As most of you know, I was recently the bride of my own Destination Wedding. We got married on April 2 2011 in Los Cabos Mexico. I can tell you now, as I sit at home in sunny Alberta with my new husband, that it was more than I could’ve ever imagined. I sat here and thought of things I regretted or would’ve done differently and there really weren’t any. However, there are always lessons learned from all situations, so I thought I would give you some tips for anyone out there looking to plan their own destination wedding. There are a ton of Do’s and very little Don’ts so I guess that’s a good thing. I hope you find these helpful, remember they are from my own experiences and opinions.
Do-pick a location together. As in Mexico, Jamaica, Costa Rica. Have a good idea of what part of the world you would like to get married in before you go see a travel agent
Do– look at options. Make sure that even though your travel agent will push certain resorts, you look at your options and what you want. Whether it be everything on the beach, or a nice gazebo, YOU decide!
Do-make sure everything is paid for before you get to the resort. We had everything finalised, but the wedding planner did not put the charges for the wedding package through on the credit card. So at check out, it took us about 45 minutes to figure out pesos to usd and then to understand what the charges were even for. If possible, try to have as much already paid for to save time and a bit of confusion.
Do-(for the ladies) remember to be conscious of tan lines. If there are there in person, they will be there in photos. Think strapless when shopping for those swim suits.
Do-book at the Barcelo in Los Cabos. I have shot a few destinations now, and have personally been to a handful of resorts. This was by far the all around full package deal. The food, the scenery and the rooms were all gorgeous.
Do-set expectations for how you would like the week to look like. No, the whole week isn’t about you but being that it is a week spent with close friends and family, doing things together and making memories is half the fun of having a destination wedding. Make sure to meet at the beginning of the week and have some sort of plan on how things are going to go.
Do– be willing. Willing to go and do everything.
Do– ask your photographer to do the bridal party formals first so your lovely bridal party can go drink and cool off
Do-trash/rock your dress. A MUST DO for a destination wedding.
Do-take into consideration timing and lighting. Most ceremonies are around 3 or 4 pm. 3 is alright, but 4 might be cutting it too close to losing all of the golden light. Talk to your photographer about this.
Do-Make sure to correct the wedding planner on pronunciations of names. (I am now Mrs. Mode…should be Modde, too funny)
Do-(to the ladies) plan for humidity. Check this out prior to going and test your hair throughout the week. Destinations do crazy things to those gorgeous locks.
Do-make time for the two of you. Every wedding is like this, but seriously take the time. I don’t remember spending “us” time. It’s important to do that
Don’t– Book through Uniglobe in Edmonton. I am never one to publicly bash a company but I am also a strong believer in word of mouth and getting great service. The only regret I have about my entire wedding, is booking through them. I do not need to get into detail, and I am only speaking about the branch in Edmonton, but I can tell you that once I started chatting with people about the problems I was having with them, needless to say, I wasn’t alone.
Don’t-upgrade your bands. The travel agent or wedding planner will push this on you, it is not worth it. It gets you special alcohol and that’s pretty much about it. If anything, do upgrade your room (actually, absolutely upgrade your room) but not your wrist bands.
Don’t– spend your last day in the lobby saying good bye to everyone.
Don’t-pay for first class on smaller liners (planes) We somehow got bumped up to first class, and it was great, but not worth a penny.