Throughout the wedding planning process, brides and grooms have multiple questions about the day of, the destination, and where to get started. One of our expert wedding planners and the sales manager of Wedding Vacations by Sunwing, Meghan Jakubowski, shared some of her top tips and advice for planning your dream destination wedding day.
What is the most common question you and your team get asked by brides-to-be?
Photographer: Tomas Barron
MJ: “How do I create my dream wedding and still keep it affordable for my guests?” Many destination wedding couples dream of having their wedding in a luxurious, extravagant location but also worry about making sure their guests can afford to be there with them. You don’t have to sacrifice luxury and quality for price. There are so many affordable destinations and hotel options with beautiful ceremony and reception locations – you just need to do your research!
A couple just got engaged and are thinking about a destination wedding. Where do you recommend they start?
MJ: There are three main questions you want to think about to help you get started in your planning process:
1. Where do you want to get married? Do some research and try to narrow it down to a couple top destinations based on your wedding vision, what location suits you best as a couple, your travel style, etc.
2. What price are you comfortable with asking your friends and family to spend on their travel? This will also help decide which destination and hotel you choose. Put out some feelers and try to get a rough idea of what price range you think your loved ones can afford.
3. When do you want to get married? The more flexible you are with your dates the better, as time of year affects pricing and if you’re more flexible with dates you’ll likely get a better price. You also want to give you and your guests plenty of time to plan ahead and book time off work for the trip, etc.
Is a destination wedding on a budget realistic? Are there still a variety of options for budget destination weddings?
MJ: Absolutely! How much you spend on your destination wedding is up to you and really depends on what you want for your big day. Most resorts offer free wedding packages if you book a certain amount of guests and a semi-private reception dinner is almost always included in your wedding package. You can also get creative with your décor and bring as much as you can from home – flowers can be expensive in destination (especially if they need to be imported) so try to minimize the floral décor if you’re on a budget.
Are there any items from home you recommend couples bring for their big day?
MJ: In my opinion, the more you can bring from home, the better. This really helps to personalize your wedding day and can also help save on décor costs. I suggest bringing candles, cake toppers, table numbers, napkins, even silk flowers. If it fits in your suitcase, I say bring it! The main item I always recommended to bring are your printed materials including ceremony programs, welcome letters, itineraries, place cards and menus, which can all help incorporate your colour scheme and tie your whole theme together.
What is your favourite part of the destination wedding planning process?
MJ: Helping to bring someone’s wedding vision to life. It makes me so happy when a client returns and can’t wait to let me know how well their wedding week went! We also love it when our brides send us their photos so that we can see how everything turned out and how happy they were on their big day!