Did someone you know get a ring on it over the holidays? Maybe Cupid is about to deliver a Valentine’s proposal! Congratulations! The most exciting and fun moments are just ahead. Whether it’s a friend, daughter, cousin, sister, niece – YOU – there’s a good chance you will be celebrating, attending or planning a wedding at some point.
No doubt about it, a wedding is THE ultimate celebration! I have been so excited to share my family’s fabulous wedding experience from last summer. As a Mom, I have been through a LOT of celebrations with my children. It’s almost impossible to adequately put into words how I felt during the wedding – I still get emotional and teary-eyed! I’ll share some of my thoughts at the end of the week. On to the fun stuff!
First, thanks to my wonderful son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Chelsea, for graciously allowing me to share some up close and personal from their wedding with you. Love you guys!
Scott and Chelsea decided to have a destination wedding. Whether YOUR I Do’s will be traditional, formal, casual or destination, I hope you will find some inspiration and tips over the coming days to help you create a wedding celebration that gives you a lifetime of beautiful memories.
Choosing the Kind of Wedding and Location
After much thought, Scott and Chelsea decided to have a destination wedding. With an eye on budget, family and friends on the East Coast in the North and South, and with more friends and the couple themselves on the West coast, a destination wedding was the perfect choice! Since both Scott and Chelsea love the beach, it was easy to decide on a beach wedding and locale. A lot of factors were considered in narrowing down the location and things to consider when selecting where to hold a destination wedding.
- Do you want to be married at another location in the United States or in another country?
- Can a majority of the guests you want to attend the wedding travel affordably to the destination you choose?
- Are there reasonable flight options available to the destination location for the couple and guests?
- How far is the airport from the destination hotel or resort? How costly and available is ground transportation from the airport to the hotel or resort?
- What is the typical weather like at the location during the time of year you want to be married? If you are considering an island location, you don’t want to plan a wedding in the middle of hurricane season!
These are just some of things to consider when selecting your destination wedding location!
Use a Travel Agent!
Chelsea decided to use a travel agent and said that this was the best thing she did! A travel agent has experience, knowledge and insights that are invaluable when planning a destination wedding. They can help make the research and “legwork” much easier, providing recommendations for locations, hotels/resorts, etc. based on the things are important to you. Chelsea has done much research before working with her agent, though having her choices validated was nice! A travel agent can handle booking the hotel/resort, flight reservations, ground transportation, excursions and help the couple and guests in many ways.
Chelsea and Scott worked with (and highly recommend!) Diane Michael at Luxury Travel Desinations. Diane was a huge help to all of us! You can learn more about Luxury Travel Destinations by clicking here.
The Location Decision!
Scott and Chelsea ultimately decided to hold their destination wedding in Mexico at the Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun. The Now Sapphire, part of AMresorts, is located near the town of Puerto Morelos, approximately 30 minutes by car from Cancun. The Now Sapphire is an all-inclusive resort, with Mayan inspired architecture, large, beautiful guest suites, 5 a la carte restaurants, a café and bountiful international buffet, beautiful pools and much more. This was the first time I had been to an all-inclusive resort and it was fabulous!
The Now Sapphire has a number of different wedding options and can accommodate weddings up to 250 guests. Including the beach, they have 5 different locations on-site for both the ceremony and reception. An on-site, dedicated wedding coordinator is included with each wedding package. Our wedding coordinator was fantastic and so helpful!
Some things to do, consider and ask your travel agent/wedding coordinator when planning your destination wedding:
- Book WELL in advance! You should definitely book a destination wedding 12 months in advance.
- Have an idea of how many people you will invite – and who will attend – your wedding.
- Will you want a legal or symbolic ceremony? This is IMPORTANT! If you want a legal ceremony, especially in another country, you need to know all of the legal requirements well in advance, including the number of days you are required to be in the country in advance of the wedding.
- What kind of wedding packages are offered at the location you choose?
- What other options are available? What is the cost?
- What can you bring or send to use at the wedding? (TIP: Take everything with you on the plane! More on this later!)
- How many weddings take place on the same day at the same time? I’ve heard that some locations churn out a number of weddings on the same day or that locations are not private. If this is important to you, ASK before booking your wedding! (The Now Sapphire held just 2 weddings at the same time and they were in totally different parts of the resort.)
These are just a fraction of things to think about and ask when considering your destination wedding location. Biggest tip? Ask anything and everything that comes to your mind! Write down all of your questions so you don’t forget anything – and if you do, go back and ask again. It’s your day, your money and your memories – so make certain you are completely comfortable that everything will fulfill YOUR dreams before you say yes to a location.
The Now Sapphire has a wonderful wedding checklist, which you can access by clicking here. For more information about the Now Sapphire, the Now family throughout Mexico and other AMresorts, click here!
Next time, we’ll talk about the colors and making the invitations. Later in the week, we’ll share everything from welcome bags, table decor to a fantastic favor plus lots of tips and where to buy everything! Thanks so much for visiting today and celebrating wedding bells!
The following articles provide additional information on planning a destination wedding.