Envision you and your fiancé at your wedding, it’s our wedding day, and you are about to say “I do”. Are you on a sailboat? A scenic overlook? A vineyard? Or on a stunning beach by an exclusive Punta Cana resort. Thinking back to past weddings and envisioning what style dress you would like to wear will usually help you narrow down your choices. If you hate being in a city, then a downtown wedding probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. Similarly, if you love nature, then you might want to consider an outdoor countryside wedding. Ultimately, it’s your special day, so dream big! Or let us play the role of wedding planner for you!
Consider your wedding attendees, take out a piece of paper (or Excel file) and make three lists. Start by listing the name and town of family or friends that you could not dream of NOT inviting to your wedding. Call this list your “Can’t live without” list. Next, list the attendees that you would like to invite, like old college friends or extended family. Call this list your “Would love to have there” list. Last, write anyone else that you would consider inviting (e.g., work friends, neighbours, your parents’ business associates). Call this list “Would be nice to invite”. Your first priority is to pick a location where you know all the “Can’t live without” can attend. A beach wedding in the Dominican Republic might be a celestial experience. Look up flight options, travel distances, and accommodation arranges. Once you have a wedding region that accommodates your “Can’t live with out’s”, look to make the travel planning easy for the “Would love to have there’s”. One common way is to book a block of hotel rooms for your wedding or contract with a wedding travel agency to assist with travel planning for your guests. Also, remember to send a Save the Date at least 6 months before your wedding so folks can book a decent deal and save up some vacation time to join you!
Lastly, an advantage of a destination wedding is that it can help manage your guest count. Usually, around 50% of destination wedding invitations are accepted, compared with closer to 80% for local weddings. So, you can invite that work colleague with a good chance that he/she will not be able to attend. But be careful, Fred from Accounting might just decide to make that trip! Draw up your budget we couldn’t write a top 5 list without mentioning the all-important budget topic. As frustrating as this part might be, having a wedding budget, especially for a destination wedding, is critical. Include in your budget traditional wedding items such as attire, flowers, music, food, beverage, décor (e.g., tent, villa, chairs, and tables), rings, and rental location. This is where our destination wedding planner can really come in handy. They offer you a range of services on their website so that you can plan your perfect day with ease. A common question is should the bride and groom pay for their guests’ travel expenses for a destination wedding.
Now that destination weddings have become more common, most people believe that paying for your guests’ travel and accommodations is not necessary or customary. Of course, your guests would love it if you were able to pay for all their expenses. But, don’t worry if you can’t; there are other ways to show you appreciate their attendance. For example, if you have an extra room in your budget, you might pick up a night of the hotel room, host a special welcome cocktail reception, or buy welcome gift bags to have delivered to their rooms. Now that you have your budget, you’ll know if reserving a spa service or luxury pick up and tour for your guests is on the cards. Check travel and timing restrictions this is more of a sanity check. Also, consider the weather conditions during the time you are getting married. Summer and fall in the Dominican Republic is prime season, but it’s also the best time for a beach wedding. Do your homework finally, go online to website services, it’s amazing how many locations and services are on offer. Also, local hotels and wedding coordination services will usually help you determine the best time and location to host your wedding. You may even consider a “scouting trip” to Punta Cana and you can travel around Santo Domingo or Samana too! Sometimes there’s no better way to finalize your wedding destination than to see it firsthand.