Cards on the table – not all weddings are dreamlike. As my grandmother used to say: “It’s all just the dull old show with different faces.” So why not escape the local restaurant or church and find an exotic alternative? An all inclusive destination wedding will make the whole experience so much more interesting and fun for the happy couple. Most importantly, it’ll provide something different for all of your neighbors to gossip about. Best destination weddings usually include the bachelorette party and friends and family members traveling to a hotel outside their home town and staying for two or three nights instead of only one.
It’s actually a revitalizing vacation with most beautiful vows tossed in. And in case it is held at an all inclusive hotel, bride and groom will cut the costs while reducing the planning and the stress. Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular, with their frequency increasing by around four hundred percent (believe it or not) in the last ten years.
Here are five useful tips for brides and grooms wanting to say their vows off-site:
- Send out save-the-date cards and set up a blog half a year in advance. Expect 30 to 50 percent of invited friends and family members to attend
- Definitely pay a visit to the site before you reserve it
- Ensure you have a reliable point person on site
- Research the hotel, booking agent or event manager you’re working with in order to verify qualifications
- If cost cutting is your plan consider all inclusive options
And now to the top five!
What Greek Coast is lacking in romantic activities for the bride and groom the Cook Islands more than make up for. A happy couple – along with their dear friends and family members – will have really a lot to do to enrich their experiences. For local flavor, they should definitely check out the Highland Paradise Cultural Centre, where local people wear the beautiful Maori outfit, and check out several sites of former sacrificial ceremonies – okay, that’s not actually romantic. For religious couples, there is a Sunday morning church service. And for party lovers, there are Island Nights, featuring traditional Polynesian singing & dancing galore.
Couples and their guests can splash in the shallow lagoons with the turtles, fish and octopi, or learn about the history & wildlife of the Cook Islands through one of Pa’s Nature Walks. Also, a bride and groom can partake in the local people’s dearest activity – lying all day long. The beautiful ocean and white-sandy beaches provide an ideal spot for this. Strange but true, tying the knot in the Rarotonga is way more inexpensive when compared to the USA. Cost of a beachfront wedding at one of Rarotonga’s most luxurious hotels, the Pacific, is just over $1k and that includes the team of on-site expert planners and, of course, the marriage license.
An extra $500 gets the happy couple a traditional vaka lagoon ride with a warrior, a shell horn announcement by an island warrior, hand-woven coconut palm and flower archway and even a beautiful ukulele serenade. Flights for the friends and family members are quite inexpensive and simple – On a ten-hour direct flight from LA, guests can reach this South Pacific paradise for as little as $800 round trip.
Muir Beach Wedding
Situated just over the San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Muir Beach feels worlds away from the Frisco which draws increasingly more tourists to the area. With an amazing wildlife and a wide range of recreational opportunities, it’s the perfect spot for sunset weddings. Throwing a wedding at the national park will cost you only $400 for a smaller ceremony – it’s always better to reserve in advance, because the demand increases a lot.
Couples can choose to say their vows at the Muir Beach Overlook Book the neighboring Pelican Inn for the reception, or go all out and marry on its beautiful lawn, before retreating inside to the adorable, Tudor style English pub for a happy hour and tasty supper. The Resort’s employees will handle most of the details, from food all the way to decoration. The glass roofed conservatory is perfectly lit for an intimate meal after the sunset, and the area can easily be converted to the dance floor when the alcohol does its usual trick of making you feel like dancing.
Since the Resort is unusually small and has only 7 rooms, couples can spend their wedding night in the privacy of nearby Sausalito at the iconic Casa Madrona, with some truly breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline and the bay from the window – perfect place for a night of love & romance.
St. Kitts Wedding
Try to imagine this scenario – romantic sunset, oceanside paradise, a train pulls up and deposits you and your future husband at the site of the wedding. A happy couple can have all this and (so much) more on the St. Kitts. St. Kitts, the one and only country in the Caribbean to lay claim to a scenic passenger railway, has forested volcanic mountain slopes with many streams and sheltered beaches. Following the wedding ceremony, friends and family members can re-board the train for the reception and continue on their way back to the resort – or one of many bars. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the train is that the final car has a love lounge where the bride and groom can stay once the ceremony is over.
The conductor only has to ‘un-couple’ the love lounge car so the happy couple can enjoy their secluded romantic setting overnight while their friends and family members continue to party on their way back to town. The couple is then picked up by the train the following day. From this tropical setting, you can go to Nevis, for the honeymoon. Situated in the Eastern Caribbean Leeward Islands chain, Nevis is famous for its beautiful mountain scenery. It’s only 8 by 6 miles, but it has an amazing appeal.
Proclaimed one of the very best ‘green’ hotels & resorts on the Earth by Conservation International, the traditional-style, but luxurious Devil’s Thumb Ranch is an ideal spot for the happy couple looking for an alternative to a with sandy tropical paradise. Located on five thousand acres of privately owned land – only 1hr west of the city of Denver – this piece of land is home to sixteen high-end ridge top cabins, all of them wonderfully decorated with European & Scandinavian antiques and nestled among the pine trees and aspens.
The Ranch Creek Spa, a brand new twelve-thousand sq ft wellness center, has ultimate revitalization on the menu, just great for bachelorette parties, and newlyweds’’ massage lounge with romantic copper bathtubs for the happy couple who wish to relax. John L’s Private Dining Room & Wine Cellar can take up to sixteen of your guests for something truly special with wine pairings and custom multicourse dinners.
Cabo San Lucas Wedding
Cabo San Lucas (famous as a favorite place for Yankees getting hitched) has an enviable repertoire of factors which make it so. First of all, the marriage is legal in the USA as long as it is performed by a judge – keep in mind that civil weddings are legally recognized, but religious unions aren’t. The paperwork for the license is very simple – the couple only has to fill it out ahead of time, arrive two or three days early to do a blood test and the party can get started.
Most places in Cabo accept U.S. ‘green’ money, and almost everyone speaks American, i.e. English. There’re many resorts in the area, so the happy couple can accommodate all of their friends and family members’ budgets. What’s more, the perfect weather is guaranteed, regardless of the time of year. Check out the swanky Capella Pedregal as the venue for the wedding. Each and every of the sixty six guestrooms has its plunge pool for sexy time anytime of the day. The Auriga spa provides revitalizing treatments which are simply great. You can book a number of couple’s treatments in the twelve-thousand sq ft spa that holds 10 treatment suites, 8 treatment pods and a couple of luxe suites.