Photo: Courtesy of Beaches
Coordinating a wedding is stressful enough with having to work out details for your guests, but what happens when you throw blending families into the mix? You're getting re-married and you want the kids to feel special and to bond with their new family. Luckily, with the help of onsite experts and all-inclusive options, blending your two families at a destination wedding can turn into a memorable experience. Think more vacation for everyone than "adults-only" party.
Your new Brady Bunch will not only have a blast celebrating your big day, they'll be counting down the minutes until the wedding happens. Inspired by our partner Beaches Resorts, we've strummed up seven secrets to dreaming a destination wedding that's all about family bonding.
1. Leave the planning to the experts
Juggling family, work and an upcoming wedding is stressful for any couple, so why not leave all the legwork to the experts? One perk of destination weddings at Beaches is they provide a complimentary wedding planning dream team, who can coordinate everything prior to travel, from accommodations, to the ceremony to the cake, leaving you with more time to enjoy fun family activities once you get there—they can also help to set up the perfect family itinerary.
2. Make the kids part of the ceremony
Planners not only help with logistics, they can also make sure that everyone in the family has a role to play when it comes to your wedding. A special sand ceremony lets each member of the family pour sand into a vase symbolizing the joining of your two families. The kids will feel like a part of the ceremony and everyone will love having a memento from the big day that you all created together.
3. Opt for an all-inclusive stay
Sure, you could probably just mention an exotic destination and the kids will hop on board, but one way to make sure everyone's happy once you get there is to choose a place where everyone can have a vacation beyond the wedding events. With dining options and activities catering to everyone from tots to teens (and the pickiest of eaters), all-inclusive resorts such as Beaches keep the entire family entertained—without dipping further into your wallet—so you can concentrate on creating new memories as a family.
4. Plan a few stress-free moments
Whether it's a spa day with your new stepdaughter, a full breakfast in bed for the family on the wedding morning, or a family snorkeling outing, treat the whole family to a few surprises that get rid of any lingering pre-wedding stress and get everyone excited for the big day ahead.
5. Take the family out on the water
If you're heading to an island destination, there's no better way to toast your upcoming nuptials and create a bonding experience than with a sunset cruise on a catamaran, celebrating with dinner on the water in an intimate moment shared just between your two families.
6. Book family-friendly suites
When it comes to a luxurious destination wedding experience, go suite style with enough room for everyone in the family to spread out and enjoy their privacy. Even after the big day finally rolls around, you'll have more to enjoy! Wake up with a lavish mimosa breakfast-in-bed spread one morning of your choice followed by romantic honeymoon turndown service post-ceremony. The kids will feel special watching TV in bed together while you lounge on your balcony enjoying your perfect view.
7. Turn the honeymoon into a Family Vacation
The kids may be in tow, but that doesn't mean your honeymoon should be any less romantic. As soon as you've tied the knot and thrown the bouquet, you can head to your suite while the kids are more than occupied. Family-friendly resorts have fun built in to keep the kiddos busy, with video game lounges, kids' clubs, scuba lessons, and babysitting services. If the kids are happy, you're happy • and that means time for an intimate champagne toast or couples spa treatment after you've said, "I do!"