1. Location, location, location: deciding on a location should be based on a few key elements. Where do you love to travel to? We see the most popular destination wedding locales as tropical settings. Consider the type of hotel; will your guests be comfortable and is the hotel affordable? What are the amenities like? Think about the close proximity to airports, towns, and other activities. Select a location that has great reviews for both service, restaurants, a gorgeous setting, and stellar wedding services.
2. Keep in mind that a destination wedding very well might not be less expensive than an in-town wedding. If your guest list grows and you take into consideration travel expenses to-and-from several times, the costs can elevate. However, if you do it right you can end up saving a great deal of money.
3. Will you be happy not having a 200-guest wedding? Chances are if you invited 200 guests to your nuptials in Costa Rica they couldn't all attend. But keeping it simple can feel so good and celebrating with your close family and friends in a tropical (or other) locale can be the best type of celebration. Consider whether you'll have a hankering to throw a post-wedding bash when you return for those who couldn't make it.
4. Along with #1, really be sure to know what the hotel offers you for your wedding. We have seen our fair share of destination venues that simply have you pick your flowers or cake from their standard "look book" and don't stray too much from offering those designs. If you're fine with this then this type of venue provides a level of simplicity. If you still want to have a unique design, look, and feeling, be sure to relay this to your coordination team (or the on-site staff); as many destination hotels will still provide that level of simplicity but will bend over backwards to create a stunning look that isn't like other weddings.
A snapshot from last night's gorgeous wedding at the Omni Hotel
5. Ask the hotel how many other weddings might going on during your wedding weekend. Though this is a great question to ask at any venue, destination or otherwise, we've seen many destination hotels say that they might have 5 or 6 weddings going on at one time. While this might be okay for some people, most of our clients want their wedding to be the only big show that day.
6. Finally, consider the level of privacy you want and find a venue based on what they offer. Think about a tropical destination setting; you very well might have people walking by as you are saying "I Do" in their bathing suits.
Stay tuned for Part II: Hotels love weddings and as a result will likely offer you room upgrades, perhaps free nights depending on how many of your guests stay.........................