(Closed) Destination wedding for dummy (me!)!!! Step 1,2,3? HELP!

posted 6 years ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 3
835 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

First of all, congrats on your recent engagement!!!!! I’m getting married in St. Thomas, virgin islands this May. (yikes!) I researched and researched online what would best suit my guests since I didn’t want to inconvenience them anymore than what I already am doing since it is a Destination Wedding. I decided on St. Thomas because if guests didn’t already have a passport, they wouldn’t need one anyway to come to my Destination Wedding wedding. 

As for food, we are having a sit down luncheon since we are having our wedding ceremony early (1 o’clock). Choices of chicken, fish, steak, or vegetarian. (the way it will be cooked is very tropical/Caribbean). 

As far as the budget, it can very much be just as expensive with a Destination Wedding as a regular home wedding. It all depends on numbers. The thing is how many guests will actually come to your Destination Wedding wedding. When we were first thinking of having a full guest count Destination Wedding, we had a guest list rule that if we haven’t spoke to you within a year, you are not invited to our wedding, point blank. That was the first thing. BUT we changed our minds….haha…. We decided it will just be our parents, siblings, and 1 friend each that are invited to our wedding. Total of 15 guests. 15 guests at The Ritz Carlton + wedding ceremony + cocktails + luncheon reception + honeymoon package= $19,896. I know it’s expensive compared to other Destination Wedding but it is because we are having it at The Ritz. It is still CONSIDERABLY cheaper than doing a huge wedding back in NYC. We could have easily spent 50-60k and I just don’t see myself wasting that much $$ on one day. 

As for flowers, everything is picked by The Ritz and let my planner just handle everything. I’m not big on what kind of flowers I have as long as they look beautiful. Its included in the price above but individually it totaled to about $700 ( ceremony pewmarkers, rose petals down the aisle, blooming flowers on gazebo colums, bouquets, boutonnières, etc).


As far as tips, I would suggest picking someone who isresponsive to you and your needs.Your sense of urgency/how important something is to you isn’t the same for others. And a lot of people at tropical areas are on “island time” and I personally don’t think that is professional. I went with who was the most responsive to me and my needs, was within my budget, and a place I could vision myself getting married in! Good luck!!!!

Post # 4
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2005

Congrats on your engagement!


I agree with the prior person about the budget and how it can possibly be just as expensive to do a destination wedding.  It all just depends on where you pick, how many guests, etc.  You just have to weigh the pros and cons for a Bay Area wedding or destination wedding.  Some of my brides like to do a venue visit and to pick some of their vendors on that trip prior to the destination wedding.  If you need/want to do a visit before the wedding, be sure to factor that into the budget.


The Grand Hyatt in Kauai is gorgeous for a wedding.  I like the Sheraton in Kauai too.  The Fairmont on the Big Island is great too.  You could look at places in California too if you don’t want to travel as far.  The Hotel Del Coronado is an option.  You could still stay in the Bay Area for a wedding and create your luau feel with the food and décor/flowers.  Even Monterey or Half Moon Bay could be an option.  We did a destination wedding for a client in Cabo and they rented out a small hotel for the weekend.  It was nice that the only guests that were there were part of the wedding.  It was something where people needed to have a passport though, so it was something that guests had to be reminded of before the wedding.  They ended up doing mexican food, but they had other options too.  They ended up spending a little over $30,000 for about 30 people in the end.  In regards to price, everything in Cabo (centerpieces, cake, DJ, photographer, etc) isn’t really a lot cheaper than here in Northern California.


Good luck! 




Post # 5
1239 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

congrats!  I think just like any wedding you can set whateer budget you have, the size & distance you have to travel will effect it of course, but there are so many options.  The way I started was to go online, for hours actually, plus visit travel agents to get brochures & go to travel expos & ask other people what they did or are doing.  You should find a lot of info on the Destination Wedding posts plus there are some good websites about DWs.  Good luck 🙂

Post # 6
1828 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I’m having a Disney wedding at Disneyworld but they also have a resort in Hawaii! If you go on their wedding site you can see the costs and compare the different wedding packages.

Post # 7
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I am doing a destination wedding in Jamaica. Resort has free Beautiful Begginings wedding with a six night stay. I was not crazy about flowers and upgrade cost was excessive in my opinion. I chose to go with silk, spent hours looking online and found site on Etsy called “flowers by the vase”. They are amazing. Was able to take one of their site bouquets and color customize. The flowers are gorgeous and they named my bouquet “first love” after I told them our story of being reunited with my first boyfriend at the age if thirteen. We reunited FORTY years later.

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