Hi there! I’m getting married in July 2013 but I can answer some of these and hopefully it will help you a little bit.
1. Where did you go? Were you happy with the destination, ceremony, cost, and resort? We are doing our wedding in St.Thomas, which is part of the US Virgin Islands and requires no passport.
2. Were the logistics of being legally married challenging? not at all. We fill out paperwork and send it to our planner 30 days before ‘the big day’ and we can be legally married on the island.
3. What would you do differently? Well, I am really excited about St.Thomas and I think it’s an incredibly beautiful place. however…. I somewhat wish I had at least considered Key West, because people could drive to it. But, I didn’t, so… oh well!
4. What were you really happy with? So far I am really happy with my wedding planner, Island Bliss Weddings. Janelle is totally great and is basically in control of everything..it’s very lowkey.
5. Did you use resort vendors for makeup, hair, photography, etc.? I was sent a list of photgraphers on the island with their rates and the links to their website, so I picked the one I liked best. For makeup and hair, I asked the photographer who she liked best or who did her wedding, and will be following her recommendation.
6. What kind of dress was best for a beach wedding? Please share pics if you’re willing! I am wearing the Elizabeth Fillmore Milla dress – all of her collection are very beautiful and light and perfect for a beach wedding, although a little spendy.
Otherwise, quite a few people recommended finding a nice bridesmaid’s dress in white and just wearing that, so I may do that for my ‘reception look.’
7. Did you use traditional or airbrush makeup in all that heat (provided you did a beach wedding, of course! That’s our plan)? I am going to go with traditional makeup look. We are getting married at 5:30pm and I probably will be going very light on the makeup. Another thing – I’m getting married on a ‘flat grassy area’ overlooking the sea. Alot of people recommended this as opposed to ‘on the sand’ and I decided to go with it.
8. Did your family come, or did you truly elope? Both of our families will be attending – in fact, we rented a huge house so our families will be staying *together* for a week. Whew!
9. How did your photos turn out and were they grossly expensive? I think the photographer’s total package is 1000$, and that’s for 4-5 hours. That seemed reasonable compared to NYC and DC prices, which were absurd.
10. How did your family react? They didn’t. He’s from Indiana, I’m from NC, I work in DC, he works in NYC, we both have tons of friends in CA….. it was clear that we were going to have a wedding that was a ‘destination.’ The only person it’s been an issue for is two of my friends are both surgeons, and it’s really hard for them to get the time off to travel there, plus the weekend for the wedding. Otherwise, people have been really excited about it. We are however doing a ‘full wedding weekend’ with a snorkel cruise, brunch on Sunday, etc. So it will be more like a vacation for a weekend instead of just a wedding. In the end we will still be under budget, so… as far as I can tell, destination weddings even with all the bells and whistles are still cheaper than a wedding in my home city would have been.