Destination Wedding Planning Mistakes

You’ve got the ring, and now it’s time to start thinking about where to tie the knot. Destination weddings appeal to many couples, but before you go planning the big day from a distance – read this about destination wedding planning mistakes, and how to avoid them.

destination wedding planner, destination wedding mistakes to avoid

Don’t Assume Everyone Will Attend

Destination weddings can be hard to swing for some people, whether it’s financial restraints, young children, work commitments, etc. Work under the assumption that you may only see 75% of your guest list RSVP ‘yes’.

Don’t NOT Work with a Professional

I’m not talking about the on-site coordinator if you go for a resort that has one. I mean hiring a proper destination wedding specialist, who knows the ins and outs of planning a wedding from afar. Call me biased, but having a professional who can seamlessly guide you from the initial planning stages to the big day (and even the post-wedding activities) will save you time, money, and stress. Who wants to be stressed out on their big day? You deserve to sit back and relax.

Don’t Underestimate the Weather (Especially in the Caribbean!)

Humidity and a lot of hair types do not mix well together. The last thing you want on your big day is for your hair to not cooperate, after all – those pictures last a lifetime! In addition to hair woes, heavy dresses, makeup, sweat mixed with self-tanner – these can all be recipes for disaster in a hot climate. Consider having your wedding later in the day, invest in hair products to combat humidity, and suggest that the men swap their three-piece suits for linen instead.

Don’t Overlook Traditions – Both Home & Away

Just because you’re in a unique locale doesn’t mean you need to forego family traditions, so do what you can (or want) to honor family history – wherever you’re saying ‘I Do’. Depending on where you’re getting married, it can also be special to incorporate local traditions and influences into your nuptials. Getting married in Mexico? Consider a Mariachi band for your cocktail hour.

destination wedding mistakes to avoid, destination wedding planner

Don’t Assume You Will Automatically Save Money

Can you save money having a destination wedding? Absolutely, but that’s a different post for a different day. Ultimately (and similarly to a local wedding) your budget will be determined by the location, the suppliers you choose, the foods you would like to serve, and the number of guests you’re inviting. Hot tip: Booking early can often score you better deals, so if you think a destination wedding is something you’d like to do – feel free to get in touch.

Don’t Make Anyone Guess Anything

Weddings come with a whole slew of questions, from ‘what time does it start?’ to ‘what is the appropriate attire?’. Destination weddings come with at least triple the questions, so take the guesswork out of the event for your guests – and build a wedding website where all of the important information can live – and be updated as you near the big day. From wedding details to accommodation options, flight info, and even local activities in the area – house all of the relevant wedding information in one spot – and never worry about answering the same question over and over again! The services I provide include a free wedding website for my couples, customized with all of the details.

Don’t Ship Anything

While there’s a good chance your shipped items will arrive, don’t run the risk. Anything especially valuable should go in your carry-on or be checked (ie your dress, rings, etc). The last thing you want to be dealing with on (or leading up to) your big day is missing wedding favors, dresses, or damaged goods.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

Your wedding day goes by in a blur, so try to take some moments to stop and soak it all in. From the friends and family who have traveled to celebrate with you, to the exchanging of vows in a stunning location, this day is about you and your love – so enjoy it!

Want to plan a destination wedding but don’t know where to start?

Reach out to me here, and avoid making these and other destination wedding planning mistakes.

Elopement Destinations In The U.S.

Looking to plan an intimate elopement for just the two of you? or a small intimate wedding with just a few guests? There are some wonderful locations here in the U.S. to choose from, and the best part, no passport is needed. Many of the elopement destinations in the U.S. are in national or state parks, and there are restrictions specific to each park regarding decor and amplified music. Below are three gorgeous spots for you to say ‘I Do.’

elopement planning, elopement destinations in the U.S.

Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park provides a scenic backdrop for your vows and drop-dead gorgeous photos. The Alluvial Fan Bridge is a favorite location, with a large boulder-strewn river with a waterfall, a wooden footbridge, aspen trees, and most importantly restrooms. There is a non-refundable permit fee of $300.00 to reserve your wedding location.

elopement destinations in the U.S.
Photo credit: NPS/Jacob W. Frank

Montana

Glacier Park. An amazing location for a picture-perfect outdoor wedding. Most of the locations have a limit of 15 people for wedding ceremonies. For weddings, you will need a special use permit. Make sure you apply ahead of time. The park limits the number of events, and permits are issued on a first come-first serve basis.

elopement packages, elopement destinations

New Mexico

White Sands National Park. Located in the southwestern part of the state, with miles of white sand as far as the eye can see. You can submit your permit request up to 6 months in advance, but no less than 30 days before your requested date. A non-refundable $100 processing fee must accompany the permit application.

For more information on these elopement destinations in the U.S., and other locations available reach out to me here.

Know Before You Go – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, provides diverse landscapes from deserts to beaches. Imagine a beautiful vacation spot that is filled with both land and sea activities. By day, you can explore what nature has to offer in Cabo San Lucas. At night, you’ll enjoy the loud, vibrant music and potential celebrity sightings. Cabo San Lucas is located in the Baja California Sur at the edge of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico. It is easy to reach Cabo by plane or by boat. Fresh seafood, moonlit beachside dinners, luxury resorts, and bountiful activities await you in Cabo San Lucas.

Here are some things you need to know before you go.

Getting Around Cabo

Cabo is a place that can easily be toured on foot. Many things to do in Cabo San Lucas are in the downtown Cabo San Lucas area, so if your accommodations are here, you’ll have no problem exploring the various places. Of course, you’ll need a ride from the airport to your hotel or resort. Arranging transportation ahead of time is highly recommended, and saves you some money.

Check ahead of time with your hotel or resort concerning shuttle availability. Many locations offer free or low-cost shuttles to get you to nearby attractions. You can also rent a car for more freedom.

If you decide to rent a car, keep in mind – gas stations are not self-serve. Employees will come out to pump your gas for you. It’s customary to tip gas station employees and shuttle drivers.

Cabo san lucas mexico

Paddle By The Arch

The Arch, also known as El Arco, is a well-known monument that is a must-see while visiting. It is a large rock formation that forms an arch in the water. It sits in the water where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet. You can easily reach this spot by renting a stand-up paddleboard. It is one of the best locations for spotting sea lions as they like to hang out in this area. Make sure to include it in your Cabo adventures.

Go Out Dancing

Cabo San Lucas is known for its active nightlife. Here, you can find an endless number of bars, clubs, and live entertainment that will keep you enjoying yourself all night. There is also a brewery if you’re interested in a more relaxed vibe. A few popular locations to stop by include Tanga Tanga, Jungle Bar, and Baja Brewing Company.

Observe The Whales

Whale watching is a highly loved activity in Cabo. Your best bet is to head out on a boat tour to catch sight of these majestic animals. Humpback whales are mainly visible in the winter – between December and April as they migrate during mating season. Viewing the whales by boat allows you to get up close and personal with them.

Cabo san lucas Mexico

Spend The Day At Medano Beach

When visiting any location in Mexico near the coast, it’s required to see the available beaches at least once during your trip. Medano Beach is an excellent choice as it offers both party vibes and serenity, depending on which section of the beach you visit. Closer to town, you’ll find bars and restaurants right on the beach. Further from town, you’ll find a relaxing spot calling your name.

This beach allows swimming and watersports like parasailing. A few other beaches of note include Lover’s Beach (also known as Playa del Amor), Divorce Beach, and Santa Maria beach.

Try The Cabo San Lucas Food

If you’ve ever visited Mexico before, you’ll know the cuisine is a big reason people love to travel here. Cabo is a great spot for fresh seafood. You’ll definitely want to try the fish tacos.

If seafood is not of interest to you, plenty of restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining can be found along the tourist corridor and at the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Expect to encounter food that has influences from China, the Middle East, and Germany as well. Many immigrants have traveled from these locations and settled in the area providing a delicious mix and variety of food.

For those looking to escape chilly winters, Cabo is an excellent vacation spot. With plenty of outdoor activities available and beautiful weather in Cabo, you won’t want to stay inside much when visiting. For hotter days – opt for water-based activities. Or, start your activities earlier in the day.

Reach out to me when you are ready to start planning your Cabo getaway