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Destination Wedding

For those bride and grooms who want a smaller, intimate venue and a breathtaking backdrop, then the destination wedding is for you! Some couples prefer to leave the hum drum of their home towns and go someplace new. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your wedding photos to include snow capped mountains, beaches or quaint European villages.

There are a few things to think about when planning a destination wedding. First, if you’re thinking of tropical be aware of the Zika virus threat. For anyone pregnant or trying to get pregnant this is a serious health hazard and they will not be able to go. Keep an eye on the places with Zika warnings. A lot of couples are having their destination wedding in Hawaii or Laguna Beach, California. Hawaii is a longer distance to travel but worth the no worries. Laguna Beach has all the perks of being tropical but with perhaps a shorter flight.

If you and your significant other don’t want sand in your clothes than how about someplace like Iceland or the Canadian Rockies? There are plenty of venues that accommodate wedding parties and have amazing views! You’d be asking your bridal party to go further if you plan a destination wedding in another country but maybe they could turn it into a mini vacation too. A lot of couples work with smaller resorts for a destination wedding. The resorts offer more customization and accommodation that will make your wedding easy!

Another touch for a destination wedding you can do is make a map and give out welcome bags! Your guests have traveled varying distances so give them a great welcome bag filled with fun stuff and essentials like Advil, band aids, Pepto or brochures for things they can do around the area. Your custom map can also help with that. If you know the area well you can point out spots for kid friendly activities and adult fun.

Save the Date Etiquette

Save the Date Etiquette

Save the Date Etiquette

Save-the-date cards are a relatively new trend in weddings, and they came about as a way to respect guests’ time and make sure they can attend the wedding. In good etiquette, you’ll send these to your guests 6 to 8 months before your wedding date so that your guests can mark it on their calendars and make travel arrangements. They should be sent out even sooner, up to a year in advance, if you are having a destination wedding or during a high travel season. For instance, Cape Cod in the summer, San Diego during Comic-Con International, Mexico in the winter during peak travel season or perhaps Washington, DC during an inauguration. If you are getting married in a relatively small town, you’ll still have to check, you might end up competing with hotel rooms with the annual Scarecrow Fest.

Save the Date EtiquetteEmDotZee Designs

The point of using a save-the-date is to be gracious to your guests by giving them enough time with their busy schedules so that they can make travel arrangements well enough in advance and maybe use those airline and credit card points. Save-the-date notices are also used for non destination weddings if more than 25% of your guests are coming in from out of town and your event coincides with a peak travel season.

You should include the following information on your save-the-date:

  • Couples full names
  • Wedding date
  • Location
  • Wedding Website is a nice addition for guests to click for more details as they are updated

Save the Date Etiquette

Two of the biggest mistakes made with save-the-dates are:

1. Not putting enough information. Always make sure you include the wedding location, such as your hometown or a destination wedding locale, along with the date so that guests can make travel arrangements. Just having the date is not enough. Guests need to know how many days they’ll need to take off of work.

2. Send only to guests you are for certain you want in attendance. You can’t send a save-the-date and then not send them an invite.

After you drop off your save-the-dates at the post office, sit back, take a deep breath and feel better that you’ve crossed one more item off your to-do list. You’re one step closer to saying “I do!”

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

As I’m sure you have quickly realized – weddings are not cheap. The best way you can keep costs down is by 1) eloping or 2) having a destination wedding. Why are destination weddings a growing trend?

1. Virtually Stress-Free

Pop in the classic movie “Father of the Bride”, and you’ll soon understand why destination weddings are so popular. They are almost guaranteed to be simpler (and faster!) to plan than a traditional wedding and reception.

If you’re not getting married at a resort, you can hire a stateside wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings or start early and do it yourself. Either way, you won’t have to plan a reception, and won’t that be a relief?!

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

2. No Drama, Mama

The second reason destination weddings rule? No scene-stealing family drama. Dread having to see your horrible Aunt Rose with the bad breath, or your Uncle Rob with the napoleon complex in tow with fifteen screaming kids? If you don’t want your dream wedding turning into big affair filled of barely-remembered relatives and nodding acquaintances, a destination wedding can a tactful way to dissuade them from attending.

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

3. Cost Effective

The affordability of a destination wedding has many couples speeding off to the airport faster than you can say “I do.” For instance, a couple can fly to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, get married, and stay for a deluxe week long honeymoon for a few thousand dollars, including lodging, meals, drinks, and airfare. Compare that with your average 150-guest wedding costing about $22,000 — which can easily skyrocket to more than $40,000+ in big cities — plus a few extra thousand for a honeymoon. To ease the financial burden, many couples opt to travel to a place where they can get married, have a honeymoon, and still have some money left over to start their new lives together.

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

 4. You Call The Shots

While formal weddings hold meaning for many couples, linking them to the traditions of their ancestors and culture, others want the experience to be unique, with a ceremony and location that reflect their true colors. The world is your altar. You make the rules! Feel free to wear a sundress or shorts (even a bikini!), go barefoot, carry fern fronds, hire a ukulele band, and toast your love alone on your balcony at sunset. If you can dream it, you can do it.

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination WeddingHelen Havard Photography

5. You’re Already on your Honeymoon!

The best thing about a destination wedding is that you can combine a honeymoon vacation with the actual ceremony itself. Still want that tropical wedding on the beach? Many resorts offer wedding/honeymoon packages, where you get married, have the reception, and enjoy your honeymoon right at the same resort. This is particularly true in popular honeymoon destinations, such as Thailand and Hawaii.

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination WeddingWhite Orchid Wedding

At a typical wedding, you’re on the run, meeting and greeting. Destination weddings are on vacation time. You’re usually required to arrive a few days early to fill out the paperwork, so by the time your wedding rolls around, you’ve had two to three days of fun with your sweetie, family, and friends. How often do you have the opportunity to spend no-rush quality playtime with dear, far-flung friends? This is your chance.

Save the Date

October 12Everything is cyclical right? And all fashions come back around again, don’t they? So it’s no surprise that every few years or so, the most popular dates for getting married change and those tried and true dates of the past become quite trendy once again. This year was no different. The most popular date for 2013? Drumroll please…10.12.13!  And while October is certainly very popular, especially in most areas where the weather is pretty mild (not too hot, not too cold) the clever numbering definitely makes it desirable for couples seeking a memorable date…literally.

So what else is in a date?  Well, the once prominent and most popular month of June is back! Big time! The second most popular date this year was June 1st. Thankfully, when a number like 1, or 31 lands on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you can almost always be sure that it will take off in terms of popularity. Venues and churches alike tend to see major spikes when notable dates in the Spring through Fall land on a weekend. Typically in the case of couples with no real ties to a specific date or month go looking for availability they really just end up picking a date that sounds good. And from there, a lifetime love of that date will ensure. Kind of cool, right?

And so far the final numbers are in on popularity with June, the old favorite that was later passed up for Fall fetes, reigning in at number one. September, the favorite of the last few years came in a close second and October, the new fall preference was right on target in third place.

 

fall wedding

For destination areas in the U.S., experts followed the trends down to Florida concluding that the high times are November and December. The reason for the Holiday wedding spike? Most couples consider their guests desire to escape the colder temperatures and with most people getting more time off for Thanksgiving and the break between Christmas and New Year’s the idea of a beach wedding is music to their ears. Also, the temps in the South are scorching the Summer and even into early Fall, making winter a better time to say “ I Do.”

 

florida

One thing is for sure when it comes to dates. According to MSN Weddings, if you really want to stand out, set the date for January!

small weddings

How to NOT Have a Big Wedding

When did weddings become one size fits all?  For as many websites, blogs, and magazines dedicated to solely dissecting every single detail of all things wedding, it seems pretty rare to hear anything about alternative routes to the big wedding bash. Even destination weddings, once notorious for small, intimate gatherings have become over the top events chalk-full of logistical planning and weekend-long events. And as much as we literally spend hours swooning over these luxe “I do’s” we can’t help but be completely enchanted with the simplest of weddings where the Bride and Groom opt for no guests at all.

smallwed

A few years ago, a hauntingly beautiful indie film called “Like Crazy” had one of the most romantic moments with a super modern couple who share an enduring love story going to the court house and spending the rest of their night drinking champagne, dancing, and celebrating their nuptuals…alone. And while some brides might feel like they are missing out on a huge party with all of their closest friends and family, I think many couples would agree, that they are longing for that intimate moment lacking in a day overwhelmed by details and personalities.

like crazy

And how about the world’s most adorable celeb couple Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell? After a super long courtship, the couple finally made it official at the Beverly Hills Courthouse last month with just a minister present. They were later presented with a cake that said “ World’s Worst Wedding” as an homage to the understated event and were able to celebrate in private. The couple said they felt like they have enough attention on them, attend plenty of parties and are dressed up way too much in real life that they reserved their wedding day as a time for them to be together- just them.  And the best part of this approach for those brides and grooms worried about breaking the bank? The total for this Hollywood duo’s big day? Including gas, $125 out the door! Even celebs are mindful about overspending on weddings!

kbell

The most important factor is that your wedding be a reflection of who you both are. If you aren’t really into the big hoopla and flashing lights, maybe a sweet and intimate wedding is right for you!  And there are varying degrees of downsizing as well. Just because you don’t want a big wedding doesn’t mean you have to call a Justice of the Peace. Having a handful of close friends and family to your home for a wedding cocktail party can be super chic and also ultra romantic. Whatever you choose, just remember that it’s your day and whatever you decide, it should be whatever makes you feel special!

The Herrington Inn

Selecting a Venue: Questions to Consider

Choosing the venue for your wedding ceremony and reception is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the wedding planning process. Not only does the location set the vibe for the entire wedding, it will also influence the date of your nuptials, the size of your wedding, and the decorative theme of the day. As a result, you should choose a venue carefully. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you set out to select the perfect setting for your I Do’s…

Home or Away? First and foremost, you have to settle on a city before you can choose a venue. Do you plan to get married in your hometown, your current city of residence, or do you want to plan a destination wedding?

Indoor or Outdoor? When you picture your magical day, are you dancing the night away under a canopy of stars or twirling around a marble dance floor under the dim glow of a chandelier? Are you beachside and barefoot or cozy and covered? Choosing between an indoor or outdoor wedding will instantly edit your options for possible rentals.

Large or Small? Is your heart set on an intimate gathering of close friends and family or a massive party of merry well-wishers? Before even considering a venue, think about whether your guests would even fit inside or if the size of the place would make your close-knit nuptials feel sparse and empty. Put together a rough idea of a guest list before previewing venues to ensure that you’re only considering places that are properly sized.

Ceremony, Reception, or Both? Choosing a locale that can accommodate your wedding ceremony and reception often saves time and money, but it can also eliminate several locations you might love. Figure out what’s most important to you before settling on a decision. Did you always dream of getting married in your family church? Do you envision yourself driving away from the ceremony with a lavish send-off? Or would you prefer to get the party started right away just a few steps from the ceremony? Whatever your desires, it’s important to know how you plan to use a venue before you start considering one.

Formal or Casual? When you picture your wedding day, is it all luxury and sophistication or comfort and charm? If you’ve got your heart set on fancy formality, scope out hotel ballrooms, lavish country clubs and resorts, or opulent historic homes. For a more relaxed atmosphere, consider local gardens or parks, a private residence, or an unexpected interactive locale, such as a museum, zoo, or art gallery.

5 Fun Ways to Decorate Your Aisle

Every bride longs for the moment she walks down the aisle. It is at that moment that the reality of the day becomes true. You’re dressed in your wedding gown; all the guests are looking you, and at the end of the aisle is the man of your dreams. The only thing that can make the moment more beautiful is stunning décor. Depending on the style and location of your wedding, there are a variety of décor options. Here are just a few.

Vases with Flowers and/or Candles

One romantic option is to line the aisle with flowers and candles. For an outdoor wedding, you might use shepherd hooks to hang the arrangements, and for a country wedding, you might use mason jars filled with votive candles or wildflowers. For a church wedding, you could hang baskets with flower arrangements on the pews. The possibilities are endless.

Aisle Runner

Aisle runners are classic ceremony décor. Sometimes the church or venue has a runner you can use, or you can easily purchase or rent an aisle runner. The color and style options are endless. You can choose a classic white runner, or you could pick a color that matches your theme. (Hot pink runner? Why not?) You can also choose a runner with elaborate details such as beading, lace, and your initials.

Flower Petals

Real or silk flower petals are a gorgeous way to line the aisle. You can choose a color that matches your theme and bouquets. The most commonly used flower petals are roses. You can cover the entire aisle, create a design with the wedding flowers, or line the sides of the aisle.

Torches

Outdoor or beach weddings can use tiki torches to line the aisle. This is beautiful for an early evening wedding and creates a romantic glow during the ceremony. It is also an excellent idea for destination weddings such as Hawaiian weddings.

Sand

Another idea for a beach wedding is colored sand. You can use the colored sand to create a pattern down the aisle. The sand comes in a variety colors, so you can choose a wedding color that fits your theme.

For more aisle décor ideas, talk to your florist and venue. They can offer inside tips on ideas that will be appropriate for your ceremony. When choosing décor, be sure to consider location, season, time of day, theme, and wedding budget.