Destination wedding advice

Online Users: 1,252 guest(s), 0 user(s). Replies: 9

stillgroovin Posts : 238 Registered: 11/12/07
Destination wedding advice
Posted: Jul 8, 2010 4:22 PM

Hey guys, I haven't been on here since I got married two years ago (anniversary is in less than two weeks!) but everyone was so helpful I thought I'd come to you guys for advice about my best friend's wedding.

She just got engaged and they're seriously looking at a destination wedding. She likes the idea of being somewhere tropical and gorgeous and the ease it brings.

I, however, hate the idea that some planner she's never met will throw it all together for some impersonal wedding at a resort hotel that charges a lot for little.

Here's my idea: I want to plan the wedding for her, in the destination of her choosing. I've done some research to see how easy/hard it would be to find wedding and reception sites in the Carribbean (where she most likely would want it to be) plus vendors and it seems doable. Hard, but doable. I wanted to see if any of you guys were doing something similar and had advice about finding people and places. How big of a deal is the language barrier? Are you trusting vendors there or are you bringing your own from here? What are the costs like compared to the wedding packages at the hotel? I'd like to avoid having the wedding at a hotel but think it would be a good idea for all the guests to stay at one place.

Also, part of my problem with the hotels is that they don't seem to offer the reception as part of the package. Am I not looking in the right place?

And why do I want to do this? I LOVED planning my wedding and have a small dream of being a wedding planner. Most likely won't ever do it, but I get such a kick out of this stuff! Thanks for any help!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Destination wedding advice
Posted: Jul 8, 2010 6:24 PM Go to message in response to: stillgroovin

Dear SG,

One of the hurdles you might face is that the local wedding planners know all the local vendors, and have experience and relationships with them.

A vendor will do a good job for the local wedding planner, because that person represents repeat business. The same vendor won't be so motivated to do a good job for a wedding planner that comes in for one wedding, then leaves forever.

You are, essentially, starting from Ground Zero in determining which vendors in a distant location are reputable and reliable. The local vendor would already know.

Your other option, bringing in your own vendors, is problematic. How do you expect to import food into a foreign country, for example?

My suggestion would be to provide your friend with moral support and travel with her to the destination, then interview wedding planners and resort hotels together. Then, decide which way you want to go.

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alymar Posts : 100 Registered: 3/2/10
Re: Destination wedding advice
Posted: Jul 12, 2010 2:45 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

To add on with what AOTB said - in truth, people who plan weddings for couples doing destination weddings - they do have experience of doing it often. I agree with AOTB, be the support and help that way. Having a planner or coordinator of the event at the location also gives your friend a pair of eyes watching out for her and her FH there.

Friendship is a wonderful base for love...
When is my wedding
Wedding Ticker from WhenIsMyWedding.com

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delongkayleigh4... Posts : 7 Registered: 6/2/10
Re: Destination wedding advice
Posted: Jul 12, 2010 5:26 PM Go to message in response to: alymar

I acutally think you will be a huge help to your friend.
But, if you really want help, I would contact a travel agent.

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Fake Rave
Posted: Jul 12, 2010 6:57 PM Go to message in response to: delongkayleigh4...

Fake Rave

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scarolinagirl Posts : 27 Registered: 3/11/09
Re: Destination wedding advice
Posted: Jul 13, 2010 8:24 PM Go to message in response to: stillgroovin

I used Jennifer at VIP for my destination wedding in June to Negril Jamaica. She is the most informative person I talked to! It is worth it for your friend to just give her a call and find out her suggestions. Even if you don't use her I'm sure she could help a lot. Good luck and feel free to message me with any questions!

"Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live. I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you. Love isn't finding a perfect person. It's seeing an imperfect person perfectly.

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foreverurs Posts : 31 Registered: 10/1/08
Re: Destination wedding advice
Posted: Jul 14, 2010 3:16 PM Go to message in response to: scarolinagirl

I used VIP too! Not only is Jennifer super informative, she introduced me to other brides via facebook and it is like a big family of supporters with info!
Message me if you have any questions!

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ElizabethDC Posts : 1 Registered: 7/18/10
Re: Destination wedding advice
Posted: Jul 18, 2010 6:36 PM Go to message in response to: stillgroovin

Hi there! I got married on Vieques Island in Puerto Rico in April, and my Maid of Honor was a huge help with the planning. But we also used the island-based wedding planner because she knew all of the best vendors on the island. She got us some good discounts, but more importantly she kept us from stepping in it a couple of times when we would have hired shysters. You have to be careful when you're dealing with the islands. Sandy Malone from Weddings in Vieques planned our wedding and I would highly recommend her to anybody. She let us choose everything, she just made it happen. Her website is www.weddingsinvieques.com. Don't try to plan this without professional help or the bride may not be your best friend anymore when it's over!

Good luck!

Elizabeth from DC

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iriebride Posts : 1 Registered: 10/10/10
Re: Destination wedding advice
Posted: Oct 10, 2010 8:16 PM Go to message in response to: ElizabethDC

I have to agree with the other posters, AG. I had the same idea as you in the beginning, that I could save $$ and enjoy planning everything myself but my husband talked me out of it and I'm so glad he did. While we did take some of our decor with us for colour scheme purposes, we used the services of the wedding department at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios in Jamaica for all of the planning and coordination of our recent wedding renewal ceremony on a pier on the property.
The wedding coordinators were fantastic....professional, patient and very accommodating. They pulled strings with local service providers that I would never have achieved as a tourist. When hiccups occurred (and they ALWAYS do!) the entire team pitched in and got the job done.
Some packages are costly but there are ways to reduce costs. We had a morning ceremony with a champagne reception at a cost of only $15 pp. The fabulous cake was included in the Wedding cost of $200. Hair, flowers, and a very elaborate photography package were under $2000.00. Family and friends took many candid shots so the photographer could focus on formal shots. Packages can be customized to be as inexpensive as you wish.
At the end of the day, if you factor the cost of a wedding “at home” vs. the cost in the islands, you are saving tons in expenses, even with the wedding coordinators and you have the assurances that it will be done and done right.
It occurred to me later that had I done everything myself, it would have caused so much stress and time constraints that I would not have enjoyed the day. No one wants that.
The best gift you can give your friend is to be by her side on her special day.
Leave the planning to the pros!

Edited by: iriebride on Oct 10, 2010 8:17 PM

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delongkayleigh4... Posts : 7 Registered: 6/2/10
Re: Destination wedding advice
Posted: Oct 17, 2010 10:04 PM Go to message in response to: iriebride

hey ladeies from previous posts that mentioned using VIP Vacations. Just got my Martha Stewart Wedding magazine and it is totally about destination weddings and guess what??? Your travel agent is the one Martha recommends using!!! FABULOUS!!
Here is the link;
http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/photogallery/destination-wedding-advice-from-a-travel-agent?ref=nf

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