Planning a Destination Wedding

Wedding bells rang over and over again across New York State yesterday as same-sex couples tied the knot. Since New York now allows gay marriage – it’s becoming a destination for engaged couples! This reminds me of my own destination wedding in Puerto Rico and all the work that goes into planning an “away wedding.” It’s just as important to make sure that yourselves enjoy your hen and stag do’s! You’ll only get these once!

Sure some people will love you for having your wedding in a tropical or fun destination – but be prepared for some naysayers. Once you get over that and settle on your guest list there is a lot of planning ahead of you. Staying organized when planning one of the biggest events of your life is key. Otherwise you’ll be a stressed out mess and miss out on all the fun stuff!

1. Picking a Destination: There are so many things to keep in mind when choosing a location for your destination wedding. Make sure it’s accessible enough for your guests. People are going to spend a lot of money and time to get to your nuptials – be kind to them! Also do a little research to find out what kinds of activities and events they might be able to take advantage of the weekend of your wedding. You don’t have to plan it all out but giving people options is very considerate.

2. Picking Vendors: This is one of the toughest things to do when planning from far away. The best advice I can give that you have to take a bit of a chance sometimes. But also you have to do your homework. If you decide to go with a wedding planner (we did) it might be the best money you spend. This person lives in the area and has worked with these vendors before. If you trust the wedding planner than his/her recommendations should work out perfectly.

3. Interviewing Vendors: You must go into meetings either on the phone or in person – prepared. Have a list of questions and ask to speak to past brides. Their experiences will help you to have the best possible event.

4. Relax: A wedding in the islands means a laidback atmosphere. When you’re planning be aware that not all of these vendors are on the same clock as you. That was very difficult for this Type-A New Yorker to grasp. I would panic, “I sent an email 15 minutes ago and still haven’t heard back!” Please – island time is island time. Learn to deal with it and you’ll be much happier.

5. Packing List: Having an amazing packing list will save you many headaches. You’ll have a lot to remember so start jotting things down early. If you need some help here is my Destination Wedding Packing List.

If you happen to be planning a wedding in Puerto Rico – let me know. I have all my vendors and notes and lists! I’d be happy to share.

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