Monday, March 5, 2007

Island Wedding Overviews

A destination wedding can be just about anything you want it to be from the two of you and an officiant on the beach to a full-scale church wedding complete with 10 attendants, a gospel choir and an opulent reception, or anything in the middle.

Many hotels and resorts in the Caribbean have wedding packages now, some of which even come free with a seven-night stay, such as Sandals popular Weddingmoon™. If that option isn’t enough, you can choose one of Preston Bailey’s four customized weddings that offer various provisions including specific flowers, table settings and aisle treatments. One hotel we considered, the Wyndham Bermuda Resort & Spa (now under renovation), offered decoration options up to $130 per table for linen overlays and a replica lighthouse. Wyndham has a great website to find out more information about its wedding offerings.

Many hotels offer a modest basic package which can be supplemented based on the couple’s preferences. When you are considering where to have your wedding, it is important to keep your options and preferences in mind. Some hotels require a minimum wedding size to allow you to have a private reception—if you have fewer than 20 guests, your reception may have to be in a restaurant on the property. Certain hotels may require that you use a staff photographer or contracted musicians whose work may not be what you would hope for. In some instances, an all-inclusive may also limit your options for food and location choices. Make sure to know your options and limitations as you explore where you want to get married.

When we were deciding where to go for our wedding, we knew we wanted a decent range of choices that we could customize to be appropriate for our tastes, our guests, the vibe we wanted and our budget. We wanted something that would feel like our wedding. After briefly trying to work with the unresponsive wedding coordinators used by our hotel at the time, we discovered an independent wedding planner who offered everything we needed and had the local resources to help us plan every aspect of our wedding the way we wanted. While some destination wedding couples have had great experiences with wedding coordinators at their hotels, working with an independent contractor (assuming that you have sufficient recommendations) may be easier because their reputation is at stake in the planning of your wedding, so they may be both more responsive and more flexible. Our great wedding planner on Grand Bahama Island is Janet Albury at And The Two Become One.

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