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Destination Weddings…A Wedding Away

Destination weddings are all about bringing your family and friends together to celebrate your wedding in a unique location. Weddings held away from your hometown can be much more intimate and relaxed. You spend more time together because you are staying in the same location without the obligations of work and home. Choosing the perfect location can be overwhelming, and here are some tips to get you started.

Searching for your wedding site is a lot like sightseeing on a vacation. You need to explore all of best places before you can choose your favorite, however, narrow your search by geography. You need to make your destination easy to get to. Travel costs can increase dramatically if you have to change planes and add rental cars, especially in foreign countries. You want to make your destination a fun adventure for you and all of your guests. A few great locations where I have recently produced weddings have been Costa Rica, Hawaii, Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Tucson, Arizona.

Once you have chosen your location, there are many important questions to ask. First, look at the logistics. Does the venue have enough space to accommodate your ceremony and reception? What is the back plan if it rains and your site is outside? Will there be other weddings on the same day, and at the same time? Is there a wedding package that includes tables, chairs, linens, and other items along with your food and beverage? Ask to see photos of all the “house” items that are complimentary. Venues will send gorgeous photos of previous weddings for you to see, but a lot of the items shown are not complimentary. If you don’t ask specific questions, you may arrive to some very unpleasant surprises.

Now let’s talk about your wedding gown. Never ship your gown, or pack your dress in your suitcase while traveling to your wedding destination. Take your dress with you, in a garment bag, and have the flight attendants store it in the first class coat closet. Ask your bridal salon to help you pack your dress inside the garment bag correctly. Take an extra bag in case the first one gets torn. Also, have all of your bridesmaids and groomsmen travel with their wedding attire in the same manner. It is not worth the risk of having it lost if your luggage doesn’t arrive with you, and it will give you total peace of mind. Ask your venue if they have a steamer, or service that will steam your dress once you arrive. It is also a very good idea to pack a small, travel steamer to use as a back up.

Most venues have a preferred vendor list of wedding professionals they like to use, or that are allowed on property. Obtaining this list will save you so much time in securing your “dream team.” I always ask for this list when planning a destination wedding for a client so I can get to know everyone, and then select the best team to produce my client’s vision. Choosing a seasoned team at your venue ensures that your wedding will go smoothly, and they will take great care of you while working together. You absolutely must have quality professionals who work well together to make your dream a reality!

Have more questions? Ask Rackel directly at (480) 560-1456 or rackel.gehlsen@gmail.com