Meet our latest real bride blogger, Good Morning America anchor and ABC News correspondent Sara Haines! Whether it's how to throw a destination wedding from afar, picking a bridesmaid dress all of her 'maids will love or finding her dream wedding dress, Sara is taking us inside her wedding-planning process.
I'll be honest here. I knew that I wanted to have a destination wedding way before I met my fiancé, Max. So this whole thing was pretty much my idea/non-negotiable demand. I think he saw the writing on the wall, and, thankfully, is on board for the adventure.
I've always preferred the vacation version of myself and I think Max would agree on that point too. Maybe it's because I am getting married later than I thought I would, but I can't imagine taking on the pressures of a more traditional local wedding. It would be a lot tougher to trim the wedding list to the smaller size I have always envisioned, and the thought of only having a four-hour wedding reception to actually see the family and friends who have travelled for the festivities never sat well with me. I need at least a few days to enjoy this time with the closest people in my life.
When we started the process, we only had a few parameters. We knew we wanted a beach wedding weekend and didn't want people to travel too far (which narrowed the scope a bit). Off we went!
As fate would have it, I bumped into a friend who had recently gotten engaged and planned the perfect destination wedding on a beach. Our workout date turned into a couple hours of breaking down every last detail of her big day. And I loved it. All of it! I told her that she had planned my dream wedding too, and she graciously handed off all of her contacts and information. After researching the location and exchanging some e-mails with the owner, Max and I were sold. We signed the contract, site-unseen.
So, basically, I'm a copy-cat. And I'm totally cool with it. Looking back, this process could have taken forever — I am very much type A (and Max can be type A-ish), so we could have searched and searched again to find a location that was easier to get to, less expensive, or otherwise more convenient. And as much as I would have loved hopping around the Caribbean finding the perfect beach, we didn't exactly have the time or resources to do that. We probably wouldn't advise pulling the trigger on a wedding venue without visiting it, but — it worked for us!
After selecting the venue, everything else has been relatively stress-free. One benefit of a destination wedding is that you pretty much have a wedding planner on the ground for you. So you're not riddled with as many decisions — you're simply presented with options and decide among them. Basically, do you like this or that? My type of planning! Our planner reaches out to us whenever it is time to lock something in, but since this is what they do so well, the infrastructure is already there. So we'll just do our part and fill the seats with our dearest family and friends and have the time of our lives.
Catch up on Sara's wedding-planning journey here!