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Tag Archives: honeymoon

Are you the perfect FIT for a destination wedding!

Having spent 20 years planning destination weddings/elopements, I have found that there are 4 types of couples that are the perfect fit for a destination wedding vs. a traditional wedding at home.

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If you fit into these parameters, maybe a destination wedding is the right choice for you.

1st – The bride and groom (but really folks, the bride) has always dreamed of getting married to the love of her life with the tropical breeze gently blowing and walking barefoot in the sand. She won’t settle for a church wedding as she has planned this scenario for years. Her family has often heard her talk of her big day and seen her “inspiration boards” on Pinterest! The groom wants to make her happy and is totally on board for a stress free non-formal event and, in fact, he thinks this is the best plan yet!

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2nd – This is the second marriage for either or both the bride/groom. They know what a huge wedding feels like and would rather have something more relaxed, more intimate and with some of their closest friends and family. Their loved ones (those that travel often or wouldn’t miss it for anything) are thrilled to travel with this couple and are planning their yearly vacation to coincide with the couple’s dates and location. The bride/groom are happy for those that can make it, but aren’t crushed for those that are struggling to fit it into their budget or vacation time off.

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3rd – The bride and groom just can’t afford a big blowout at home. If they have a wedding locally, they are almost committed to invite 200+ guests and simply can’t afford to do so. Having a destination wedding would easily cut their guest list by 3/4 and they can enjoy a honeymoon and their wedding rather than having to sacrifice a honeymoon all together. They are more interested in saving for a home, or a car, or just paying down bills than spending over $15,000 on a 4 hour event back home. However, they are worried, not all will be able to make it and might have to help some of their loved ones make the journey. This couple has a harder road ahead of them as they hadn’t really thought about a destination wedding as a DREAM event in their life and could feel conflicted about not doing the traditional thing.

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4th-The bride and groom are both living in cities that are far from their individual home towns. Both grew up in different states, maybe went to a college in another state and finally, they are living in a state that is not where their families live. No matter what they do for their wedding, everyone will have to travel so having a destination wedding is the best way to allow guests to also vacation while incurring travel fees to see them wed.

Do you fit into any of these scenarios? Are you a destination wedding bride/groom and have another background you want to share? Please leave me a comment and start the discussion!

To view some swoon-worthy beach ideas found on Pinterest, click here to see the list!

Over the Water Bungalows NOT in the South Pacific!

Over the Water Bungalows NOT in the South Pacific!

Planning a destination wedding but still want to go on a honeymoon after?  Many destination wedding couples love the location they have selected for their wedding but yearn for a more exotic experience for their honeymoon.  The number 1 request is for unique!

Most honeymooners dream of those exotic over the water bungalows with crystal clear waters below.  Sadly, those sought after luxury accommodations in bucket-list destinations come with a hefty price tag and a very long flight.  Bora Bora, in French Polynesia, is one of those destinations where the photographs depicting these unique over water suites are often repinned, shared, liked and favorited all over social media, as the quintessential romantic spots for honeymooners.  The truth is that only those with a $10,000+ honeymoon budget can this once in a lifetime dream become a reality. If you do have that budget, also keep in mind that to get to paradise, you will need to fly on 12+ hour flights.  Thankfully, there are other alternatives if you want to experience an over the water bungalow and they are not only less expensive but also a little closer to home.

Here are 5 unique Over-the-Water Bungalows not in the South Pacific!

1-Cayo Esperanto- Belize

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2- Hotel Desconocido, Mexico (south of Puerto Vallarta)

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3- Eclypse de Mar Aqualodge – Panama

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or Coral Lodge, San Blas Islands, Panama

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4-  CoCo View Resort – Roatan, Honduras

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5- Mayakoba, Mexico

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The best news is that this popular type of accommodation will soon be at the best resorts for honeymooners!!  Opening in 2015 at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica will be 16 over the water suites. These long awaited couples only suites will feature all inclusive amenities which makes it perfect for honeymooners.

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Finally, El Dorado Resorts, located in the Riviera Maya, will also be opening over water suites this year on the famous Maroma beach at the El dorado Maroma. Known for gourmet inclusive restaurants and their adults only atmosphere, Karisma resorts has become one of the hottest resort brands in Mexico.  These new over water suites will feature infinity pools and glass bottom floors.

Do’s and Don’ts For Your Honeymoon!

First comes the wedding and then it’s time for the honeymoon. Even if you are having a destination wedding, there is still a good probability that you will honeymoon too!  Here are my do’s and don’ts for honeymooners:

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5 Do’s-

1. Formulate a budget.

2. Plan early.

3. Use a travel agent that can work with your budget and time-line.

4.  Create a honeymoon registry for those splurge items you hope for but haven’t budgeted for.

5.  Communicate with your fiancé about what you both envision for your honeymoon (it is your first experience as husband/wife where memories can be created that only the two of you will share).

VIP Vacations, Destination Wedding Blog, Do's and Dont's of Honeymoons

5 Don’ts-

1.  Do not wait until the last minute in hope of finding a deal. Normally you will not find one and then you will end up with something that is far less than the dream honeymoon that you had hoped for.

2.  Do not just pick a destination because you heard from friends that it was a good spot.  Every person has a different style and taste so only when you work with a travel professional can you examine what location fits your wants/needs.

3.  Don’t surprise your fiancé.  (This should be a joint decision and if there is any surprise, it should based on what the other had always hoped for)

4.  Don’t hope for HONEYMOON perks and upgrades.  Gone are the days when honeymooners are automatically upgraded to first class or oceanview.  It is best to reserve what you would be happy with rather than being disappointed in unfulfilled expectations.

5.  Don’t buy insurance to protect you from bad weather.  Often times, insurance doesn’t cover “acts of nature” and cancel for any reason insurance relies on you canceling up to 3 days prior —we all know that weather is unpredictable and a 3 day notice for a pricey insurance rarely makes the costs worthwhile.

VIP Vacations, Destination Wedding Blog, Do's and Dont's of Honeymoons

 

Size Matters!

As you begin to plan your destination wedding, you will be repeatedly asked, “how many guests do you have traveling”.  You are asked this when you block rooms at your resort.  You are asked this when you start budgeting for the ceremony and reception.  You are asked this when you are calculating if you qualify for any perks from the resort too.

As a previous destination wedding bride, I can certainly feel your frustration because in the beginning stages of the planning, you can only “guesstimate” how many people will attend.   This makes budgeting very difficult.  What I often find is the result of this “estimation” of attendees, is that the wedding couple tend to not really consider the type of “room” they are staying in until practically a few short months prior to departure.  By this time, the nicer suites are either sold out, or cost far more than what they did when the couple was first holding group rooms.  Trust me when I say this, “Size does matter”.   In an effort to economize, couples forget that for many, this is their “honeymoon” as well as their destination wedding.  They also neglect to realize that many times the bridal party will be in and out of your room and/or getting ready for the wedding in the very room you are staying in.

At many of VIP “tried and true” ** resorts, some of the top suites also come with a butler.  A destination wedding couple has no idea how much of a “genie” a butler can be.  For a wedding, a butler is like your personal assistant.  They prepare you for where you need to be, bring refreshments to your suite on the day of the wedding, contact guests –should you require this, and for the grooms, the butler is there to ensure everything is as romantic as can be.  On the night of the wedding, the butler will make your room up with candles, soft music, sweet treats by the bed and even create a bubble bath.  Most butler level rooms are also large suites with mini kitchens and living areas that provide the entire bridal party with an area where they can celebrate while getting ready for the wedding.  Some resorts also give the butler a golf cart which provides you with the ability to get where you need to be with ease!

For many brides, they envision what the day of the wedding will be like, they spend weeks debating where they should get married, and do vast research on their resort, yet they often neglect to consider the several days they are at the resort and the type of room they will be in.   Arriving at your resort for your destination wedding and walking into a gorgeous suite really enhances your memories.  An average size room, is just average; but a suite is truly “sweet”.

** Tried and True resorts are listed on http://www.travelbyvip.com/vip_triedandtruedestination_wedding_resorts.html for resorts that VIP recommends for destination weddings!