Post # 1
Let me just preface this by saying, before I got engaged I never thought I would want a destination wedding. Being at home surrounded by family and friends seemed more my speed. By 3 weeks (ish) ago we got engaged. We looked at our first place for the reception and ever since then I have had anxiety about all the planning that has to go into it, and of course time and money. So I started looking at Sandals for destination prices and what the day would be like and it got me thinking. Maybe a destination wedding is more my speed with only close family? I wanted to see if any bee’s had a destination wedding and initially they never thought they would want that? Do you regret it now? Any opinions and advice would be appreciated!
Post # 3
If you’ve always envisioned a bigger wedding at home, I think that is the way to go for you. I don’t think you can make this decision on the anxiety saved. You have to fully understand going into a destination wedding that not everyone can attend. Some people can’t afford it, some won’t want to make the trip.
It also depends on what kind of bride you are. Are you someone who wants everything to be perfect or are you someone who can go with the flow? I think this is an important factor in having a destination wedding.
Just ask yourself this question. Years down the road, do you think you’ll regret having a destination wedding?
I never wanted a big wedding. I hate being the center of attention, so the fewer people the better for me. I also knew going in that my FI and I were paying for the wedding ourselves and that we couldn’t afford a huge 200 person wedding.
Post # 4
I actually did want a big, traditional wedding my whole life. Unfortunately throughout the time my fiance and I had been engaged we had a lot of family issues. These issues caused us to re-evaluate our wedding. We wanted to start from scratch and ensure it would be a blast so we are going with a destination wedding in Punta Cana.
I will say that is is definitely cheaper (about half of what it would have cost me to have it at home) and less stressful IMO. My resort doesn’t even start details until sometime in July and I am getting married in September.
Let your heart decide.
Post # 5
I had always wanted to get married at my parents summer home. Since I was a little kid, I was 100% sure thats what I would do. Even after I was engaged it wasn’t even a question that I would get married there. Then reality set in that my husband is from another country and it wasn’t fair to make his entire side travel halfway around the world. My parents suggested a destination in between and, after a few days of swallowing my disappointment, I agreed. Turns out, it was THE BEST descision ever. I can’t even describe how fun it is to go on vacation with your closest friends and family and then get to get all dressed up and get married in the middle of it.
Also, I am the kind of person who wanted complete control over everything and there were definately moments of frustration because I wasn’t there to do tastings, see the venue, see flowers, and it limited all the little touches and details I wanted to DIY. But I was able to do alot myself still and our wedding was still definately personal.
So to answer your question, I didn’t intially want one. I LOVED it. and I don’t regret it at all.
Post # 6
This is me exactly! Once we got engaged my mom and I started looking around at venues and I started getting really stressed out about the cost, guest list, flowers etc…
I started thinking to myself “If i am this anxious about it already, and we havent even planned anything in stone yet, how am I gonna be the week before the wedding when we are all going crazy with stuff to do”
To me, the stress isnt worth it. I am going to enjoy my wedding on the beach with close family and friends so much! I am so excited now, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted ever since we decided to do a DW
Post # 7
I had a DW with about 50 guests and i loved it and wouldn’t change a thing! However, if your heart is in a big hometown wedding then I think you’ll be disappointed by a DW. There are a lot of No RSVPs that I don’t think everybody is ready to deal with. Also, a wedding at an all-inclusive is really standard, you know? The wedding on Tuesday is the same as the wedding on Wednesday. That’s good for some (easy! and you know it’d be beautiful), but it wasn’t for us and it doesn’t sound like you either. Our wedding was DW, but at a regular hotel, so we still put a lot of our own things in it. That doesn’t really happen at sandals as much.
If I were you, I would plan a wedding at a pretty self sufficient place in your home state. Pick a restaurant for a reception that will do its own catering and use its own dishes, chairs, linens, etc. A good friend of mine got married on the outdoor patio of a gorgeous restaurant on a hill with striking views. the reception? right inside! Beyond the design elements, I’m not sure the bride and groom had to labor over all of the individual choices.
Post # 8
I was so glad I had a DW! It was the most beautiful day I ever could have imagined. It was my second wedding so the intimacy of a small wedding was what I wanted, as well as vacation with my friends/family. I am so glad I decided to do it. Everyone who came said it was the most beautiful wedding they had ever attended. I loved that my place was a gourmet all inclusive, but without destinationweddings.com I couldn’t have even begun to narrow down my choices. If you don’t know what you want, I highly recommend their services. It costs $50 to get a consult and that $50 goes straight to your room or resort … If you don’t want to plan everything out they help with that. Best of luck.
Post # 9
I was planning a traditional wedding at home. After about 4 months of planning we scratched everything and went for a DW in Mexico. It was amazing. We both were so happy with how everything turned out. We had 20 guests which included immediate family and friends.
Most of our family rejected the idea of a DW at first. In the end, everyone loved it and had the best time.
We thought the cost waas going to be less than a wedding at home. We ended up spending a few thousand more than what was in our budget but the money went so much further. We were able to have a beautiful resort, a great DJ, awesome photographer, super nice reception, open bar, etc, welcome party with bonfire and open bar, spa day with my bridesmaids at the resort, etc. Plus I had a wedding coordinator included in our wedding package and that was very helpful.
If you are interested in a DW i would check bestdestinationweddings.com. it’s a free site and an invaluable resource for planning, researching venues, etc.
We have no regrets. We loved our wedding and spending time on vacation with our closest people!!
Post # 10
I don’t have my ring yet (so I won’t call him FI), but SO and I have pretty much mapped out our whole DW (we just haven’t booked anything yet). I was initally looking into a reception in my hometown with another smaller party/reception in his hometown. When I got into the pricing for different vendors and the coordination of it all, I got discouraged. A wedding planner is not in my budget, so I would be doing everything myself. It just seemed overwhelming. And super expensive.
For me, I never imagined what my perfect wedding day would be so I don’t have any childhood dreams to live up to. I just know that I would rather spend my money on planning a really awesome vacation and wedding celebration with my closest friends & family. I also REALLLLLLY like the idea that it is a “one stop shop”- the resort will plan everything. Yes, you give up most of the control and that may be hard for a moment… but the thought of fun, sun, pina coladas, and a beach wedding is enough to make me feel better.
It sounds like you are doing the right thing by researching your options and taking time to really think about it. I know a DW is right for me because I get really excited when I think about it. It sounds so great to me. Nothing is perfect at any wedding- there will always be elements that are beyond your control, so don’t let that scare you. My big tip would be to use a travel agent. They have planned DWs before and can take all of the guess work out of it for you.
I have spoken with agents from both places but haven’t chosen one yet:
ETA: I just noticed that this was from a year ago, but maybe a future bride will find this helpful!
Post # 11
i am doing it! We are getting married in Ireland, with immediate family only! We rented a castle for a week. Everyone is staying with us in the castle and we rented cars for everyone. The cost is 1/4 of what a normal wedding costs! I got a designer gown, flowers, cars, dinners, spending money for the week, gifts all budgeted in! Granted- its only 12 people. But- its the most important 12 people in our lives 🙂 The planning and everything took 2 months to complete- and now I have a year of nothing to do! Such a good feeling. Good Luck- I SAY GO FOR IT!!!
Post # 12
DW are totally the way to go! My husband & I got married on 9/4/11 in Riviera Maya, Mexico and it was a great decision for us! We used a great website destionationweddings.com and our planner helped us with all the details. We ended up having 50 people all at the same resort for the weekend and it was a blast. We planned a welcome bonfire for everyone on Friday then a beach olympics game on Saturday (which many people still talk about). All in all, I would totally recommend doing a DW they are great fun for everyone and less expensive than the average cost of a wedding!
Post # 13
One option to “have both” is that you can have a DW to save on planning/expenses with the closest people to you and then a reception at home when you return with a larger guest list. I knew someone who did that and they loved it. Just be careful how you phrase the reception at home so it doesn’t look like a gift grab.
Post # 14
I’m also having a destination wedding!!! It will be in Cuba next May and i’m so excited for it! For us it was the way to go cause we wanted something smaller and not very traditional and also it will be in the country where we first told each other we were in love 🙂
Post # 15
We were soooo happy to have a destination wedding. What is better than a wedding day??? A wedding WEEK!!! Destinationweddings.com helped us plan all of our travel details and it was seriously one of the easiest “vacations” I had been on. I was afraid of everyone asking me for travel tips, travel arrangements, etc. but I didn’t have any of those issues! Just a fun in the sun week with family and friends! Go for it!
Post # 16
My husband HATED the idea of a destination wedding and it was really hard for us because my dream was always to get married on a beach with my closest friends and family and enjoy a holiday together in paradise at the same time! It took alot of coaxing on my end to get him to finally agree. And like you, he only did so, after seeing how much extra cost, work and not to mention stress, would go into planning a wedding at home. We also used destinationweddings.com and found that the entire process was so simple from start to finish. They offer a full range of services from the travel planning, to suggesting amazing resort options that will accomodate everyone and they always manage to get incredible prices that I didn’t think were possible. My agent Joan, worked directly with the resort and because of their relationship with the resort, we we upgraded and treated like royalty the whole trip. They are experts and definitely know what to do to make your vision a reality.
Today, my husband looks back on our wedding and still can’t believe how perfect every aspect was. it’s great because I can say i told you so, but even better because I know I truly made him happy even though he may not have a agreed at first. Using destinationweddings.com made it all possible and i can’t thank them enough. Use their service, you won’t regret it!