For our latest Ask the Wedding Planner Q&A blog, we talked to Senior Destination Wedding Consultant, Jessica Doutas. From planning destination wedding week events to customizing your special day to suit your style, read on to get the expert scoop on your most pressing destination wedding questions.
For more expert advice, check out our previous Ask the Wedding Planner Q&A blog!
Do you recommend I visit my chosen resort beforehand?
Many couples find it very helpful to visit their resort before their big day, but it’s not required. If you choose to visit the resort, your destination wedding consultant can arrange a tour with on-site wedding coordinators so you can visit various ceremony and reception spaces to get a feel for where you’d like to host your big day. From envisioning the décor to exploring the resort’s facilities and amenities, a first-hand look at the resort can make the decision-making process easier for some couples. However, other couples prefer to see the space for the first time on their destination wedding week, in which case expertise from your destination wedding planner is especially valuable.
What type of events can I plan to entertain my guests throughout the week?
There are a wide range of events you can host to entertain your family and friends and make the most of your time together in paradise. A welcome cocktail party is a great way to kick-off your tropical celebrations and gives your guests a chance to mingle. You can make your welcome party as simple as meeting at one of the resort’s all inclusive bars or, to make it more a more personal and private event, your destination wedding planner can help you rent a venue and have it decorated to suit your style. You can also take advantage of resort-offered activities – for example the famous pool parties which take place at select RIU Hotels and Resorts.
Another option is to plan an excursion for your group. Couples can choose to book an excursion to celebrate their bachelor/bachelorette party or to thank their wedding group for traveling with them! Each destination offers a wide variety of Sunwing Experiences to suit all group sizes and interests such as snorkeling, ziplining, city tours and catamaran cruises which tend to be a huge hit with wedding parties.
How can we customize our resort package to make our big day more personal?
When it comes to customizing your resort package, the sky is the limit. Most resorts offer a wide array of packages that range from simple intimate celebrations to grand elaborate events and everything in between. In addition to these packages, many resorts have a wide selection of add-ons that couples can choose from to customize their special day. For instance, if your resort package includes a semi-private reception dinner at one of the restaurants but you’d prefer to have a private reception on the beach, your destination wedding planner can make arrangements upgrade your package.
Is it realistic to plan a destination wedding on a budget?
Absolutely! Destination weddings are typically less than half the cost of a local wedding. Depending on your guest list, entertainment preferences and décor choices, a destination wedding can cost anywhere from just a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Your destination wedding planner can work with your budget and help you determine what aspects to splurge on as well as cost-friendly alternatives to help you stay within your means and have the wedding of your dreams.
Am I allowed to add or change the ceremony and reception décor?
We highly encourage couples to customize their décor! Typically, resorts will offer a simple arch or gazebo for your wedding ceremony, but your destination wedding planner can help you get quotes for additional décor. Whether you want to dress up the venue with floral arrangements, a unique hoop altar or a tiled aisle, your destination wedding planner can help you customize your day to suit your style. For receptions, you can add a spacious dancefloor, opt for different setups with high top tables or glam up your table settings with stunning centerpieces. In addition, your destination wedding planner can provide you with photos to help inspire your vision.
Looking for more advice? Send us your destination wedding planning questions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll select questions to include in our next Ask the Wedding Planner Q&A blog!