This is a guest post by long-time Twitter friend @TravelDesigned, known in real life as Stephanie. She is a travel consultant that specializes in destination weddings and group travel. She is also the founder of the Twitter hashtag, #MexMondays.
If you’re planning a wedding (as I am!) and are looking for tips, I’ll be posting several guest blogs this month from experts in the industry for this month’s theme, March Me Down The Aisle!
Here are some tips from Stephanie on planning a beach wedding.
Beach Weddings, post by Stephanie Diehl
Beach weddings are the dreams of many brides today. They are easier to plan when a professional travel agent specializing in destination weddings and honeymoons takes care of ALL the arrangements for you for little or no extra charge. Beach resort weddings are typically less formal a nd more intimate too. Another reason they are popular is you get to have your wedding cake and eat it too with a honeymoon that is included in one beautiful package.
Travel and wedding packages are definitely not created equal! To help keep these costs in check for you and your guests I recommend the better all inclusive properties. Amenities, food and beverage quality, and a very comprehensive wedding package are extremely important considerations.
One of the best wedding packages I have found for an average size group costs about $2800 in addition to travel arrangements and included these must haves:
- Pressing of bride and groom’s attire
- Bride’s hairstyling and makeup
- Spa package for bride and groom
- Bride’s bouquet
- Groom’s boutonniere
- Corsages for mothers
- Floral arrangement & decoration of the wedding gazebo
- The wedding location –beach or gazebo
- basic white covered chair set up for 20 guests
- wedding cake an d sparkling wine toast for 20 guests
- cocktail re ception with canapés for 20 guests
- dinner reception for 20 guests with a floral arrangement on bride’s table
- photography –30 minute video and 50 digital prints
- Live music – 1 set
Even with all these amenities included, chances are there will some additional costs depending
on the size of your guest list,
wedding party and personalization. With such an exotic setting for your special day you may want include a private romantic photo session or the increasingly popular “trash the dress.” A “Trash the Dress” session is one of the hottest trends in creative photography. Depending on the location, it can involve a stroll in a jungle or water setting with the bride and groom “trashing the dress” by playing in a fountain, the ocean or a pool. These beautiful keepsake photos are very sensual, fun and flirty.
Fees for catering can run around $50-75+ per person. Brides need to keep this in mind when sending invitations if funds are very limited. Bridesmaid bouquets and additional boutonnieres, guest table decorations and favors are typically not included. All of these arrangements can be easily handled through the hotel for additional cost.
Brides can also make or buy these personal touches at home and save a lot of money. I don’t recommend sending them ahead, they are safer in your carry on or checked luggage. The extra space in your luggage on the way home can be used for souvenirs.
When getting married on foreign soil there are certain legal requirements that will be necessary. The requirements vary from country to country. Some countries are more complicated than others. This may have some bearing on which destination you choose.
Preparation and execution of legal documents are additional costs. My advice to couples who want to avoid jumping through these the legal hoops and costs is to have a legal, (think courthouse or private church), ceremony at home with a non legal dreamy beach ceremony and celebration.
When it comes to celebrating the hotel can arrange special events for you and/or your guests. Many hotels offer bonfire beach parties, fireworks, sightseeing tours, golf outings, spa days, sunset cruises, and romantic oceanfront dinners for two.
It’s so affordable and easy to make your beach wedding dreams come true!