When the calendar flips to June, it's wedding season.
It seems like more and more brides are opting for destination weddings. Today I offer inspiration and quick tips for planning destination weddings.
- Pick your destination. According to The Knot, the top 10 destinations for weddings include Hawaii, Jamaica, Bermuda, St. Lucia, Mexico (Riviera Maya, and Los Cabos); Ireland, and Italy (Rome and Tuscany). In Asia, Australia's Great Destinations' picks are Thailand (Phuket, Chiang Mai) and Malaysia (Langkawi).
Also consider regional favourites like Florida, The Poconos, Vermont, Victoria, British Columbia, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. (Regional competitions, like the UK's 2015 National Wedding Industry Awards, are a great way to uncover these.)
- Consider an all-inclusive to keep costs under control for your guests. International brands that offer all-inclusive group packages for destination weddings include Jumeirah, Shangri-La Resorts, Banyan Tree, St. Regis, Hard Rock Resorts, and Sandals. Local luxury resorts that offer all-inclusive packages in iconic settings include Half Moon Resort and Couples in Jamaica, Meyden Bab Al Shams in Dubai, Grand Velas Resorts in Mexico, and Vintage Inns in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Celebrity event designer extraordinaire, Preston Bailey, has teamed up with Sandals to deliver the Preston Bailey Signature Wedding Collection in stunning settings.
- To simplify logistics, select a package that includes return airport transfers.
- Pick a family-friendly resort with a children's program and accessible rooms and facilities for senior family members who may have physical challenges. Family-friendly brands for weddings include Beaches, Disney, Atlantis, RIU, Azul, and Dreams.
- If possible, opt for butler level service; after all, no occasion is more special than a wedding.
- Use an outdoor setting if possible but have a rain plan and give careful thought to logistics and where you set up to avoid mishaps.
- Incorporate the natural surroundings of your selected destination into your design.
Here Preston Bailey inspires with flowers, crystal, shells, and water to design sophisticated and elegant settings and tablescapes:
- Check and double-check the requirements for marriage licences.
- Add some touches of the local culture to the wedding dress and reception.
Whether it's a mento band in Jamaica, a shisha tent in Dubai, or floral leis in Hawaii, it will make the wedding memorable.
- Select simple catering menus that will appeal to a variety of tastes.
Bon Appetit magazine suggests avoiding bruschetta, raw food like oysters, carving stations (due to the long wait time), chicken masala (as it can dry out and become rubbery), shrimp cocktails that can become soggy if they sit around for a long time, surf-and-turf (difficult to get timing and temperature right), and chocolate fountains. Instead it suggests chicken breasts served en papillote (in parchment to keep them moist), risotto, and dessert truffles.
I leave you with more inspiration from Preston Bailey!
Cvent Blog has other posts about destination weddings: Planners: Is That Sound in Your Head A Wedding Bell? It Oughta Be.
Search the Cvent Supplier Network to find wedding destinations and venues.
Photo Credit: Half Moon Resort, Jamaica