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Destination Weddings...the Best of Both Worlds

Destination Weddings. . .the best of both worlds.

I am not a specialist at weddings so I have asked a couple of Montgomery's Top Wedding Planners to help me with this topic. Kavonda Rogers of Weddings by Vonda and Michele Murphy of Michele Murphy Weddings.

First, Vonda explains...

Almost nine years ago I had the unique pleasure of planning my first destination wedding. It was a beautiful wedding on the shore of the Bahamas. During that time destination weddings were rare occasions and usually for the more affluent. Today 26% of all couples chose destination weddings with Italy and the Caribbean being the top destination wedding locales.

There are several perks for choosing to be married away; which is what it was called almost 10 years ago.

  1. Cost: Destination weddings are at least $8,000 cheaper than stateside weddings.
  2. Destination: Who wouldn’t love getting married in Jamaica, the Bahamas, Aruba or Mexico?
  3. Less stressful: Since most destinations have become wedding havens they make the process more accommodating for the couple.
  4. No waiting for the honeymoon: You are already there. Also many destinations offer perks for couples who marry even giving them free nights added to their stay.

Destinations for most people fall into two categories: cruise or resort.

Cruises are the most economical way to go. Usually getting married aboard the ship can cost as little as $2500. Most cruise lines include a bouquet for the bride, boutonniere for the groom and a cake for the reception. There are many affordable add-ons that can be included to create your dream wedding. Most couples opt to be married before the ship leaves the port and then honeymoon the rest of the cruise. The cost of the cruise is not included the wedding fee. Considering most Caribbean cruises start at around $500 per person a $3000 wedding can’t be beat.

Resorts are the second option for destination weddings. They are a bit more expensive but allow for more options when planning a wedding. Many resorts specialize in destination weddings. The most well-known of course is Sandals. Yet, there are so many more resorts that offer destination wedding services. Most resorts offer packages for their weddings and even offer complimentary wedding packages for couples who stay at the resort the required amount of days. These required days are usually between 5 and 7 days. With airfare and package costs resort destination weddings can start at $6500.00 for the couple.

Now that we have explored the option these are my personal tips for planning a destination wedding.

  1. Choose a destination that you love.
  2. Set a budget.
  3. Contact a wedding planner or travel agent experienced in destination weddings. This is not a journey you want to tackle alone. Each country has different marriage requirements and you will need someone knowledgeable in them all. A professional will help you narrow down the best resort or cruise to fit your needs.
  4. Give yourself a year to plan. You want to have time to pay for the wedding and the travel.
  5. Inform your family and friends and make it clear you are having a destination wedding. Yes, you will have less attendance than a stateside wedding, but those who do attend will never forget your wedding.
  6. Finally, the best part is go away and great married and start your life together with less stress.

Michele Murphy of Michele Murphy Weddings shared the Pro's and Con's of a destination wedding.

•Pros for Destination Wedding:

1) Less guests
2) Affordable - most or all services can be included in your service package with little or no work required from you.
3) Wedding, reception, and honeymoon all at once

• Cons for Destination Wedding:
1) Public Health Concerns
2) Legal matters
3) All family and friends may not be able to attend.

• Pros for Home Wedding:
1) Most of your family and friends will be able to attend
2) Can typically have the type of wedding you want

• Cons for Home Wedding:
1) More stressful

By: Kavonda Rogers http://weddingsbyvonda.com/
By: Michele Murphy http://michelemurphyweddings.com/main.html

Lori Cummings [email protected]

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