Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and most brides and grooms want to do whatever they can to avoid any problems or disasters. Here are our top 5 mistakes to avoid when having a destination wedding.
Mistake #1: Not blocking enough hotel rooms for your group.
We’ve found that a lot of couples hesitate to block rooms, as they are not sure how many people will actually come to the wedding. This is likely because they don’t understand the benefits of booking as a group. Group amenities are typically only honored when it’s in writing and this is done with a group hotel contract. This contract will state whether the bride and groom are receiving free nights, a free wedding, a free reception, or all the above. It will also provide a date that rooms must be released, to avoid being liable. In most cases, there is no reason to not do a group contract, unless the couple is eloping, when this type of contract wouldn’t be applicable. We regularly work with resorts that will do a group contract starting at just 6 rooms, depending on the time of year.
Mistake #2: Not taking advantage of local things.
Part of the fun in having a destination wedding is experiencing the unique culture that you’re in. If you’re in the beautiful destination that you’ve selected, don’t expect it to be exactly like what you’re used to at home. Immerse yourself in the special products or surroundings that your destination has to offer and allow yourself to fall in love with the options from the local area. For example: orchids grow on the island, so they’re less than roses? Awesome! A Spanish mariachi band is less than a string quartet? So fun! The guests will feel like they’re not only part of your wedding, but part of the culture. Your wedding planner can help show you the various pricing differences, but remember, if they must fly in something special, it will be a lot more expensive than getting a local product that can be easily acquired. This can be a big cost savings.
Mistake #3: No backup plan.
Back up plans are always great to have, especially when it comes to one of the biggest events of your life! For example, couples getting married outside need to have a backup plan for a ballroom or terrace wedding if the weather decides to change and unload on their wedding day. Rainy season is June through November in Mexico and the Caribbean. One of the most popular times to get married in the United States is September with the beautiful leaves changing and mild temperatures, but this isn’t the same case for the Caribbean, as it’s usually the most humid with the highest chance of hurricanes.
Mistake #4: Not inviting everyone.
Time and time again, couples only send invitations to those they think will want to come to the wedding and this can be a mistake! If the bride and groom are open to everyone attending, then invite everyone! A lot of times, friends and relatives would not travel to an all-inclusive resort unless they’re going with a group. If everyone is truly invited, then send an official invitation or save-the-date card. There always seems to be someone that you swore would not miss it, be unable to attend and on the other hand, you might be surprised at who decides to make the trip. The surprise of who can celebrate with you could become a special memory as you begin your marriage journey.
Mistake #5: Not working with a travel agent.
Planning your wedding takes a lot of organization and detail management. Couples that don’t use a travel agent are stuck being the middle person. The destination wedding is meant to make life simpler! Do you want to take time to answer small, detailed questions like what size hotel beds are in the rooms? What if guests have problems while traveling to the wedding? Do the bride and groom have to take time to help re-accommodate or re-schedule transportation? These kinds of details or issues can be frustrating and very stressful for the bride and groom and if you work with an experienced agent, they can take care of all the little things that come up for you so you don’t have to.
At Vincent Destination Weddings, we’re all about planning everything for you so your big day goes as smoothly as possible. We don’t charge a group contract fee and we’re paid a commission by the hotel that the bride and groom choose. There is no additional charge for working with the wedding travel agent! If you’ve dreamt of a destination wedding and the thought of planning it sounds overwhelming, contact us today to handle all the details.