Destination Wedding – Why Not?

Are you considering a destination wedding? Are you planning to ask friends and family to attend or participate in your destination wedding? Are you wondering whether it’s selfish to plan a destination wedding? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” read on!

If you are like most couples, your wedding is the ultimate celebration and start to your future life together. You expect it to be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experience. For this reason, I hope you won’t settle for anything less than your ideal – including your ideal location.

Apart from the obvious lure of gorgeous destinations and the chance to travel to a locale where neither of you has been, you may have practical reasons for planning a destination wedding. First of all, it’s a Darwinian approach to paring the guest list! It may eliminate countless headaches concerning who to invite and who not to invite. Usually, only those who are especially close to a couple will travel a long distance for their wedding. But this is true even for those couples who marry in the country where the majority of their guests reside.

Guests who can’t afford the expense of traveling to a destination wedding often find other ways to participate in the big occasion. Some throw wedding showers and many attend pre and post wedding festivities. You can take special care to make sure those who can’t attend the wedding are involved in other ways. You can also throw an ‘after wedding’ party to celebrate with those who can’t make it to the wedding.

Brides and grooms some times pay for the travel and lodging expenses of those people they especially want in attendance. This might include members of your wedding party, parents, siblings and grandparents. If your wedding is small, and destination weddings often are – these travel and lodging expenses may not be much greater than the costs you would incur by having a large wedding in your hometown.

Some couples elope. In this case, a destination wedding makes complete sense. Eloping omits lengthy, expensive and often contentious wedding planning. It insures privacy and secrecy – if that’s what you want. Under these circumstances, a destination wedding is more likely to be a destination ceremony. Maybe the secrecy of elopement and the destination itself will provide you with the feeling of private celebration you desire. In this case guests aren’t wanted! You can have an ‘after party’ later – when you’re ready to announce your marriage.

There are few occasions in life as momentous as getting married, and there are few celebrations that hold as much meaning as weddings. No couple wants to look back on their wedding day with regret. If you are like most couples, your wedding is an event that you’ve anticipated for a long time. It is an occasion invested with all your hopes and dreams for the future.

Those who care about you will hopefully put their own needs and wishes on the back burner. True friends are those who support you even when it means they have to sacrifice something to make you happy. I choose to believe that those people who show up for destination weddings are true believers. They believe in romance, in marriage and in the union of the two people whose marriage they come to celebrate.

Copyright Johanna Nauraine, 2010

REPRINT RIGHTS Statement: This article is free for republishing by visitors provided the Author Bio and Copyright is retained and the author’s website link remains active.

What Does a Destination Wedding Planner Look For in a Client?

As a destination wedding planner on Maui, I have occasionally regretted taking clients and, although it is very rare, have fired clients. As I have stressed in other articles, it is a relationship. There are many ways of dividing people into groups. The have and have-nots, the winners and the losers, etc.

For me, professionally, I divide clients into those who are expecting the best and those that are looking for problems. To a very large extent our expectations determine our perceptions. If you’re looking for things that aren’t right, you’ll find them. If you are expecting a wonderful event, that’s what you’ll get. I can usually tell whether the person on the other end of the phone is somebody that I’d like as a client within five or ten minutes. It’s all about attitude.

First of all, clients need to understand that there can be laws and policies that are beyond the coordinator’s control. For example, on Maui all outdoor events must end by 10:00 PM. There’s nothing anybody can do about that, it’s the law. If a client argues about something like that or wants a special dispensation, there’s nothing I can do except suggest an after party. When I get the feeling that the potential client is determined to party till dawn at their wedding location, I’ll give it a pass.

Negativity or an argumentative attitude, especially during the first interaction, sets off alarm bells. It’s not a place I want to go.

Your coordinator is part of this relationship and, if your coordinator is on top of his or her game, he or she knows what can and cannot be done. This doesn’t mean that the destination wedding planner can’t show you how to cut some corners and get the most for your money. In fact most can. If they want to.

Wedding industry professionals in the same often have relationships with other professionals. And this is where we come to the information fishing client. There are times when I will speak several times with a potential client who wants information. Usually that’s not a problem. But we soon know when they’re fishing and trying to use our expertise to plan their own wedding. (These people usually do the same thing with several companies.) And once the word gets out, they will have trouble trying to book anything. Or they’ll be able to book services at inflated prices.

Why is this such a turn off? Firstly it’s dishonest when they represent themselves as somebody that is considering hiring a coordinator. Secondly, they usually take a lot of time which could be better spent. Thirdly, they are calling a toll free number. Toll free numbers are not free, the owner of the business has to pay the phone bill.

If you’re just looking for information, say so. Some companies will terminate the phone call immediately. Others will be more helpful. Bottom line; it never pays to be misleading or deceitful when you are dealing with a professional. Most of us can spot it right away. So be nice. Be positive. And please, be honest.