Would you like to get married on your honeymoon? Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular with couples who are eager to skip the fuss of a traditional wedding and jump right into the fun. Around the world, you'll find hotels and resorts that offer on-site help to plan your wedding, from details like the wedding license to extras such as music and photos. Whether the special day involves just the two of you or whether you'll be inviting friends and relatives to join in the occasion, a destination wedding can be a way to create wonderful memories.|
But, first, the down side. Destination weddings aren't for everyone. If you're in love with the idea of a large wedding with all your friends and family, skip this idea. Even with a year of planning, it's just about impossible to get everyone's schedules coordinated for this kind of event.
But many couples are saying "I do"
to the idea of destination weddings
not only as a way to make the occasion more special, but also as a means of simplifying the whole process. "Just say the word, and
we'll take care of everything," explains Ava Burke-Thompson, Director of Guest Services at the
Sheraton Grand Resort Paradise Island, Bahamas. "We can arrange for the marriage license; minister, priest or rabbi; the florist and the photographer; the wedding cake and champagne; and the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception."
At resorts like the Sheraton Grand, on site wedding coordinators take care of every last detail, some with just a one day notice. "We do it all the time,"
says Burke-Thompson. "It's now legally possible to get married in the Bahamas with 24 hours' notice."
POPULARITY OF DESTINATION WEDDINGS
Destination weddings have caught on for several reasons. According to
hotels and resorts around the world, they're especially popular with:
- couples on a budget who don't want the
expense of an elaborate wedding.
- couples who don't want the fuss of a
wedding and all that goes with it at home.
- couples on their second marriage looking
for something a little different.
- those on their second marriage who'll
need to bring along children on the honeymoon. The children's programs
at many resorts offer privacy for the couple and a chance to enjoy a
vacation with their new family.
- couples who are bringing a small wedding
party. Sometimes the bride and groom stay at one resort and the wedding
party at a neighboring resort, giving everyone privacy. couples who are
bringing a sizable wedding party and would like to take over a
Many small resorts like Florida's Little
Palm Island offer groups the option of taking over the entire property.
This type of stay must be arranged far in advance. The wedding party has
the run of the resort for their stay, with plenty of room to party and
play. "Little Palm Island is a really private, secluded getaway for
wedding groups," explains Susan Belanski, Director of Sales. "We close off
the entire island." When wedding parties take over an entire property like
Little Palm Island, regular house rules, such as no guests under age 16,
are suspended so wedding parties can invite anyone of their
Before you say "I do," plan to do a little
research into the "do"s --and "don't"s -- of the local marriage laws. Many
countries have loosened their marriage regulations, making it easier for
foreigners to tie the knot. Even so, you'll need to do some
"The reason some couples have problems with
their overseas wedding is that they are unfamiliar with the marriage laws,
rules and regulations of where they want to be wed," explains Ruth Keusch,
co-owner of Ottley's Plantation Inn, located in Caribbean federation of
St. Kitts and Nevis. In researching your destination wedding, Keusch
recommends that couples make sure they learn:
- if their home country will recognize a
wedding in the designated country as valid
- the minimum residency period before the
marriage can be performed
- what paperwork you'll need to bring from
your hometown house of worship if you're planning a religious
- what proof is required if you're divorced
- if blood tests are required and, if so,
if you can bring them from your home doctor or if must they be performed
- if there will be English-speaking staff
members available to assist you
- costs and fees
- typical weather during the month of your
- special hotel rates for members of the
- what previous experience the hotel or
resort has in planning foreign weddings
Destination weddings can also lead to
another joyous celebration: destination anniversaries. Couples who wed on
their honeymoon can revisit the very spot where they married and share the
memories of that occasion.
- Husband and wife team Paris Permenter and
John Bigley have authored over 20 guidebooks and also edit the FREE http: www.Lovetripper.com, a romantic travel
magazine featuring worldwide destinations.
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