It’s wedding season! Time to get out our party frocks and prepare to usher happy couples into wedded bliss. Perhaps you’ll be packing your bags, too, to attend a destination wedding?
Destination weddings are growing in popularity thanks in large part to celebrities making it the way the cool kids do it. From Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel’s Italian dream wedding, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ Charleston “I dos,” and Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman’s wedded soiree on a private estate on California’s Big Sur coast, many celeb couples are taking the plunge in places far from Hollywood and home.
Destination Weddings are also a great way to extend the celebration and give friends and family a two-for-one experience: both a wedding and a vacation. Now, who wouldn’t love that! If you are considering turning your wedding into a remote celebration then here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Tips for Choosing a Destination Wedding Hotel
For destination weddings, often the hotel is the site for both the ceremony, the reception and the accommodations for your guests. The nice thing about that is everything is usually taken care of – the caterer, cake designer, team of servers and bartenders, wedding coordinator, ceremony, and reception site are available all in one place. There’s not much to worry about in this setting. And most hotels, at the very least, can provide you with a list of trusted vendors.
Try to get a special rate for guests. You will need to work with the wedding or event coordinator for a special rate for your guests at the hotel you’ve chosen. It helps if you can guarantee a certain number of reservations when negotiating rates. Try to do this four to six months prior to your wedding date.
In Las Vegas, some couples end up hosting part of their wedding day festivities in a hotel suite. Luckily, with so many hotel choices, Vegas can accommodate small in-suite ceremonies, receptions or post-reception cocktail parties…and really knows how do a great wedding party!
If you are booking both the rooms block and the wedding reception at the same hotel, there is a good chance that your wedding package includes a complimentary room. In my experience, many hotel wedding packages include a complimentary room for the bridal couple and often discounts for other services and amenities for both the couple and their guests.
Consider a Cruise. More and more couples are turning to cruise lines for affordable and fun getaways. This option is great for couples that want to extend the party with their guests; it especially works well for second marriages or vow renewal celebrations. Cruise weddings have grown a massive 60 percent over the last ten years, according to the New York Times.
Plan for Weather. A Caribbean wedding sounds amazing but maybe not at the peak of hurricane season. Make sure you seriously consider the weather when choosing any destination. Weddings during the off-season can be a great way to save money, but be sure to have an inclement weather plan just in case Mother Nature decides to attend the wedding.
American Idol season four winner Carrie Underwood wed Ottawa Senators hockey player Mike Fisher in June of 2010, at the chic 251-room Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia. Weddings at this resort can fit all budgets and the staff will even provide welcome baskets, bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts and a variety of other special amenities to help add that personal touch to your wedding*. *Costs for all items vary.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu is the state’s most legendary property. Weddings at the resort reflect the setting and can either be traditional with a Hawaiian officiant and a conch-shell blower, or modern and lavish at formal reception sites with sweeping sea views. No matter your preference, couples and their guests enjoy delectable cuisine (Polynesian-style buffets are popular) and the attention of an on-site coordinator (wedding packages start at $3,000 and include site fees and ceremony set-up and some décor.)
At the 16 beautiful properties (across 5 countries) of Barceló Hotels & Resorts, book as few as 25 room nights at participating properties and get a free ceremony at one of these family-friendly, all-inclusive resorts. On-site planners handle decor, ceremony and menu requests, as well as helping with any legal requirements.
Sprawling beachfront grounds, tons of watersports and festive nightly entertainment are just a few of the marquee amenities of Iberostar Hotels and Resorts, an all-inclusive five-star chain located in Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico. Couples holding their wedding at one of the resorts also get a free room upgrade, champagne toast and spa discount. Only five rooms must be booked for three nights to enjoy this deal.
Know any other fun destination wedding ideas? Let us know in the comments section!