Planning your destination wedding around hurricane season

Once you have decided where to host your destination wedding, the next big question is when you’ll get married. While hurricane season is a detail to consider, it doesn’t have to derail your plans for the celebration of your dreams.

In the past few years, we have seen some of the most devastating weather events in decades including hurricanes. Many islands have been ravaged, properties damaged, and lives lost. Knowing when hurricanes are most likely to impact the Caribbean will go a long way in helping to prevent travel and resort issues.

Here are some key points to remember when planning around hurricane season:

  • Hurricane season falls between June and November with 97% of storms occurring during this timeframe. If possible, choose a date outside of this time period. If not, try to select a date that falls outside of peak season.

  • If your wedding date happens to fall during hurricane season, be sure to choose a flexible resort that has alternate indoor and covered venues to accommodate all of your wedding events.

  • Purchase cancellation insurance and encourage your guests to do so, as well. Vacation Coordinators offers Cancel for Any Reason insurance that protects travelers against delays, weather events, medical emergencies, and other mishaps.

Jack Benoff, President of Vacationeeze said it best: Don’t let the weather force you to move your dates. Hurricane season also happens to be when the prices at the resorts are on the low side. Work with your travel professional to pick a good resort that has a plan B option.

No matter the date you choose, I Wish Weddings by Vacation Coordinators is here to assist you in selecting the perfect venue to host your destination wedding. Contact us to learn more about alleviating the stress of planning around hurricane season.

To learn more about How to Protect Your Destination Wedding From a Hurricane, click here.

Head Start to Your Dream Destination Wedding: Five details to get your planning underway

So, you just got engaged and are waiting to say I do. You and your fiancé want a romantic, stress free, and affordable affair, and have chosen a destination wedding. Now what?

There’s a short list of things you must do right away to ensure an amazing and unforgettable experience. First things first: choose a destination that will give you the wedding of your dreams. There are so many Caribbean locales all with incredible resorts and breathtaking views. Start by thinking of places that provide the scenery you’re looking for, evoke a sense of romance, and accommodate all of your guests. Once you’ve selected the perfect island destination, you’re ready to notify family and friends and start planning.

Here are 5 details to consider early on:

  1. Notify guests well in advance—9 to 12 months is customary for a destination wedding. Also, be sure to let them know if it’s an adults-only event.

  2. Consider the budget of your guests when choosing a resort. Can your VIPs afford to attend (i.e. parents, siblings, wedding party, etc.)? What can the remainder of your guests reasonably afford?

  3. Choose simple, understated decor. Save money on flowers and centerpieces and let the beauty of the island set the tone.

  4. Think about the weather when dress shopping and selecting clothing for your bridal party. You’ll want to make sure everyone is cool in the Caribbean sun and comfortable to dance the night away at the reception.

  5. Hire a travel professional. Let an experienced agent specializing in destination weddings manage travel plans for your guests and assist with the details of your day.

Early planning is essential for a destination wedding. You want your guests to have plenty of time to plan for your special day and now is a great time to start. Contact I Wish Weddings by Vacation Coordinators and we can help you select the perfect destination and get started with planning your dream wedding.

To get more tips for planning a destination wedding, check out How to Plan A Destination Wedding: 11 Tips to Consider and Wedding Bells: 8 Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding.

Symbolic vs. Civil Ceremonies

When choosing a destination wedding, many couples overlook one extremely important detail—whether to have a symbolic or civil ceremony.

A civil ceremony is legally binding and officially recognized by the government. On the other hand, a symbolic ceremony is more of a commitment service and not a legally recognized marriage. Before choosing a destination for your symbolic or civil ceremony, here are five things to consider:

  1. If you have already narrowed your search to a few destinations and/or resorts, what types of options do they offer? Most resorts offer symbolic ceremonies, but others may push couples toward a more traditional civil ceremony.

  2. What are the legal requirements for marriage in the destination you are considering? It’s fairly easy to get married in Jamaica or the Bahamas, but more difficult in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

  3. How much work are you willing to do when you arrive at your resort? Some destinations require a great deal of paperwork and even blood testing before couples can legally marry.

  4. Do you want to customize your ceremony by writing your own vows, having friends and family participate, or adding your own creative flair? Many destinations require officiants follow a very specific script and couples participate in a predetermined style of ceremony to be legally married in a civil ceremony.

  5. Are you committed to a specific date, and only one wedding date? If you marry in the states then travel to a destination, you will essentially have two wedding dates which is undesirable for some couples.

To learn more about symbolic vs. civil ceremonies, check out these two articles:

Lavish Destination Weddings at the Hard Rock in Punta Cana

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana is a pioneer in destination wedding options and decor. The resort is located on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, boasts nearly 1800 luxury rooms and suites, and offers nine wedding packages.

By offering unique wedding packages designed by Celebrity Event Designer Colin Cowie, brides can choose decor and color palettes from basic white to bohemian chic fuchsia, orange, and purple, to modern black, white, and red. The resort also features four private locations including a beautiful sandy beach overlooking the Caribbean Sea and a floating gazebo surrounded by swaying palm trees.

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana offers custom wedding options similar to those found at stateside venues enabling the bride and groom to customize the details of their special day. Guests can enjoy the magnificent beauty of a beach location, then party Vegas style at the exclusive 14,000 square foot ORO Nightclub. They can also venture out and explore the resort amenities including nine restaurants, an 18 hole golf course, a relaxing spa, and lively club and casino scenes.

To learn more about the wedding and honeymoon packages offered at all inclusive Hard Rock Hotels in Cancun, Vallarta, Punta Cana, and Riviera Maya, visit the resort on the web. Then, contact I Wish Weddings by Vacation Coordinators to start planning your ultimate romantic destination wedding experience.

Maximizing the Modern Wedding Style

We have all heard the mantra less is more, but traditional wedding style has always put this idea to the test. A multitude of exotic flowers, extraordinary white dresses, larger than life centerpieces--you’ve seen it all packed into a modest wedding venue. While traditional weddings can be unbelievably gorgeous, many brides are opting for a more minimalist style including chic invites and modern dresses.

The minimalist wedding can be defined as edgy, trendy, and chic with refined yet very simple modern decor. For the bride and groom, their big day comes will little fuss or formality and guests are able to relax, unwind, and enjoy each other’s company (Weddingomania, 2016). Resort style is naturally chic with artisanal food options, simple decor, and a flooding of natural light, so choosing a destination wedding can make pulling off the minimalist style a cinch.

If you think a modern, minimalist wedding might be perfect for you, check out these 7 Ways to Pull It Off Like a Pro from Brides Magazine.

  1. Go big with one design element.

  2. Stick to a limited color palette.

  3. Don't overdress your tables.

  4. Use natural lighting wherever possible.

  5. Pick an interesting venue.

  6. Consider the food a work of art.

  7. Keep your dress and bridesmaids' dresses simple, but elegant.

Choosing the Perfect Caribbean Resort for Your Wedding

With countless resorts offering enticing packages, finding the perfect destination for your caribbean wedding can be challenging. Do you want to get married on the warm sand or under the shade of a gorgeous gazebo? Are you looking for elegant decor to match your theme or will a simple flowered arch fit your vision? Will you need a private reception area for dozens of guests or will an intimate dinner be more fitting? Before choosing a resort, these are just a few of the questions you will need to consider.

This simple exercise, courtesy of the Bridal Guide, can help you and your spouse determine what’s most important.

  1. Write down the top three things that come to mind when you think about your caribbean destination wedding experience, and have your spouse do the same.

  2. Compare and refine your lists to highlight those items that will make your special day come together exactly the way you envision.

  3. Consider the islands and resorts that fit your vision. There are endless options so don’t hesitate to contact I Wish by Vacation Coordinators to learn more about your favorite destinations and begin the selection process.

To view Destination Weddings and Honeymoons’ Best Wedding Locations of 2016, click here.

Why You Should Have a Destination Wedding

Here at I Wish Weddings by Vacation Coordinators we can think of countless reasons to host a caribbean destination wedding--beginning with the breathtaking backdrops and inviting sunshine that only island locales can offer.

Destination weddings can range from intimate ceremonies to full-on, all-night extravaganzas. They’re also an amazing way to throw tradition to the wind and create the event of your dreams while remaining budget conscious.

We borrowed these six reasons to choose a destination wedding from the ultimate authority, The Knot:

  1. Avoid the stress of traditional wedding planning

  2. Eliminate the risk of family drama

  3. Save those coins

  4. Abandon tradition and have the wedding you want

  5. Make new memories while celebrating a second marriage

  6. Enjoy quality time with family and friends

To learn more about how a destination wedding can fit your vision and budget, click here.

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