RSS Feed

Tag Archives: travel agent

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.

Blog_FIT_3

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!

Blog_FIT_2

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.

Blog_FIT_1

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.

Blog_FIT_4

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!

Advertisements

Trend Alert: DIY Ideas For Beach Weddings

Thank you Lindsey from George Street Photo and Video in Chicago, IL for being a guest writer on this blog!

White sand, a warm breeze, the sweet sound of waves crashing on the shore — sound like paradise? The answer is ‘yes’! From the idyllic setting to the laid back atmosphere, there’s truly nothing better than a beach wedding! But, the best part about a beautiful seaside celebration? Armed with DIY-friendly tips and tricks, it’s easy to create an ambiance that’s not only adorable, but affordable, as well!Blog Trend Alert

Here are a few beach-ready wedding ideas that won’t burn a hole in your pocketbook!

Sweet (and Simple) Centerpieces: Who knew that sea shells and starfish could double as stylish centerpiece decor?! Gather a few of these natural elements and head over to your local craft store to pick up clear vases or columns. Consider filling them with colored sand, water or candles, and add starfish and seashell accents to achieve that straight-off-the-beach effect. Add polished driftwood for a more rustic touch, or incorporate floral elements if you’d like to add a dose of elegance to each arrangement.

Destination Wedding Blog Trend Alert: DIY Ideas For Beach Weddings

Cute Cake Adornments: The wedding cake presents a perfect opportunity for you to tie the entire theme of your beach affair together! So, why not get creative with the cake topper and toppings? Graham cracker crumble is a dead ringer for sand, while adirondack chair cake toppers add a unique (and utterly adorable) touch!

Delightful Details: Even the smallest details can often be expensive additions to a wedding budget. But if you’re hosting a beach affair, crafting those details is possible with minimal extra cost! For instance, mini conch shells adorned with table numbers make perfect place cards and also double as cute take-home gifts for guests! And since everyone will likely be outdoors for the majority of the festivities, consider giving them something unique to remember your day — pinwheels or streamers are fun additions to any party and can also be used in your grand exit!

Destination Wedding Blog Trend Alert: DIY Ideas For Beach Weddings

Whimsical Wedding Altar: Let’s be honest — there’s no backdrop quite like the ocean, with the sun shining just over the horizon! Still, no beach wedding is complete without an altar to frame the natural setting, and believe or not, it’s easy to craft one on your own! Long, airy drapes look absolutely stunning when caught by the summer breeze and can be attached to the framework of the altar. Consider adding floral arrangements for a pop of color or paper lanterns if your wedding takes place at dusk.

Creative Signage: To achieve that rustic, beachy look, make hand-painted signs directing your guests to the day’s events! Score an added bonus if you collect beach wood and craft it into signs for a truly authentic effect! You can also have fun with the signage for your reception chairs — wooden placards attached to rope are effortlessly beachy and inexpensive!

Once your sweet beach soirée has come together, you’ll definitely want to reflect on all the hard work you put into making each detail come to life! That’s where your photographer can help plan out shots that showcase the decor and details to help tell the entire story of your day, from the ceremony to the grand exit! Now, mix yourself a tropical cocktail and get planning!

For more information on gorgeous wedding photography, engagement sessions, and wedding videography visit George Street Photo & Video.

If you are interested in being a guest contributor for our blog, please contact Jennifer Doncsecz at VIP Vacations jennifer@vacationsbyvip.com

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:

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

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

 

Where to have a Destination Wedding?

As I look back through the blogs I have written over the past 2 years which have been solely devoted to destination weddings, I realize that the topics didn’t dig deep into the best places to have a destination wedding.

When a couple is looking for a location, the options are endless.  Sometimes too many options often make the process very draining and stressful.  There are a few questions a couple can ask themselves, which I will list below, and then if you review some of the other blogs I have written about religion, beach/non beach locations, legal vs. symbolic weddings, I think you will have a better understanding of the destinations that might be perfect for you.  Here are some of the determining questions VIP Vacations asks our wedding couples and how we move through the process in determining what might be the right fit for our couples.  (Establishing that the couple is looking for a “tropical location”, this is where we begin)

1st question- are you looking for an all-inclusive resort.   If you answer YES—this reduces many destination options and primarily leaves, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Costa Rica.   Even in the Caribbean, not every island offers all-inclusive resorts.
Assuming your answer is yes, move to the next question:

2nd question- are you looking for an adult’s only all-inclusive resort?  If you answer yes, you have just narrowed down your options even further and can start to look at only St. Lucia, the Bahamas, Mexico, Jamaica, Antigua, and the Dominican Republic.
Assuming your answer is yes, move to the next question:

3rd question- are you looking for a legal ceremony that requires a short “residency” before getting married.  If you answer yes, you have now narrowed your options to St. Lucia, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Antigua.
Assuming your answer is yes, move to the next question:

4th question, are you looking for a shorter flight? The answer here will depend on the city you are flying from, but in many instances, St. Lucia and Antigua require a connecting flight and are further south so the flight time is longer.  Assuming you want a shorter flight, then your options are now Jamaica and the Bahamas.

This is clearly a hypothetical situation but it took 4 questions to get to 2 destinations.  Now, we can narrow it down even further, as there are only a few resort brands that are adults only, all inclusive and located in those destinations.

5th question, are you interested in a Sandals resort?  If your answer is yes, then pricing will now be addressed.  If your answer is No, then other resort brands are mentioned and the process of narrowing those down starts.

What seemed like a very daunting task with many options is now made much easier and it demonstrates the importance of working with a destination wedding specialist that asks the right questions and can provide guidance.  Do you need some help narrowing things down?  Why not call a VIP destination wedding expert and begin your stress-less experience?