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Honeymoons & Destination Weddings

The Destination Wedding II

A destination wedding is, simply put, a marriage ceremony that takes place in a locale in which the bride and groom have traveled to get there. Destination weddings can essentially be anything the bride and groom want them to be, limited only by budget and marriage license requirements. Let's just think about some of the reasons why Destination Weddings have become so popular in the last decade.

1. Today it is common for the bride and groom to live in a different state than their parents, siblings and friends. If people have to fly to attend the wedding, why shouldn't the couple choose an exotic locale and one that people will want to visit? Also, couples in second marriages that include children have a wonderful opportunity to start the new blended family off with an exciting vacation built right into the wedding event.

2. Many couples don't have the cash or they choose not to spend it all on a one-day event. With fewer guests and many resorts offering intimate weddings at a minimal cost - even for free - it makes sense economically. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is close to $25,000 while in major metropolitan areas, the cost is much higher. These prices are for the wedding alone - not including the honeymoon.

3. Destination weddings are as stress-free as a wedding can get. The on-site wedding coordinator handles most of the details for the couple. There are no rules here, so there's nothing that "must be done" or a list of who "must be invited".

4. If you are an active couple and want your wedding to symbolize your particular interests, a destination wedding can offer many exciting aspects such as scuba divers wedding underwater and skiers exchanging vows on the top of a snowy mountain. Many will prefer the idea of a casual wedding on a sandy beach.

The most popular destination wedding I sell in the Dallas area is the all-inclusive resort wedding that offers a wedding ceremony or vow renewal free of charge or for a minimal fee, with a minimum stay of usually seven nights. This consists, of the services of the wedding coordinator, the wedding license, a choice of several scenic spots for the ceremony, wedding cake, bouquet and boutonniere for the bride and groom and photographs. An on-site wedding planner help the couple choose the extras which includes almost anything you would have at a traditional wedding. She also handles all the paperwork and details, allowing the couple to simply arrive and enjoy their special day and then the honeymoon. The popular resorts in the Caribbean include Sandals, SuperClubs, Couples, Paradisus resorts and Half Moon Bay Resort. In Mexico, Royal Hideway, and the Secrets and Dreams properties are popular. And, Mexico is the most affordable destination. The Caribbean can be one of the most romantic destinations and the advantage is that from our area it is only a short two-three hours away.

A spa package is often included for the bride and also her attendants and family members before the big day, while the groom, best man, ushers, and fathers might use that day for a golf outing. Some resorts help the bride and groom send all of their family and friends "Save the Date" cards. Some couples design a website with all the information of their plans that their friends can log onto to keep informed about what is going on and who has confirmed. That in itself is a lot of fun instead of a lot of work for the bride's family to make everything "perfect". Some resorts have an online honeymoon Bridal Registry, which works like a gift registry, enabling friends and family to contribute to the couple's honeymoon.

My particular favorite for just a honeymoon is the exotic South Pacific. It is a bit too expensive from the Texas area for a destination wedding, as the airfare is at least twice as high as the Caribbean. Also, the travel time is about 10 hours from Los Angeles, so it makes it nicer to have a few days to rest after the ceremony before starting the honeymoon. Some affluent couples do choose this option. Often they want to spend time after the wedding day with relatives who have traveled to share their important day. My favorite island is Fiji with the friendliest people in the world and beautiful scenery and sunsets, and then for something a little more laid back,
I like the casualness of the Cook Islands. However, the destination wedding is the way of the future, where you can enjoy your friends and family and know that they are also enjoying themselves. What could be nicer?

Linda Robertson
Let's Go Travel
Honeymoon Specialist

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