Hi @JS1103: First off… CONGRATULATIONS… Antigua is a FABULOUS Destination. I am sure you’ll LOVE it there.
I am an Encore Bride… and this is exactly the type of Wedding that Mr TTR & I had last year over Christmas
Just the two of us Eloping to a Destination Wedding…
Now being Older & Encores, we KNEW all along we didn’t want to do the Traditional BIG White Pouffy Family Wedding… having both done that before.
Our Family & Friends got pouty about it too… we even had a few couples tell us they’d come along to crash (uh, no… had to put our foot down on that one)
Our Wedding was AWESOME… (mind you we had 5 weeks off, and made it a trip of a lifetime… combining Christmas – PreWedding Trip – Wedding – and Honeymoon into one)
We married in The Florida Keys… at a favourite resort of ours, on the Beach. Just the 2 of us, the Officiant & the Photographer. It was perfect, and very much us / private. No Regrets.
It was some work to figure it out from afar but it all worked out.
We married just before sunset. Had Photos on the Beach at Sunset. Had a Celebration Drink in the Hotel Bar. Then a Romantic Dinner at a favourite Ocean Front Restaurant. Followed by a Nightcap back at the Bar… and then moved the party up to our FANTASTIC Honeymoon Suite that was right on the beach. We had a shower (8 lbs of hairspray) and changed into the Fluffy Robes… broke open the Bubbly… and made phone calls to Family & Friends. Finished up the night sitting on our Balcony over the Ocean… staring at the million stars, and moonlight dancing on the ocean, sipping our Champagne. It was a AWESOME Day. Everything I wished for and more !!
Next day we had late check out. Drove up to Miami and an Airport Hotel for a day of R&R (Rest, Relaxation, Lunch Poolside, and a Nice Dinner). Early to bed, as we had an early flight out the next morning to San Juan, PR.
Spent 2 wonderful days in SJ, before boarding our Caribbean Cruise Ship… then another 7 Days at Sea…. Unpack once and the world comes to you, Great Food & Wine, Entertainment & Pampering. We visited 5 Islands in 7 Days. It was fantastic.
LOVED Antigua !!
When we came home… we put the final touches on organizing our Back Home Reception Party. We had a travel theme… so we mailed out our Invites while we were away over Christmas. All the big stuff had been done before we left (Booked the Hall – Caterer – Liquor Service – Bartender & Serving Staff – DJ etc). The big thing was just getting the DIY items finished etc.
I was smart in one way in that we didn’t hold the Party immediately when we got back… we had a gap of a few weeks. So that there was some time to pause, recoup, and finish up the DIY.
Mind you the downside was that EVERYONE wanted to hear about the Wedding & Trip, and we were saving some of that to Reveal at the Reception.
Our Reception Party was 5 Hours… and Evening Affair. Cocktails & Hors d’Ouevres – Cake & Champagne / Sparkling – DJ & Dancing. It was a TON of fun.
With a Back Home Reception you can make it as Wedding like as you choose. We brought in only a few elements… Card Box with Best Wishes Postcards (that also formed our Guest Book) – Wedding Cake – Toast to the B&G – and a First Dance.
I liked the fact that a Back Home Reception was fun, but also gave us a party, and a lot of control over how much we spent etc. Not super cheap by any means (about $ 100 a head for us)… but a lot less than a regular Reception with full meal.
When all was said & done. It was a Wedding – Honeymoon – and Reception that worked for us. The bulk of our funds were most certainly spent ON US versus our Guests. As Encores, I don’t feel bad about that at all. We found a way to make THIS Wedding significant to us one of the greatest challenges for Encores.
Hope this helps,