How to Have a Wonderful Destination Wedding
With the price of weddings at home on the increase – a well priced wedding on a far away island has become an increasingly attraction option for many couples.
Yet for some, the thought of planning a wedding abroad can be intimidating. Not least because very few couples have the ability to view their wedding venue and meet those who will be making their day special until a few days before.
However, keeping the following tips in mind can lead to destination wedding success:
The cheaper your flight, the more of your budget can go towards your wedding and honeymoon!
There are flight deals to be had during the months of February, April, May, September, October and early November, so those whose dates are flexible are well advised to take advantage of these periods.
It is absolutely essential that you have on the ground local experts. Be the expert a wedding coordinator, venue, wedding planner or even friend; these experts can offer support that travel agents alone would be unable to provide.
There is no reason to be any less astutue because you are marrying abroad. Ask questions, ask again, and ask some more!
Important questions include:
- How many weddings does the venue do a day?
- Does our wedding fall on a local national holiday? If yes – how will this affect our wedding?
- Will a marriage licence be obtained on our behalf?
- Are the marriages recognised as legal and valid worldwide?
- Are there any surprise extras that we should be aware of?
- May I bring my own photographer/videographer?
- When is the rainy season?
- Does the venue take precautions against mosquitoes and pests?
- What will the temperature be during the month of my wedding?
- Are the couple obliged to stay on site if holding a wedding at the venue?
- Are children permitted?
- Are blood tests required? (not the case in Jamaica)
- Are there any ways we can incorporate local traditions into our wedding?
- Is there any way we can incorporate local flowers or details into our wedding?
- Is parking provided?
- What is the venue’s rain plan?
- Are Rehearsals included in the cost of the wedding?
- May the couple write their own vows? How much of the ceremony is stipulated by law, and how much can the couple tweak?
As with weddings at home – getting the agreement between you and your venue in writing is also a must!
Off Site / On Site Wedding
Do not feel that you must have a wedding at a large chain hotel, simply because their advertising budget enables them to saturate the prime-time airways! Boutique and smaller venues are often more reasonably priced, offer a more exclusive experience, are situated in more picturesque locations and more directly support the local community. These also tend to be the resort that truly discerning couples and A-list celebrities opt for and are a wonderful way to surprise your guests.
Planning the fantastic wedding of your dreams is more than possible when in a different country; though choosing a venue that communicates well is essential.
You can often get a good sense of this from how fast your venue responds to your requests for information prior to your booking. There is never an excuse for longer than the next business day, so expect no less!
Venues that have a staffed live web chat / 24 hour phone line are worth their weight in gold since you can call different time zones with ease. You (and your telephone bill) will also come to appreciate venues which have a local American/Canadian/British telephone numbers.
Flying with lots of luggage can be particularly onerous and burdensome and, with horror stores of luggage being lost; it is much better to ask your venue to supply the items that you require or ship your items well in advance of your wedding.
Your venue may be located in a gorgeously secluded area of an unspoilt island – but you bet they can supply your marinti vases!
Always carry the rings, wedding dress and groom’s suit in hand.
Best of luck with your wedding, wherever it may be!
By Hummingbird Hall Jamaica
Hummingbird Hall Jamaica is a boutique destination wedding venue in Jamaica
Website: www.hummingbirdhall.com (live chat from 9am and 12 midnight EST)