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destination wedding

Life
Destination Wedding Dos and Don’ts
March 12, 2010 at 11:40 am 4


Mexico Wedding 525
Destination weddings are supposed to be fun, easy and enjoyable. So why am I totally exhausted and broken after our week long wedding celebrations? In hindsight there are some things that we did right, and some things that we did very wrong – combined that meant that our guests had a great time (which of course makes us happy) but that we were totally worn out, and in reality, didn’t have that much fun until the end. If I could do things all over again there are many things I would have done totally differently – so I thought a Do and Don’t list would help other people that were considering a destination wedding. DO have one wedding If you have a destination wedding, or are from different cultures you don't need to have multiple celebrations. I’m from Canada and my husband is from Argentina. I’m so happy we had a destination wedding in one location instead of having one wedding in Canada and one in Argentina. More of our friends would have been able to join us if we’d had two weddings, but it would have been a total nightmare to organize. One wedding is a ton of work, I can’t imagine planning two! find a location that’s easy to get to and is central for most guests With people coming from all different locations it's great if you can find a place that's somewhere in the middle. Since we had people coming from South America, and the East and West Coast of Canada/ the US, Mexico was a good choice. It also meant that everything happened on neutral territory and neither of the families would feel like they were being favoured or disadvantaged. try and spend quality time with each guest The reality is that people travel very far, and pay quite a lot to celebrate with you, so make sure that they know you appreciate it. Spending a bit of time with each person makes the whole affair seem more personal, and your guests will be happy that they got to have quality time with you at such a busy time. make a wedding night party that is unique to you This is your chance to do something different - you don't have to follow rules. Do what's right for you! While we were away two other guests had birthdays, so we included a special shout out and birthday cakes for them at our reception. It isn’t the typical thing to do, but it made the event extra special for those guests. make arrangements for all your guests to enjoy Each wedding has a special set of needs/wants and personalities. Keep those in mind when planning and anticipate your guests needs so that you can make arrangements and they can enjoy the whole party with you. For example, we had lots of young families at our wedding, so we made arrangements for kids meals (fries and chicken fingers) to be served before adult meals, high chairs to be at tables, and baby sitters to be on hand to either take the kids to their rooms, or watch over them in the seating area. That way the kids were happy, and the parents were free to relax and enjoy the party. Our plans worked out too, almost all of the parents stayed until 2am because all of the normal headache details were taken care of for them. have your bachelor/bachelorette parties on the same night That way all the messy stuff will be taken are of in one night, and one of you won't be left at home wondering what's happening with the other. have the wedding early on in the week The early you have the wedding, the earlier you relax. We decided to have the wedding on day five of our seven day stay. It was a mistake. If you get there on Sunday have the wedding on Wednesday. You will allow yourself a few days to take care of details and then you can relax with your friends after. We arrived on the Sunday and had the wedding on Friday – it meant we spent five days receiving guests, making plans for our wedding, spending time with everyone – it also meant we spent no time relaxing and enjoying the fruits of our labour. The only time we relaxed was for four hours on the day we left. Seriously. stay after the wedding You and your forever mate will be exhausted after the wedding - so plan some downtime for after the wedding. My biggest regret is not spending time together alone after our wedding. We were both totally exhausted after our wedding – and we had not spent any time together alone for a whole week. It took a toll on us, and for a whole week I didn’t feel that close to my (now) husband, which is a real shame when you are getting married. With everyone around it’s understandable, so if you are planning a destination wedding make sure you set aside some “you time” after the wedding to relax, enjoy and reminisce about the wedding. DON’T expect the wedding coordinator to be a lifesaver They are coordinators…which means they coordinate, it doesn’t mean that they do everything. What we thought was going to be an easy event to organize because we had a coordinator on board was not so easy after all. The coordinator was the middle man, so saved us from negotiating directly with different suppliers, but it still meant that we had to make all the plans, come up with all the choices, provide all the direction, and solve all the problems. The only thing the coordinator did was show us a few rooms that we could get married in, show me a few flower samples, and call the suppliers to order stuff we asked for. We thought we’d be out sipping margaritas because we had a wedding coordinator…but we were sooo wrong! over extend yourself Yes, you are a host, but set limits for yourselves. We spent so much of our energy worrying about our guests, and if they were having fun, that we drained ourselves. We had almost no downtime, and as a result we were both very testy, edgy, and we spent no time on the beach relaxing or enjoying the resort. The only things we saw were restaurants, the spa, our wedding coordinators office, and the banquet room for the party. We need to go back next year to see what we missed out this time! put your guests requests above your own desires It's hard when everyone is asking for things and wants something different, but you need to be able to brush it off and do what you want. Both my husband and I are very accommodating people, and my husband loves to host people. So that meant that we spent so much time trying to help people out, finding fun things for them to do, letting people interrupt us all day long. It’s great to wear the hostess party hat, but when it takes a toll on you, it’s time to put the hat away and let people figure some things out for themselves. pay for friends and family to come if it’s outside of your comfort level When you have a destination wedding it means your guests will have to pay a lot to join you - and that means not everyone can afford it. Some couples will help their friends and family get there, others will not. Half our wedding budget was set aside for helping certain people come to our wedding. When the actual wedding came it was great to see our family together and some of our friends were sooo helpful and we were thrilled to be able to help. But others were a huge disappointment. One guest didn’t even thank us for helping, never made any effort to see us at the resort, and if anything did some things that took away from our wedding experience (i.e. totally inappropriate stag party). I felt like we bankrolled his family vacation. If I could do it again I would only pay for close family (maybe 3), and one close friend on either of our sides. Keep in mind that when you cover guests travel expenses your destination wedding will end up being just as expensive as a North American wedding (upward of $35,000), if not more.
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Life
Our Wedding
March 10, 2010 at 4:21 pm 8


Bride and Groom
On March 5th I officially became a Mrs, and it was quite a celebration to mark this event! In my mind I pictured this being a relaxing and pampered day…but it’s a lot of work to get pampered! In the morning I had my nails done, followed by hair and makeup in the afternoon. I wanted to have pictures taken with my husband when we had our wedding outfits on, and while we had full sunlight, but I didn’t want to interrupt our event between the ceremony and the reception…so we did things a little differently. We had our pictures taken before our actual wedding! It’s a tad unconventional for the groom to see the bride in her dress before the ceremony, but we’re not really conventional people.

coming to pick up the bride

coming to pick up the bride



Mexico Wedding 554


Mexico Wedding 574
When the photographer arrived we spent an hour and a half having our pictures taken. We posed and chatted and kissed for the camera. So much kissing! I’m not much of a camera kisser, it seems kind of cheesy to me, but every second picture our photographer wanted a smooching pose, until I said “enough!”

so much kissing!

so much kissing!

After our pictures I went back to our room where my aunt and uncle were waiting for me. Originally I was going to walk down the aisle by myself, just because I’m that independent kind of girl, but it didn’t seem right. My aunt and uncle are like my second parents, and they, more than anyone, have mentored me, and guided me to become the person I am today. If anybody deserves the honour of walking me down the aisle it’s them. So with my aunt and uncle we went to the gazebo where our ceremony was going to take place. We practiced our walk in the room, but when we walked down the aisle we were all in a different step! But even funnier than that…I forgot to show my train! My dress stayed in the bustle while I was walking down the aisle and throughout the ceremony. Even in the pictures before the ceremony. Ooops!

Aunt and Uncle walking me down the aisle
When I got to the gazebo and was ready to exchange vows I felt really excited and a tad nervous. I just remember having a huge smile on my face. It was a nice environment and I totally forgot that there were a bunch of people watching us in what I think is a very intimate experience. The only funny, and cheesy thing, was that when we exchanged our vows the justice of the peace gave us a microphone to repeat after him. Is that normal in weddings? It seemed very strange to me, but if we didn’t have them no-one would have heard us.

not so intimate - using a microphone to say "I do"
After the ceremony we had a champagne toast with the guests, followed by an outdoor cocktail hour. The whole week the evenings had been really chilly, but luckily on this night we had a nice warm breeze that was perfect for our cocktail hour. We had chairs outside, great music, some snacks and an open bar – everything you need for a cocktail hour!

finally a chance to relax!

finally a chance to relax!

After an hour or so of cocktail hour we went into the reception room and got ready for dinner. Since some of our guests had birthdays on our actual wedding day we decided to incorporate that into our wedding party. First, we had a three year old Isabella’s birthday song and cake. It was very cute! We also had a birthday at midnight for my new sister in law. When dinner came we arranged for the kids meals, chicken fingers and French fries, to come out first, followed by the four course adult meals. Our first course was tomato and mozzarella salad with a pesto drizzle, followed by a Mexican lemon and chicken soup, and our main course of beef tenderloin. The food was excellent! We had crème brulle for dessert, but I was too busy having fun to eat any. When the dinner was over we started dancing and getting wild. For Argentininan’s weddings are not formal affairs where everyone is on their best behaviour – instead it’s a time to get silly, have fun, and act wild!

the groom being thrown by friends

the groom being thrown by friends



taking the groom to the bar

taking the groom to the bar

When the cake came out we were too tipsy and wild to enjoy cutting it, so we let it sit on the table, and decided to cut it the next day with just our family around. It was the perfect way to do it, because really we wouldn’t have enjoyed it doing it on our wedding night. We had done our obligations all week long, and the last thing I was interested in was doing one more thing that was formal and planned and involved us passing out cake and making sure we included everyone. So instead on our wedding night we kept on dancing, drinking, and letting loose all night long. It was a very fun event, and definitely memorable.
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Life
Destination Weddings Are Not For Control Freaks…But We Are!
February 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm 0


control-freaks-title
In just under two weeks we're getting married in Mexico. Eeeeks! Two Weeks! We've got some solid plans laid out, but it's true, destination weddings are not really for control freaks. We had to book the wedding package we were interested in at the resort, and select a few other things like the menu and time of our reception...but otherwise it's a total game time decision! - We won't know which restaurant or hotel area we'll have our reception in until we get to tour the resort. - We won't know what the food is going to taste like, or even if we made good choices until we have our party...or if we are extremely lucky we will be allowed to sample some food a few days earlier. - We aren't sure if the dj can play our songs or accomodate our requests until we meet him on our wedding night. But the funny thing out of all of this is that my fiance and I really like to have control of pretty much everything. Or at least he does. I tend to go from one extreme or the other...make me the captain or the servant, but god forbid I have to discuss every detail with many different people to get their approval and spend forever going back and forth. That makes me bananas! Either tell me what to do, and exactly how to do it...or let me do it my way. So, some funny things have happened because of this. I have spent most of my wedding planning time labouring over things like colour combinations, or how I would like the print work to look like, while my fiance has spent his time emailing friends and family and reconnecting with all the guests, and continously colour coding the rsvp list. I guess we've just transferred our desire to know exactly what is going on and how we want everything to work into other things...and so far it's been okay! I guess if our guests have cold soup and terrible music we can feel some sort of satisfaction knowing that the colour pallette is pretty and we are up to date on eveyone's business!
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Life
Panic Attack! The Wedding Is One Month Away!
February 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm 1


I'm a pretty relaxed girl, and I'm not worried about having a super planned wedding. But...today is the day that our wedding is one month away! Oh my god! I'm totally unprepared! The only wedding planning we've done is selecting the resort, and sending out invitations...and also thinking about all the tricks and pranks we're going to play on our friends - if that even counts as wedding planning. We can't find our sheet that lists all the things we have to do, but I know that we haven't done any of them! Eeeks! How do you plan a wedding in one month??? Photo Credit: Sex and The City The Movie 2
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Life
Destination Wedding Invitations
January 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm 1
It's official! Our wedding invitations have been sent out! It was a lot of fun creating them and making something that looked fun, sophisticated, and adventurous. I wanted to go with bright and fun colours that represented the kind of experience guests will have at our wedding. Also, I must confess, I chose orange and blue as the theme colours so we could plan a cocktail menu with these fun colours! Here's what they look like.

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Life
Wedding Plans With An Open Budget
November 18, 2009 at 12:07 pm 1




Since we've decided to have a destination wedding there are heaps and piles of details that need to be figured out. Are we going to have an event each night for our guests? Are we planning daily activities like boat trips, and snorkelling and cultural excursions? Is there a theme? How will the wedding day work? Yup, there are many, many questions coming our way. And just about everytime we get one of those questions the answer is "We don't know". And we really don't know. But one of the cool things about not knowing what you're going to do on our wedding day is that all your options are open. You can look at crazy fancy decorations. Or tiny little seating cards. Or simple and sleek flower arrangements. You can look at pretty much anything. So until we have a budget figured out, the world truly is our oyster. Photo Credit: Wedding Chicks
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Life
A Destination Wedding It Is!
November 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm 0


It's official, my fiancé and I have decided on a destination wedding. I wanted to have it in the winter as there are no great holidays from Christmas until Easter. That way, if we have our wedding in that lull period we'll have something exciting to celebrate every year. Since that's a very chilly time of year it seems only fitting it's a destination wedding...why not have a getaway during our most freezing months of the year? Plus, I'm from Vancouver Island, and my fiancé is from Argentina, and we have family coming from Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Washington DC, Chicago, England and South America. How could we find a central place for all these people to meet? Any which way you throw the dice it was going to be very complicated. So.....we put it in the middle. It's official, we'll be getting married in March in the Mexican Riviera. I can't wait!
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Life
Are Destination Weddings Easier?
October 15, 2009 at 12:51 pm 2




Since the big engagement announcement the pressure has been on to plan and plan and then plan some more. To make sure it all happens I made wedding planning a part of my monthly goals. By the end of this month I want to figure out when I am getting married and where it is going to happen. So a few times a day I go online, google "destination wedding" and search around. But so far I've come up totally dry. I flip flop between Mexico, St. Lucia and then I google some other destinations and add them into the mix. I look at hotels and so many of the pictures are from the 80's, and it makes me think the hotel is outdated. I look at menus (if they are offered, most of the time you have to request them) and I'm not convinced that the food would work. I look at drink menus and I can't see the variety of drinks that we would need. All I want is a fun party! I thought destination weddings are supposed to be easier. Photo Credit: Destination I Do
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