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Destination Weddings
By: Shawn Hickman

Every bride wants her wedding to be one-of-a-kind. Having a wedding at a fabulous resort is one way to
make your event more memorable and it is becoming more and more popular with couples planning a

A wedding is a wonderful celebration that brings family and friends together. These days, however,
weddings often require travel for many of the guests because people are spread out across the country.
If many guests have long distances to travel to begin with, why not choose an exotic location and
turn your wedding into an extra memorable event for everyone?

Location, Location, Location...
Choosing the right place for your wedding should be first on your "to do" list. This day should be perfect from
start to finish - that is why finding the right place should be first on your 'to do' list. The place where you and
your fiancé will exchange vows will set the mood for your whole wedding celebration. Whether you choose
to have your first kiss as a married couple on the beach, or dancing in a ballroom like Cinderella, there are
many beautiful locations throughout the world to choose for a destination wedding.

One of the drawbacks of a destination wedding is the expense of flights and the added expense of
accommodations that guests would need to pay for. Keep in mind that a lot of your guests may decide not
to attend based on these factors. If you have problems with a guest list that is getting out of control,
a destination wedding may be the answer to your problems.

Helpful Tips
Send wedding invitations early so that your guests will have enough time to make travel plans.

Start planning early and book ahead. If you book six months ahead you get better rates on hotels and flights.
American Airlines has a special wedding desk (1-800-545-8193) and can offer a special rate if you book for
ten guests or more at the same time.

Keep in mind that there can be hidden costs such as hotel taxes and/or exchange rates if you are getting
married in a foreign country.

According to one recent survey of brides, more than 20% of couples planning a wedding are choosing a
destination wedding. One reason the destination wedding has become so popular is that combining your
wedding and honeymoon can save money. Destination weddings may also cost less per guest than having
your wedding stateside in an elegant ballroom. Finally, be sure to ask about complete wedding packages,
which are offered by many of the big resorts and cruise lines.

Other Things to Think About
If possible, hire a wedding coordinator at your location (check references) and visit if possible beforehand.
Sandals Resorts, for example, have offered a test-drive your honeymoon package from time to time that
allows couples to fly in for a weekend and "try them out." If a couple decides to book a honeymoon or
wedding package, the cost of the weekend trip is applied to their honeymoon. Of course, specials like these
are subject to change and may not always be available, but its worth looking into.

Before you go be sure to check on local marriage license laws and any paperwork you will need to bring -
visa, birth certificate etc. If you are getting married outside on the beach, have a back-up plan if the
weather is not cooperating. If you plan to marry in the Caribbean you may want to avoid hurricane season.

The Bride’s Attire
brides choose an informal style wedding dress for destination weddings because they are easier to
pack and wear. Many designers are offering bridal gowns made from light, easy to wear fabric like chiffon
and silk crepe that are perfect for an island wedding. Ask your local bridal salon for additional ideas and on
how to pack your gown for travel. Many of the resorts may have ironing services or they may be able to
recommend a pressing service. If traveling to Europe, ask for a local tailor shop.

The Groom's Attire
For the groom, a popular option is the all-ivory or all-white tuxedo. Some of today's hottest tuxedo styles
are designed in non-traditional styles and shades.

Whatever location you choose for your wedding, remember to take time to enjoy the day!

Destination Weddings