- In your initial conversations with the resort's on-site wedding coordinator, check if you will be able to make selections such as choosing your flowers or cake ahead of time. This is easy to do through e-mailing digital photos, but some resorts prefer you to wait and plan your wedding with them in the days before you get married. Unfortunately, if you wait that long, you may end up having to settle on some of your decisions as it will be too late to make alternative arrangements or else be prepared to pay significant dollars for upgrades.
- Ensure that the resort offers a bad weather alternative and know what exactly that entails. We hope for the best, but smart couples plan for the worst.
- Collect pictures from magazines or wedding websites of bouquets, centerpieces and wedding cakes that appeal to you. Scan them into your computer and it will make it much easier to communicate ideas back and forth about what you want. Many resorts offer an upgrade for flowers, musicians, cake, and decor. You mine as well get what you would like than just accept what is offered. Once again, do this early in the game to ensure that you have enough lead time to get what you want.
- Make sure you compare the package to the "a la carte" options of building your wedding yourself. It may end up more cost-effective to choose a less expensive package and personalize it yourself.
- Check online with other couples who have gotten married at your chosen resort. How was their experience? What concerns did they have? What advice could they offer? Learn from those who have married before you!
- Meet with the onsite coordinator in the early part of your trip to review the details of your wedding. The earlier you make this meeting the better chance you have of being able to make any necessary changes or improvements that need to happen.
- Most importantly, make sure you get any additions or deletions to your wedding contract in writing. Always note the time and date it was discussed, as well as who you were speaking with. In addition, bring your file with all of your notes, e-mails, and amendments with your on your trip in case you need to refer back to them.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. Get a wedding planner in your area who has experience with destination weddings. She will have your specific needs in mind and can negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you get the wedding that you want. It is up to you on whether you want them to travel with you for the ceremony itself, but recognize that having them there can take a lot of the weight off your shoulders, allowing you to truly relax and enjoy the entire experience.
Destination weddings can be beautiful and magical with the proper planning and attention to detail ahead of time.Destination weddings can be a beautiful and magical experience. You just have to remember that although this will be one of the most important days of your lives, for the resort, this is just part of their regular business. They prefer to keep things simple because it makes their lives easier. A smart resort, however, recognizes the significance of your wedding to the two of you and will want to work with you to make it everything you dreamed of. (Happy customers will be repeat customers.) Work with your resort wedding planner to communicate your ideas and make many of the necessary decisions ahead of time. With the proper planning and attention to detail, your destination wedding can be everything you ever dreamed about and more.
If you wish further assistance, or advice on your own destination wedding, please contact Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.