Post # 1
Hello! This is my first post, although not new to the bee as I have been stalking it for months!! I am newly engaged, (YAY!!) I have a few questions for Destination wedding brides. My family lives in PA, and I’m down in Texas. I’m considering a destination wedding in the carribean. Is a destination wedding really easier? And a better “bang for my buck”? It would most likely just be us two, possibly up to 6 more people tops. I just started researching and I’m already stressing! Any advise would be appreciated. I also need some location suggestions, all I know is that I definitely want an all inclusive resort, and NOT anywhere in Mexico or Jamacia. (already been there and wasn’t impressed). My top pick right now is Saint Lucia, if I can afford it. I’d like to stay around 5-6k.
Post # 3
well i definitely thought it was worth it and i also definitely feel i got more bang for my buck. i mean just the fact that my Darling Husband and I were on vacation for 10 days, had a fabulous wedding and honeymoon – and all for $14K! And that was because i splurged on quite a few things. I could have done it for ALOT less! Only thing is I got married in Jamaica and was also considering Mexico! So i am not sure my info can help you much as i was very impressed with Jamaica and i am still dying to go to Mexico. And the only other places i have been in the Caribeean is Cuba and Dominican Republic – which were not that different from Jamaica (food was better in Jamaica, that’s all). I am not sure there are other places in the Caribeean that would be significantly “better” than these ones….
Edit: for your price of 5-6K, i would say that you could probably only go for a week and would not be able to spend on alot on things like dress, photography, reception. So if you are okay with that, then i would think you can do it. Like some resorts have very cheap basic wedding packages (could even be less than $1000 or free if you stay a week), so most of your money would then go towards the travel and accommodations cost. You can also do semi private receptions for probably a minimal cost.
Post # 4
I think the hardest part about doing a Destination Wedding is deciding your location. Once you make that decision, it gets easier. Make sure you think about how much the airfare will be, some of the smaller islands can get really spendy, depending on where you & your guests are flying from. Do all your potential guests have passports or are willing to get one? One of the big draws for us on choosing USVI is that a passport isn’t needed. And I would definately have to agree that it was a great bang for our buck. I have been really bad keeping track of specific costs but on my quick calculations I think we only spent $5,000 tops on everything. Granted, the only “professional” we used was our officiant and I didn’t include the camera that I bought for the wedding that my sister-in-law used to take pics during the wedding. I definately wouldn’t trade my Destination Wedding for a regular wedding back home and I don’t think my family would either!
Post # 5
I am so happy we decided on a Destination Wedding – we had the most amazing time. We only had nine guests but it was perfect. Our families are still talking about it 7 months later.
We opted for Mexico and are so happy we did. We loved the town and the resort.
We stayed for 10 days and just our trip cost $4,000. Everything else cost $4,000 (We did a semi-private reception to cut costs). And I bet we could have saved a bit more if we needed to.
Post # 6
@alliestcroix. You are right, the biggest thing I am stressed about is The location! St Croix is in the mix of locations I am looking at. I have been to Saint Thomas and Saint John and I loved it! If anyone comes to my wedding it would be my parents and siblings, so they have no problem traveling. I didn’t know that passports weren’t required to go there. That’s a plus! I didn’t see hardly any all inclusives in Saint Croix though.
@purpleunicorn. I did enjoy Jamacia when I went, it was just so busy and I’m looking for something more secluded and relaxing.
@superkate. Is your marriage licence in Spanish? And was the ceremony in English? One of the reasons I didn’t look into Mexico is because I heard the licence will be written in Spanish, plus I read that they require a blood test there…
Thanks for all the advise. I really think a Destination Wedding would work out best for me. I looked into photographers on a few islands and their prices are much much better than any thing I have found in the US! I want to do a TTD shoot so bad!! My budget is somewhat flexible, but getting a good deal is the best for me! I priced out a few photographers in Pennsylvania and in Dallas, with quotes coming in at 3-8K…..I wasn’t expecting that!
Post # 7
Yes !yes !yes! It is so worth it!!
I thought the same exact thing while planning my wedding in the Bahamas.
We got married at Compass Point in Nassau and it was so awesome!!!
We had about 40 people come(they stayed all over the island but what worked so well about Nassau was that everyone was on west bay street. We banked on 25 guest at first but were very happy to add the more the merrier the last minuet. All our friends who came down said it was the best wedding they had ever been too and we’ve all hung out together again since the wedding and have become really good friends. I had a nice amount of Family in FL too and that was super easy for them to get down there.
I did have some folks that couldn’t come, so we had an at home reception. My in-laws threw this crazy 250 person post wedding celebration for us and by the end of the night we both agreed that we were soooooo happy that we did what we did. We also attended a friends traditional wedding 2 weeks after ours and again, we were soooooo happy we did what we did.
It really limits the people who can come (that was a plus for us 😉 Again, the one thing that worried me was cost for our guest so we treated them nicely while they were down there by inviting everyone to our rehearsal dinner, bought them a segway tour, and of course the rockin’ 5 hour open bar dinner reception.
If you feel like it would be too pricey for your guest, do the research and make a good website for your guest to follow.
PS- I know an awesome photographer who wants to add destination weddings to her portfolio !!
Post # 8
@newloves1975: hmm. if what you want is secluded, then maybe that depends on the resort you stay at? What kind of resort did you stay at in Jamaica? when i was there, i stayed at two places. one for wedding and one for honeymoon. the wedding one was a family, budget-friendly resort. it was packed and busy and never enough beach towels or chairs for everyone! BUT for our honeymoon we stayed at an adults only, couples resort. The two resorts were like night and day. the couples one felt secluded, romantic, peaceful. it was seriously heavan!
Post # 9
@newloves1975: I really enjoyed St. Croix. My husband.. not so much. I think what he really wanted was an all inclusive but he said that he didn’t want to be around a ton of people, therefore I chose the condo that was right on the beach. I think there is one all inclusive – The Divi. We actually stayed in a condo so it was really nice to have a full kitchen to use. The marriage license was also really easy to get- you just have to mail in some froms before you go then go to the courthouse and pick them up and you are ready to get married. We even picked up a couple copies before we left (only $3!).
Post # 10
So far we have no regretted our decision to have a destination wedding at all. We are getting married in St. Thomas and are spending about 14k total for our wedding and our two week honeymoon. All of our guests are very excited about going on the trip and so far no one has complained about spending the money to go. We feel that doing a destination is getting more for our money and will bring many amazing memories
Post # 11
@Newloves1975: To bypass the residency requirement and blood test, we “officially” got married at our local court house a month before the wedding. So we technically had a symbolic ceremony (like what is done for a vow renewal). They did give us a certificate that was in english, so we have that one in addition to our official marriage license. The ceremony was in english.
I’d imagine that most people who get married at these resorts speak english so they cater everything how you want it.
Our decision to get the technicalities out of the way before Mexico was perfect for us but not all couples. If you want more info an a legal Mexican ceremony, I’d recommend the site Bestdestinationwedding.com, it’s a great source of info.