There’s a lot that goes into planning a destination wedding, and obviously, one of the biggest decisions a couple makes when choosing a wedding away from home is where to have it. The other is who can help make your dreams a reality? With the right vendors, you can have the destination wedding you’ve always wanted. A great place to start is with a travel agent that can point you in the right direction as far as location, and other vendors. Following up on last week’s Real Wedding feature of Marissa and Justin, we’ve reached out to the President and CEO of their travel agency, Romance Travel, to find out more about what it takes to plan a destination wedding.
Expert advice on planning a destination wedding
Shelli Nornes explains that planning a destination wedding can be easier (and in some ways less stressful) than a traditional wedding, “Planning a destination wedding is so easy because you have the resort’s wedding team handling all of the vendors on your behalf.” In addition, oftentimes Nornes says it’s also more cost-effective. “A destination wedding costs about 30% less than a traditional wedding ($10,000 for a destination vs. $30,000 for a traditional wedding.)” And because only 30-40% of your invited guests will actually travel to your destination, you can be generous with the number of people you choose to invite. “Some couples like [the fact that fewer people will accept the invitation to attend as it helps trim the list naturally. Not everyone can make it, and that’s ok!” reminds Nornes.
But not all aspects of destination wedding planning are different from planning a traditional one. Whether you’re planning a destination wedding or not, most couples send out save the dates 14-18 months prior to the wedding date. It’s important (and considerate) to give guests time to plan and budget for their trip. After all, you might be planning a rehearsal dinner, a ceremony, and a reception, but with a destination wedding, your guests inevitably have planning of their own to do as well. “We have many wedding guests who set up payment plans with us, which really makes things easy,” Nornes adds.
When it comes to which destinations to consider, Nornes is a huge fan of Riviera Maya, where Marissa and Justin got married (in case you missed it, see their wedding story, here). She loves the convenience and affordability of flights to the Cancun airport, and “There are hundreds of resort options and something for everyone. But most importantly, the hospitality of the Mexican people just can’t be beaten.” When asked why she thought Unico 20°N 87°W was the best location for Marissa and Justin, she explained that “The details make the difference here. Weddings at UNICO can be sleek and modern or boho and romantic. Just like our couples, no two weddings are alike, and UNICO delivers on customized experience, which brides and grooms are looking for. Justin and Melissa’s wedding was exactly what they were dreaming of.”
“Weddings at UNICO can be sleek and modern or boho and romantic.”
No matter what type of destination you are considering, Nornes advises using an experienced wedding travel expert. They will point you in the right direction for the locale that’s right for you. “We can recommend the best destinations and resorts based on your wants and needs. We know which resorts offer the best amenities and group perks. We know the on-site wedding teams and have personal relationships with them. But most importantly, we take care of helping all of your guests and organize the entire experience.” And really, isn’t that what everyone wants for their wedding, no matter the locale?
With more couples looking to create a unique destination wedding or a one-of-a-kind honeymoon, The Wedding Guys have created an event that brings the best array of resources of romantic travel opportunities available for either your honeymoon, destination wedding, mini-moons or weddingmoons. Who knew there were so many options?
The Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Showcase is Minnesota’s ONLY event designed exclusively for honeymooners and couples planning destination weddings. “With so many couples choosing to get married abroad or looking to honeymoon in a range of exotic destinations, there is a high demand for expert travel assistance,” says Matthew Trettel, one of The Wedding Guys. “There are so many details to think about when planning a destination wedding and until now, there has not been a single resource where you can check off everything on your list.”
At the event, you will have the opportunity to learn advice from the experts, on everything from the legal requirements of planning a destination wedding to selecting the perfect entertainment for your guests. You will walk away with brochures and other resources that will help with the entire process and you will also learn the latest trends on destination weddings, getting married at an international location, and the best hotel options for the wedding itself. Travel professionals like Romance Travel are excited to share travel suggestions, insider tips, ideas, and rates for planning the perfect trip. Not only that, but the opportunity to interact with the experts face-to-face at the event is key to setting you on the right path of an enjoyable and stress-free destination experience.
The Honeymoon & Destination Wedding Showcase happens only twice a year. You can find out more information HERE.
All images courtesy of HDC photos