Post # 1
For my entire life I have thought about my wedding, and always figured that I would do a traditional church with reception after. However, now that FI and I are looking into the wedding, it is SO expensive, so we’re (kind of) set on a destination wedding! Just a few more details to seal the deal, then it’s time to start looking and planning!
However, I have NO CLUE where to start. I know that cruises and all inclusives tend to offer packages, but we are also considering Hana, Hawaii as my aunt and uncle live there and we could do it there as well.
How do you plan photographers, caterers, very small (20 people) receptions, DJ, cake, etc.?
Anyone do a cruise or all inclusive wedding and have opinions on what/where to do? We know we want a beach wedding, warm, sunny, with palm trees.
Any thoughts and help would be MUCH appreciated!!
Post # 3
Well, you’ve worked out you want a beach wedding and you have a rough idea of location so thats the first step!!
i would say work out the venues available – hotels, beach clubs, private houses or whatever. and as i know nothing about hawaii, if theres a rainy season or hurricane season you will want to avoid that! and think about high/low season for prices.
normally, the best rates are always going to be with a travel agent who handles group bookings for hotel and flights if you go that route. or group rates for cruises
for all inclusive resorts – think about whether you want a big resort (more amenities) or more intimate, adult only or kid friendly, the wedding literally on the beach (As in on the sand) or next to the beach in a gazebo type location. some hotels have free wedding packages if a certain number of guests are staying, others you have to pay so thats worth checking out
also, for hotels you want to know what their policy is on outside vendors. some say you *have* to use their photographer/makeup etc. others say you have to pay a fee for them to be allowed on the property and this can be expensive
are you going to be able to do a site visit, or will it all be done online? i suggest http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com as the forums have a lot of info and reviews about resorts for pretty much all destination weddings!! it will also help you find photographers, caterers etc if you have a non all inclusive option (like aunts house, or somewhere else)
Post # 4
@PrettyinPink45: I think the packages include reception, DJ, cake etc. – that’s why they’re so appealing.
I know Sandals (Carribbean) are really good w. the destination weddings/honeymoons so you might want to look into that.
Mexico is always a good choice and there are plenty of resorts that have good wedding packages. I would personally recommend Excellence Cancun… we went there last year (didn’t do wedding tho).
No idea about Hawaii, sorry!
Post # 5
Have you been to Hana to visit your aunt? The reason I ask is that if I recall correctly, there is only the one road to get to Hana and it’s a pretty interesting, one lane road. Can you fly directly into Hana? If the road is the only option, that might make it hard for guests and vendors to get to you
Post # 6
i’m in the same boat. just got engaged on xmas morning!
FI and I live in NYC – my family/friends are all mostly NYC area centric but he’s from the UK! We’re stumped on what to do. we both have lots of friends – most of which with enough notice could travel – so we are thinking destination wedding in the carribean so it’s fair.
but he’s really worried his friends wont be able to afford it — we can’t afford a NYC sit down dinner wedding either so I am honestly scratching my head. Any advice would be great!
Post # 7
We knew form the beginning that we were going to have a destination wedding for the fact that we wanted something different AND that we knew we would not be able to afford a wedding in our area. We decided on the resort about a year before the wedding date (its a place we have been too before) and contacted a destination wedding planner. We then sent out email save the dates and booking info to all the guests. We have been very surpried in the number of people who agreed to come and have made the deposit..we are currently at 58 people and are still 4 months away from the wedding! I would say do it if thats what you want. Most packages include everything depending on the number of people you have booked or whether you want a private or semi-private dinner
Post # 8
My FI and I finally deicded to make the jump and do the DW.
We are hiring a local wedding coorinator/planner to help us with everything. so once you find a location, or general location serach out someone local to help you plan
Post # 9
Hawaii is going to be hard on the AI front. Most resorts offer European plans instead (ie. they provide breakfast and maybe lunch but you’re on your own for dinner & drinks). It’s also very expensive for base costs (ie. hotel and airfare) when compared to other “tropical” destinations.
That being said, if you have your heart set on being married in Hawaii, then it’s where you should get married. Start by researching everything you can. There are numerous websites to help from wedding oriented pages to pages like Trip Advisor when you get closer to selecting a hotel.
Know that it takes time and you have to be willing to let go of a LOT of the small stuff. If you’re a control freak that wants everything just so, and perfect on your wedding day, a DW may not be the way to go!
Last piece of advice! Enjoy planning!!! 😀
Post # 10
Thanks for all the advice ladies! Final decision, sticking with the traditional wedding.
@musicalrose: One thing I didn’t really consider before is that I would have to let go of all the small stuff. Once FI and I began to seriously look into it, I realized that the small stuff was more important to me than I thought. I don’t want to have any regrets and I feel traditional is really what is meant for me. Although DW sounds FABULOUS I think that FI and I will save that for vow renewals down the road.