The Do's and Dont's of a Destination Wedding
We have put together the most basic list of principles to ensure your Caribbean wedding day is remembered as a matrimonial success. Must read:
Make your Caribbean wedding destination personal and as sentimental as can be. Pick a location where you went for your first vacation or if you were lucky where you were engaged or even a place where you vacationed with family. The more personal and sentimental it is, the more memorable it will be.
- Research all marriage requirements at your destination, nothing could be worse than finding out all the planning and traveling was for a vacation.
- Create an email account just for wedding stuff. This will help to avoid your wedding plans taking over your entire life and it will keep you a lot more organized.
- Plan an after party. This could be within the year you were married for friends and family who could not make it or were not invited to your wedding. This will relieve pressure to invite everyone and any feeling of regret for those who could not make it. This could be as formal or informal as desired.
- Consider another location for your Caribbean honeymoon. As much as you might (or might not) like your in-laws, dining with them through out your honeymoon can be anything but romantic.
- Plan a quick trip, preferably during the week to your Caribbean wedding destination a few moths before your wedding. This will give you a chance to meet with several vendors, go to tastings, interview officiants and get a better sense of what things will be like. If you don’t have the time, consider sending your wedding planner. If you don’t have a wedding planner, ask your hotel to recommend one.
- Assemble your team and DELEGATE. Keep your tranquility and accept the help of your family and brides maids to the best of their abilities. Rather than try to be everywhere at once, allow good friends to feel a part of your new life changes by giving them tasks. Make your Maid of Honor and The Best Man your greeters when guests arrive at the hotel. Have your mother follow up on flower arrangements and so on.
- Get everything in writing! Every proposal, every contract, everything. You need to be able to hold vendors accountable for their promises and agreements; there the only way to do so is by having documentation.
- Anticipate cultural differences. Flowers arrangements may appear bigger and gaudier than desired by you, but this may be the fashion of the destination you are in. Remember in the grand scheme of things it will be beautiful and exotic. Caribbean wedding make-up and hair trends can be expected to be different than what you are used to. See what kind of facilities are available ahead of time or bring a friend who is good in these departments to help you.
- Meet with your Caribbean wedding vendors. Even if it is the day before the wedding, meet with your photographer and or videographer. Be prepared with lists of portraits you want, particular moments you want filmed and any other details to be remembered. Go over your playlist with musicians. Make sure all loose ends are tied up. Delegating these responsibilities can make these tasks easy.
- Interview your officiant ahead of time. Do this in person when possible if not over the phone. Some people have a destination wedding in order to avoid many of the religious traditions, the officiant can accommodate you—but only if you ask!
- Send packages ahead of you. Understand you will be away for two weeks are more and the less you carry the easier it will be on you. So don’t bother traveling with 25 – 50 gift bags, FedEx them! Send anything you can ahead of time.
- Break the ice for your guests. Email your guests a few days ahead of the wedding a complete guest list with their relation to you and yours with a brief description. Although you know all your attendees, everyone else doesn’t know each other.
- Schedule. Make an itinerary for your guests with locations as well as a list of activities available to them, include some attractions outside your hotel or resort for the more adventurous types.
- Schedule spa time for the ladies and gents! Ladies, when you are in the tropics between swimming and putting your hands in the sand, your nail polish will chip. Schedule an afternoon mani-pedi the day before. Gents, find out how incredible it is to receive a massage on the beach and relax.
- Never be shy. Announce your nuptials to everyone; you would be absolutely amazed on the things to come your way when you do. Hotels want to make a loyal customer out of you and your family and will make many accommodations to keep you happy as can be.
- Don’t think you can plan it all alone. If you are planning a large Caribbean wedding, invest in a wedding planner. It may cost you a little extra now but they can save you money in areas you may not realize are negotiable. If you are planning a smaller affair assemble a team and delegate the work out. Use the Caribbean wedding coordinator or any event coordinating assistance the hotel has, sometimes these services are free or included in a package deal.
- Don’t forget to share the planning with your groom-to-be. It’s not just your day but his day too! Planning your Caribbean wedding is great practice for marriage between budgeting, negotiating, juggled in with pleasing the other person. Communicate everything.
- Don’t charge everything! Do your research to get an understanding of real world prices. This will help you negotiate fair rates as well as plan ahead.
- Don’t think it won’t rain. Make sure your Caribbean destination has a back up plan that will be just as pretty and satisfying a location as your original.
- Don’t mess with perfection. There really is no need for excessive amounts of flowers covering a naturally beautiful location. Save your money for bigger wedding band!
- Don’t feel obligated to bring the rings. Why spend more for less? Many of the Caribbean islands have amazing jewelry stores with great prices.
- Don’t wait to try your make-up. The worst make-up crisis you could have is to buy new make-up only to find out in the middle of your ceremony that your eyeliner burns. You’ll be crying but not tears of joy.
- Don’t plan your bachelor/ette party the night before your wedding. You have no idea how alert you’ll want to be on your big day and it’s too difficult to be in that state when you are hung over. Plan it a few days before, then lay on the beach the next day.
- Don’t let the men run loose. With men on the big day, make sure there is an organized physical activity or some outlet for their nervous tension.
- Don’t forget about wardrobe malfunctions. Make sure you have an emergency bag with you. This should have Tampons, a second set of unmentionables, sewing kit, tooth brush, safety pins, etc.
- Don’t assume your dress will be fine. Airlines do have accommodations to help you transport your dress, contact them for information. If you plan on packing it in your suitcase, have the gown assistants pack it up in a box for you.
- Don’t write your vows last minute. Make the words of vows capture your partner’s heart and remind your guests why they flew the distance to witness this event.
- Don’t forget to laugh. Not everything will happen as planned and mistakes will be made. There is not much you can do about then, so remember to laugh and enjoy each other’s company.
- Don’t let your guests leave without thanking them.