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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

 

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5 TIPS to Make Planning Your Destination Wedding Easier

1-Give yourself time! 

Nothing is more stressful than doing things last minute.  VIP Vacations suggests that 12-18months in advance is best to begin the process of finding the perfect destination and getting prices.

Save the dates can be sent once everything is set and this also allows your guests to save money.  VIP sends our wedding couples a detailed calendar that has “to do” lists and time frames of what should be taken care of at a specific time prior to the wedding.  Many resorts book up early and the most coveted times/dates are often snatched up a year in advance.  I find that the happiest wedding couples got the date they wanted early, received an early saver group rate on their hotel rooms and gave their guests plenty of notice so many of them could attend.

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2-Enlist the help of a destination wedding travel agent

One of the key reasons VIP has such rave reviews from our wedding clients is because we are truly here to help relieve stress and guide you through the whole process.  Having been a destination wedding bride, I can relate to what my couples are going through and give them REAL expectations so their hopes do not turn into disappointments.  For the past 15 years, I have been planning and assisting couples in planning destination weddings and though some things have changed, the basic questions are still the same.  I also think that finding an agent who is enthusiastic about weddings is key!  I am very passionate about weddings that passion continually drives me to look at the new trends, visit the new resorts and keep up to date on everything wedding related!   If you are currently looking for an experienced destination wedding agent, make sure you look at their qualifications, reviews and testimonials from other wedding couples.

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 3-Prepare a back-up plan for bad weather

Getting married in paradise doesn’t always mean that mother nature will be on your side.  Having a backup plan just in case bad weather strolls in, simply makes the planning easier.  Sudden surprises and rush decisions are never a good thing where weddings are concerned! Before you commit to a specific resort or even destination, check the weather forecasts for the predicted amount of rainfall during the month you are traveling and ask the resort if there is a backup location.  Resorts often photographs of their inside location that they can send you so you can prepare a plan B!   I also love the website weathertrends360.com which is a techie version of the Father’s Almanac.

4-Know the legalities and deadlines for paperwork

It is easy to get wrapped up in the wedding planning and forget the deadlines for completing the wedding paperwork.  Many destinations have fees if you turn these  papers in late and sadly some destinations do not allow paperwork after a certain time prior to arrival.  If you are planning a legal wedding, it   is best to start getting all of your legal paperwork and documents together so you are not rushing around or spending more money to get documentation expedited.

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5-Remember your guests

The best destination weddings usually result in happy people sharing fabulous memories.  If you keep your guests in mind and plan meeting times, excursions, and group activities, then you not only share memories together but you are also considered a gracious hostess!  Welcome bags, welcome letters and being aware of food allergies is another way you can make your guests feel special.

– See more at: http://www.vacationsbyvip.com/5-tips-to-make-planning-your-destination-wedding-easier/#sthash.OlF3ZieF.dpuf

What about the weather?

Every image I had about a destination wedding in paradise before I got married was one of crystal clear waters, powder white sand,  a cool breeze in the air and friends and family with smiling faces looking into the camera.  I had picked a location that certainly had the most beautiful colored water.  Turks and Caicos is known for its gorgeous water and the beach went on and on for miles.  The resort had so much to offer our guests that I was sure they would have the most beaming smiles on their faces.

So what was I forgetting???  Ah yes, the weather!

We had picked a date in June, which though is in the very beginning of the hurricane season, wasn’t statistically the time for a hurricane to hit that area.   But I was still worried about rain.  Rain can totally wash away all the dreamy visions you had expected.  I know that you can’t control the weather, so do you just cross your fingers and pray?  Do you avoid Hurricane Season all together?  Well technically, that would mean from June-Nov 1st (almost half of the year).  What is a bride to do?  There is a fabulous new website out that could help you plan your wedding a year in advance based on what the weather will be like.   www.WeatherTrends360.com is this revolutionary site that actually PREDICTS the weather 360 days in advance!  It is free to use, though you need to create a user name and register.  I am not saying that it is 100% accurate, but at least it gives you a more realistic idea of the weather forecast EVEN before you set the date.  This is the 21st centuries version of the Farmer’s Almanac.

Obviously, mother nature is going to do what she will do and so there are some things that you can consider before you travel.  Some resorts provide gala outdoor tenting as an option if the forecast when you arrive points to rain.  Make sure that you check with the wedding planner BEFORE you travel to see what type of back up plans they have for weather.   Ask the planner if they have a policy that allows them to  move your time if the weather in the afternoon is calling for storms.   Oh, and finally, in the Caribbean, it normally rains on most tropical islands a little bit each day.  The locals call it “liquid sunshine”.  I often say that it is nature’s way of telling us to go inside and reapply sunscreen.  Normally though, it clears up after a half hour.  We all love lush green plants and beautiful flowers on the resort grounds and truthfully, that daily water from the skies, is what keeps the tropics tropical.   Now, if you happen to get rained out, why not make something of it and dance in the rain?  I have seen some gorgeous wedding pictures where the bride and groom took their whole bridal party out in the rain and jumped for joy!