You've been winning at life lately, you and your partner have decided it's time to declare to the world you're "just adding a little challenge!" - you only went and got yourselves engaged!
First up, congratulations are in order!!! I myself have been enjoying life affianced for the last year or so and now, on the precipice of married life, I wish you all the success in the world!
But back to the challenge
You are about to share everything with another human as unique as you are for the rest of your time on this planet.
That includes decisions on the wedding, and, for the purposes of this travel blog, that also means everything travel for the rest of your lives. Forever.
But enjoy it, you're only a fiancée / fiancé once.
Moreover, you're only engaged for so long before you Pokévolve to become a full-fledged husband, wife, or just plain spouse.
Everyone who's ever been engaged has at least thought about a destination wedding
Who wouldn't want to celebrate their love in a beautiful, exotic setting, surrounded by people who really want to be there, and ready to start married life while already on vacation?
Aside from the allure, there are also some definite benefits. These are almost painfully obvious and might include:
- unique setting for your special day
- great photo opportunities
- you can relax a bit and enjoy a sort of holiday while your wedding happens
- good chance for some beautiful weather and amazing sunsets
The list goes on...
What people don't tend to talk about is the practicality of a wedding abroad
A destination wedding, when well planned, can be a great opportunity to balance or even spread the wedding day costs - albeit a delicate balance.
You'll really need to plan well and have a big guest list full of motivated travellers or simply know a lot of people who can afford to join you.
Guests say "I'm coming" - but where's the RSVP?
No matter how much people tell you "I'll be there", the reality is that you're likely asking for more than just a day or even a weekend. The commitment of time alone can be a serious limitation to your guests.
Beyond the commitment of time, costs both evident and unseen will keep others from making a deposit.
Our experience is that the RSVPs to your guest list will pretty much instantly shrink to 1/3rd the original size of the guest list when it comes time to make deposits.
That is, if you invite 100 people, you're probably going to end up with about 30-35 guests.
What about the legal documents?
Most destinations through the Caribbean will offer a marriage certificate valid in your home province / state / country.
What about the practicalities of administering such documentation?
Well, you might be faced with a couple of trips to the local courthouse, a set of rules
determining who may or may not officiate, and a whole host of added costs.
I've seen recently that the destination wedding community has grown and that many resorts are bringing the officials to the resort to save guests the hassle.
They might even host someone on-site with a regular schedule.
Just remember that you will have to plan your day of arrival accordingly and to plan for local holidays and other days of rest.
What about just a symbolic ceremony then?
You might be thinking about visiting the courthouse at home and simply proceeding with a symbolic ceremony while you're away...
Just remember to ask these important questions when you're doing the planning, especially if you're intending on some financial benefit or wedding package from your chosen resort.
Many resorts build their inclusive wedding packages on the premise that you will be performing the legal duties on-site, this means they might only offer such benefits to couples who will be legally officiated / married during their stay.
It makes sense that they enforce this limitation - otherwise your wedding would be in competition with countless couples simply renewing their vows or those unscrupulous groups who'd just like the free party!
Don't let the added steps put you off, there can be financial benefits too!
This is the part everyone likes to hear - I sometimes think of destination weddings as a special kind of tour, where one day's activities feature an extra-special excursion!
There is benefit in bringing more people with you to enjoy a tour.
Not only will you get a better averaged price per passenger, but, if you are doing some serious coordinating to get those guests onboard with your vacation, you might also get some financial benefit.
Get paid to bring your guests
Each case is different and there are no guarantees in the travel industry (or life in general, for that matter).
However, if you have a healthy guest list, you may find that your group qualifies for the perks of a Tour Conductor credit as a sort of reimbursement for your troubles.
Again, these perks can vary, but you might find that you are offered a complimentary hotel room or even a whole vacation package for every X number of guests.
Just remember that this credit won't likely be paid until after the date of travel, plan your finances accordingly!
Planning your wedding day abroad this year?
Thinking about popping the question and have some questions of your own?
Got the wedding sorted and just looking for some help with the honeymoon???
We're here to help, get in touch now and let us guide you on your ultimate travel dream!