Post # 1
We just got engaged and want to get married April 2013. We are about 95% sure a destination wedding is the way to go. My fear is – where do you start? How do you know it’s a good resort? We are thinking of Dominican/St. Lucia/ Costa Rica.
I want to make it something majority of our friends can afford. I don’t need something that is beyond amazing at the cost of breaking our friends budgets however, I don’t want a cheap wedding. I don’t have a lot of requests. We are quite simple. Our friends would enjoy a place on the beach, all inclusive with a night lfe. I’ve been to a lot of events for work and I know how hard it is to work with vendors when you are not on site.
Do I find a travel agent? Do I contact them directly? Are there deals out there?
Any help is appreciated!!!
Post # 3
I’m getting married in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands in May and I literally just started googling resorts around the virgin islands. I knew I wanted to get married there but didn’t know which island. I ran into our resort on the internet and found a great “wedding and honeymoon” package. the guest room rate is wonderful. I am hosting a small luncheon afterwards and we are going out to a local club later on that night. My budget was 15k and we’re able to do everything we want. Our guest count is 15. A very small and intimate wedding. Good luck to you!
Post # 4
Definitely start with choosing your venue. Trip Advisor’s reviews are a good place to start. You know your family/friends– pick a range that you think they will feel comfortable in for the resort/hotel. Once you narrow down that number, a lot of places will probably be crossed off the list based on price alone. After narrowing the list by price, THEN I would consider guest reviews.
The best way to choose a venue is to actually visit the place you want to have your wedding for 2-3 days & visit the venues you’re considering.
You’ll also want to consider how easy/difficult it is to get to each of the places you’re considering. We considered St. Kitts briefly, until we found out that flights from our region only go to that particular island once or twice a week. We wanted something more flexible so guest could arrive & leave when they want to.
Post # 5
I agree with MsFoxxy! I used tripadvisor too. They give you reviews from people who actually went there! Good luck!
Post # 6
I would work with a travel agent. There’s one that I’ve been working with on my honeymoon…there is no cost to use them, and I think they will help you with your destination wedding. http://www.travelbyvip.com
Post # 7
I used Costcotravel.com then contacted a travel agent asking them to beat my hotel/flight/car package, and they did. We got a killer deal on our Wailea Marriott 10 day stay in Maui. We picked Maui because that’s what he wanted (never been) and I’ve been with my mom and love it. Then…I spent a lottttt of time googling. “Maui hair and makeup.” “Maui restaurants.” “Stuff to do Maui.” etc =)
Post # 8
Congatulations on your forthcoming wedding.
Definitely choose your country and venue first. The Dominican Republic is fairly easy to get to with direct flights from Canada and offers a beautiful beaches and wonderful tropical surroundings. Have a look at http://gocabrera.com for some information on the North Coast area and http://www.islandvillawedding.com for some wedding venue options
Post # 9
Also know how many people. allot of resorts basetherein pricing on tiers of people.
Post # 10
Thank you everyone. I appreciate all this help. We are looking at between 20-30 people.
Post # 11
@tmels: We’re doing a very small wedding in the Bahamas in July. It’s kind of a planned elopement and so we only invited my FI’s parents who are living in different states, their guests, and my lifelong friend & his spouse. My teenage daughter will also be with us. We promised a party here at home when we return since we understand people have time & financial constraints. We chose the Bahamas for travel convenience – some islands would be 18 hours of travel from Colorado-and we’re renting a 4 bedroom house through vrbo.com. Whoever would like to stay with us can do so or make their own arrangements. I’ve learned that many resorts will help you with planning and there are also good websites with wedding planners for most islands. We’re such a small group I’m piecing it all together a la carte. I’ve spent a LOT of time online!
Post # 12
I started by googling venues and looking at prices of rooms and wedding packages. After finding some leads that way I then used tripadvisor.com to read reviews. The winners from that round were sent a list of questions about specifics including any of our non-negotiables (organics, other events, etc). From there, we picked our winner (Tensing Pen in Negril, Jamaica.) We also considered getting there like many other bees have said. We have people coming from all over so we needed a major tourist hub so everyone had plenty of flight options.
I found that even though most resorts have packages, there is flexibility with most of them. Most also have preferred vendors that they work with all the time. This is actually helpful because they know all the logistics and such of the venue and you don’t have to worry about coordinating that because they work together all the time.