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Plan A Stress Free Caribbean Wedding
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After carefully reviewing the available cheap travel options, such as cheap fares, cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, cheap deals, discount travel deals, and cheap vacation packages, there remain additional steps you can take to ensure a relaxing and very enjoyable Caribbean wedding.
The following tips are recommended by Susan Moynihan:
• Select the island that will best meet your needs. While Caribbean islands have certain things in common, such as beaches, palm trees, and a laid back approach to life, sharp differences exist. If you want a party spot with plenty to do within walking distance, than historic San Juan, Puerto Rico is ideal. However if you prefer a quiet island with bygone charm and a great golf course, then nightlife free Nevis may be more appealing. Figure out what you like regarding mountains, jungle, reefs and history.
• Budget accordingly and do not assume that destination weddings are necessarily cheaper than domestic weddings. Destination weddings are different from local weddings in that there are usually more events that everyone is invited to attend. Typically a rehearsal dinner at home would be smaller, with wedding party and immediate family only. At destination weddings typically all guests are invited.
• Plan your big event at least one year out. Many venues limit the amount of weddings they will allow to one or two per day. Choice ceremony dates, such as weekends and holidays get booked well in advance, as do highly desirable vendors such as bands and photographers. Vendors tend to charge more for last minute request.
• Expect a high turnout. In the early 2000s destination weddings tended to consist of 20 or fewer people. Now it is common to see wedding groups of 75 to 100 guests, or more. Remember all your guests will need to be seated, entertained, and fed. Make certain when preparing your guest list to only invite people you really want to attend. Expect at least 70 percent of who you invite to actually attend.
• Use a travel savvy planner to overcome the challenges of international marriage license laws, customs restrictions and resort staff politics. Hire a wedding planner with a proven track record planning destination affairs. If that proves too expensive, work with hotel staff well in advance to handle wedding décor and reception menus. A good travel planner should communicate directly with your guests so that you do not have to deal with questions about their flight schedules and what room categories they prefer.
• Do not limit yourself to only having your wedding on a beach. Many resorts have magnificent terraces or lawns overlooking the ocean, which is desirable if you want to wear heels or have guests who may have a hard time navigating in sand.
• Spoil your guests and go the extra mile to show them how much you appreciate their attendance. Most resorts offer discounted rates for groups and some will be open to negotiate to include breakfast in the cost of the room and even select on property activities. A thoughtful welcome gift could be items your guests can use onsite, such as flip flops and local snacks. Be careful not to over schedule your guests. Provide them time to enjoy the destination and make a mini vacation of their own out of the trip.
• Choose your wedding date wisely, keeping in mind that a winter Caribbean wedding will be the most expensive. Rates drop in the summer, but the chances of rain increase during the hurricane season which lasts from June 1st to November 1st. While dealing with an actual hurricane is unlikely, you will face more heat, humidity and a good chance of daily afternoon showers during this time of the year. Remember that wind can cause problems with décor and linens. Always have a plan B (other location to hold the actual wedding) in the event of inclement weather.
• If possible, look into taking over an entire resort for your wedding. Buyouts allow honeymooners to have the full attention of the property’s resources, allowing you to dispense with noise curfews for bands.
• Consider taking a separate honeymoon. Destination weddings often provide guests with a much needed vacation and they tend to stay several days after the actual event, turning the honeymoon into more extended family time. Fun absolutely, but not always romantic. If you want to enjoy some time alone, check out after the wedding and move to the other side of the same island to enjoy some wedding bliss.
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