Destination weddings are what dreams are made of!
Destination weddings are a once in a lifetime opportunity for a couple to celebrate their marriage at any romantic and beautiful destination they choose. Our couples have taken their vows in some of the most stunning locations in the world for less than they would have paid for a traditional wedding in their own home town. Favorite Destination Wedding locations include Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean … but we can help you choose the perfect location for your dream wedding.
Destination Weddings FAQ’s
- Is a destination wedding less expensive than a traditional wedding?
Generally speaking: Absolutely. The average cost of a traditional wedding in the U.S. Is over $22,000!! Now that varies depending on location, but realize, that figure doesn’t even include the honeymoon.
The average cost of a trip to Jamaica, for example, for 7 nights, at an all inclusive resort can be less than $5000. And many resorts give you a basic wedding for free. So you can begin to see, that this can be a tremendous savings. That is one reason why it is so popular.
- What about my friends and relatives that can’t come. Am I being selfish for wanting to do this, which will exclude some of them.
- Well that all depends. Here is why this isn’t for everyone. You have to be able to accept that you aren’t going to have the large wedding you may have been originally considering. Some people can’t come for one reason or another.
We suggest that you make a list of the people that absolutely MUST be at your wedding, in order for you to feel right about the whole thing. Your very closest friends and relatives, and obviously parents etc. Then ask these people if they would be willing and able to come to your destination wedding.
For those who can’t come to your destination wedding, we suggest holding a special reception for them when you return. My suggestion is to take the videos and photos of the ceremony reception and parts of the trip. Then they put together a multimedia presentation to show to their loved ones at the state-side reception including a video of the entire destination wedding. This way, everyone feels that they were included.
- What about the wedding itself? Is there a coordinator or someone at the resort to handle those details?
- Definitely. Resorts generally have their own staff coordinators. And no one knows the resorts better than the combined team of Head Over Heels and the wedding coordinator. And it all comes with the wedding package.
However, should you decide to have the wedding off site, and not on the grounds of the hotel, we have independent coordinators that we work with, so either way, we will have all the bases covered.
- After the wedding, can my new spouse and I go to a different place for some privacy?
- Certainly. Let us know you want to do that, and we’ll handle all the arrangements.
- Are there shots, blood tests, or other legal requirements?
- Yes. Each location has it’s own particular set of legal requirements. There is a summary on our website. Just go to the Destination Wedding page, and click on the bar that says “Legal Requirements”. Any additional concerns, or if you don’t see your location listed, just call or email us.
- Will they have a clergy member of my faith at the resort?
- That is something to consider certainly. Most resorts do have members of many faiths that can preside over a wedding. If there is some one special that you would like to perform the service, then perhaps adding the cost of their trip to your budget will be a good idea. You’ll still be money ahead compared to the overall cost of a traditional wedding.
- Isn’t it a nightmare taking care of all the arrangements for my guests?
- It can be; but then that’s where Head Over Heels comes in. We’ll take all that nightmare right off of your shoulders and we’ll make sure all your guests get there. We’ll take care of their bookkeeping and remind them if a payment is coming up, and answer all their questions about the destination or accommodations. You don’t have to do a thing; just point them to us. The best thing about that is, we have all the answers AND we don’t charge YOU or them for our service.
- Is the wedding couple responsible for their guests travel?
- Absolutely not! If you were having a wedding in the states, and your guest was coming from another state, would you pay for their travel? No. Same thing here. Remember you are giving them a good reason to take a wonderful vacation, as well as being able to share the celebration. And the celebration can last for days. That being said however, you should remember that each guest is taking on a significant expense to be there, so doing something to be appreciative of all the guests is a good idea.
- What exactly should I expect the guests to pay for?
- They should pay for their travel expenses, i.e. airfare, hotel, transportation, insurance, tips etc. Also, you may have an optional excursion that everyone can join in if they like; and it’s okay to expect the guests to pay for that. But, anything to do with the wedding itself; the reception, cocktail party, rehearsal dinner if there is one, etc., should not fall on the guest’s shoulders.
- What about invitations; should I send out written invites? And if so, when should they go out?
- Absolutely send out the written invites, but don’t wait until the usual 4 to 6 weeks before the wedding to do it. Your guests have travel arrangements to make and the longer you give them to make those arrangements and pay for them, the more people will come to your wedding, and you will save them money.
A lot of brides send out E-Save-the-Dates early so that the guests can begin booking, and then follow up with the paper invites later on.
We routinely begin booking weddings 12 months and earlier before the actual wedding. That raises questions as to why so early, but the answers really come down to simple logistics and economics.
The sooner travel arrangements are booked, the less expensive they are. Also, resort hotels in certain popular areas have a habit of selling out. I have had several times when a guest could not stay at the hotel where everyone was staying because they waited too long and the hotel was sold out. And that is a problem if you are staying at an all inclusive hotel. They just don’t let people walk on the grounds. They have to buy a day pass which can carry a tab of $150 per person per day!
Also, since with us your guests do NOT pay up front like they would on line; they will make payments on their trip, which is great because it makes it easier for them to come. There is no interest on that either. So, the sooner we book, the more payments they will get to make, and the lower those payments will be.
So, a good rule of thumb is to begin booking 8 to 10 months prior to the wedding or sooner. This makes it easy for your guests, AND they will be getting the most of the early booking discounts from the hotels.
- Can I request there be no children at the wedding?
- Now we are getting into what could be some tough family dynamics. The easy answer is yes, of course; it’s your wedding and you can certainly request that people not bring their children. However, you have to be careful. If a sibling or close friend might take offense to this (and some will) you must ask yourself what is more important; your desire to have an adult only experience, or your desire for that loved one to be in on it.
You can always have the wedding at an adult only hotel; like Sandals for example, and then there will be no choice in the matter.
- Will an adult only hotel make exceptions for kids if the kids are in the wedding?
- Depends. Most adult only hotels will strictly follow their guidelines of adults only. They will reason that the other guests of the hotel have paid for an adult only experience, and therefore they cannot allow children.
There are exceptions to this however. Some hotels will allow children at the ceremony, and the reception only if it follows right after the ceremony. Once the reception is finished, the kids must leave the property.
Also, there are some adult only hotels that have a family hotel sister property right next door. So, when your friends with kids have to leave, they don’t have to go far.
- Is it okay to still register for gifts?
- Absolutely. However, you won’t want your guests to bring their gifts to the wedding in a foreign country, leaving you with the task of bringing them back to the U.S. So, you have a reception either before or after the wedding for that purpose.
Also, don’t overlook a honeymoon registry. These days people really don’t know what to get for the couple, especially if the couple have been living together and have all the household things they need. So, by having a honeymoon registry, you can give your guests the opportunity to participate in the trip. This is great for those who can’t come as well.
You can register for a private dinner for 2 on the beach. A massage treatment. A fun excursion etc.
Here is a link for a great honeymoon registry. If you have any questions, you can call us at (877) 351-7866 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you don’t see the answer to your question here please feel free to give us a call at (877) 351-7866 and we do our best to get your questions answered.