedding you get legally married at home before you leave for your destination wedding. If you want to be legally married in the destination, determine what rules and procedures you must follow.  Typically you need to be in the destination two to four days in advance of your wedding date.

4. Determine the destination.

Do you have a specific destination you want to be married in? Maybe the place you met or where you took your first trip together? Also, give some thought about where most of the guests will be flying from as you don’t want them flying too far. Most destination weddings are three to four nights. Think about the time of year you want the wedding and what the weather will be like. 

5. Find an experienced travel planner.

They will help you identify the destinations that meet your needs, as well as the resorts that have the locations perfect for your destination wedding. They will eliminate stress by dealing with the resorts to check availability of the venues for your ceremony and reception as well as reserve rooms for you and your guests. They will coordinate all your guests’ travel needs so that you don’t have to take on that role. They will know which resorts provide free weddings and other perks, as well as arrange site visits, food tastings and visits with reputable local vendors such as photographers, DJs, bands and florists. They can also arrange special events such as tequila tastings, zip line trips, sunset catamaran cruises and golf outings. Best of all, a great, experienced travel planner typically will not charge you for their services.

6. Have an amazing, stress-free and enjoyable tropical destination wedding. 

If you would like a free copy of the Vacationeeze Destination Wedding Planning Handbook, please send an email to jack@vacationeeze.com.

About the Author

Jack Benoff is the founder of Vacationeeze, a travel company that specializes in helping clients plan their destination weddings and honeymoons. Jack has been involved in the travel industry for over 25 years and typically travels 1-2 times per month to the destinations the company works with.

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