Sunday, March 29, 2009

Meet the Experts

For the last several years, we have been sharing our experiences on this blog. But the commentary has been just that – our experience. However, over the next few months, we will be interviewing of experts in the field of destination weddings and sharing those conversations with you. We are extremely excited by this and look forward to sharing their recommendations with you.

Watch for our Meet the Experts column soon!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Destination Weddings 101

We want to revisit the basics of destination weddings.

For us, a destination wedding isn’t just a “wedding away” or “elopement.” Sure, it’s possible to get married someplace else (geographically speaking). And while that is a wedding away, it does not count as a destination wedding in our book.

For us, a true destination wedding is a wedding in which the destination itself becomes an important and essential part of the wedding experience. The destination itself ties into the overall theme of the wedding. And the experience of the wedding could not be repeated in a different location.

For us destination weddings differ from eloping because the venue itself is important. When eloping, the venue becomes secondary (or is not important at all). Historically, eloping meant getting married in secret. We don’t subscribe to that definition. For us eloping is just getting married “someplace else,” but the someplace doesn’t really matter. It could be Las Vegas or some other city because it is convenient. It could be a neighboring town or in a different country.

It’s important for you to decide if you want an elopement (wedding away) or a true destination wedding. It is critical for you to know in your mind exactly what you want. Some venues and locations try to sell “destination weddings” that are nothing more than elopements. You need to ask questions of the venue and ensure that their idea of a destination wedding matches yours.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Location Report: Destination Weddings in Dubai

We recently returned from the UAE and Dubai. Dubai is amazing and there are some fantastic beach resorts there. Of particular note, we enjoyed the Habtoor Grand resort and the One and Only.

However Dubai is located in the Islamic state of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Civil weddings are not possible. You need to get married in a church. It is extremely helpful if you are both of the same religion as mixed-religion marriages introduce a significant level of complexity. A blood test is required. And perhaps most difficult is that Dubai and the UAE explicitly prohibit those in the country on a visitor’s visa from marrying (effectively eliminating the country as a potential destination wedding hotspot).

This is a shame since Dubai and the UAE are so idyllic. Warm winter weather, killer beaches, tremendous shopping and amazing restaurants could make Dubai the must-go-to location for trendy destination weddings. If Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum allowed his country to modernize, Dubai and the UAE could be a major center for destination weddings.