Destination weddings in the Caribbean have become very fashionable over the years.
Is it the right fit for you? Let’s have a look at some pros and cons.
- It is an exotic start your life together. Every wedding is a memorable event but to have your wedding in an exotic location, different from anything available at home, can be a key factor in your decision. Rustling palm trees, white sandy beach and Caribbean blue waters can add so much to your personal memories of the big day.
- Cost is usually less. Weddings at home can cost up to $25,000 and more. A destination wedding can be 1/10th of that cost!
- The deep involvement in planning is left in the hands of professionals at the resort, in consultation with you. Colour-theme choices? Beach, gazebo or garden location? Convention Hall or beach front reception location? Spa and hair appointment needed – with appointments booked well in advance? They usually are available. Often, any design that you can see on the internet can be made available at the resort, especially a fine resort.
- Important friends and family are there with you. In an at-home wedding, often guests are invited based on connection to other family members. Usually with a destination wedding, because of travel costs involved, only those who are close to you will plan to attend.
- If wedding plans are announced early enough (usually a year in advance, to ensure that an appropriate wedding date and time is available), friends and families can plan their vacation time around the wedding, thus not incurring additional expense – it is a wedding trip and a vacation!
- If guests have to travel some distance to attend an at-home wedding, then that cost is absorbed into the cost of their travel south.
- Both sides of the family get to spend an entire week getting to know one another, not one afternoon and an evening, thus creating opportunities for bonding between families.
- You have a wonderful, memorable wedding and you have a honeymoon built in. Many couples choose to stay an extra week in destination and even experience a different resort – perhaps an adult-only resort for the second week. Airfare is already paid for so the second week is often only half of the total cost of the first week.
Some resorts, like Karisma (El Dorado and Azul resorts) in Riviera Maya and Jamaica, offer special prices and times for wedding couples to come down, view the property(ies) and attend presentations informing them about wedding options. AS these offers change, check with your agent for updated information.
- People who are important to you may be unable to come due to health, work commitments or cost (often resorts will offer complimentary rooms if a certain number of guests attend – this could be used to help out those who have a cost concern.) Also, a number of resorts have the capability of broadcasting the wedding live on the internet. Finally, the couple can choose to have a small reception at home – often a barbecue in the backyard to invite those who were unable to attend to pass on their best wishes.)
- Some destinations have strict conditions under which a legal ceremony can be performed – like how long you have been in the country and blood testing at destination. If the legal language of the country is not English, for example, certain documents may have to be translated and notarized. However many couples choose to have a symbolic or vow-renewal ceremony at destination and a small legal ceremony back home.
- Privacy can be an issue especially with a beach wedding, though resort staff will usually do their best to keep casual onlookers away from the ceremony.
- Destination weddings that are advertised as “free” are usually very basic but there will be the option to add other things at additional cost such as flowers, private reception, music, champagne reception, photo package, etc.
- Be aware of the fact that the resort may have other weddings scheduled around your wedding, especially during the popular months of March, April and May.
- If you are very “hands-on” in your need for wedding planning, recognize that long-distance planning sometimes is not as efficient as you would like it to be.
AlmonTravel has helped more than 130 couples from across Canada to achieve their dreams with a destination wedding in the Caribbean area. Call Danny at 1 855 902 4937 or [email protected] for more information.