Friday, December 17, 2010

the fabulous world of destination weddings!

I was so honored when Christina Wright from Simply Modern Weddings agreed to share her advice for planning a fabulous destination wedding!  I love how much she incorporates couples' interests and personalities into the weddings she plans, and she explains that the same can be done when planning a destination wedding.

Be sure to visit her blog to see some of the amazing weddings she has planned!
(1st row left-right):
church: alec and t photographyinvitation suite: thoughtful day invitesgown: jcrew

(2nd row left-right):
bouquet: jo ann manolis photonecklace: the knottequila bar: victore sizemore photography

Exotic tropical resorts, countryside villas, rustic haciendas. If the sound of these intrigue you much more than your local hotels, golf clubs, and grand ballrooms, a destination wedding may be the perfect fit for you!
Not only does it open up endless possibilities of exciting places to tie the knot, but it also makes for a memorable experience for you and your guests! But before you grab your fiancé, passports, and rush to the airport, here are some tips to help you personalize your destination wedding, while keeping your sanity.
Planning your day
There are many logistics that go into planning a wedding abroad, so the first thing that you'll need is a planner in your hometown that you trust to be the liaison between you and the location, as well as to help bring your vision to life.
Couples looking for a simple approach will find that many resort properties offer wedding packages, which help with the basics of having your wedding. However, having a separate planner will guide you through the planning with the resort, in addition to helping you infuse your personal style into the wedding. This way you are able to make it your own vs. a "one size fits all" template.
A planner can also do research to help you think outside the box for guest activities: you can host a welcome bonfire for everyone on the beach, enjoy traditional dancers during the reception, arrange a group tour with your guests to a local historical site...the sky is truly the limit as far as making your wedding memorable!
Creative cost savings
Let’s not forget the $$ factor! Many times, your destination wedding can cost much less than planning a traditional wedding in your hometown. This savings is not just limited to the smaller guest count. The beauty of destination weddings is that the location itself can add such a statement to your day, along with helping your budget. Getting married on a majestic clifftop in Hawaii? Then you don’t need much besides you, your fiancé, and the officiant…the jaw-dropping backdrop will serve as all the ceremony décor that you will need.
Be sure to embrace the local culture with regards to food and décor. Some examples of this would be to serve traditional dessert in lieu of a wedding cake or shopping in the local markets for items that can be used in the décor. I love the idea of bringing local flavor into the wedding design: conch shells as floral decor, traditional fabrics as table overlays, wood carvings as focal decor pieces. Anything you can imagine!
Important planning tip
One thing I can’t STRESS enough is the importance of bringing on a photographer that you love and trust for your destination wedding! Although the resort packages do include photography services, trust me when I say this is definitely something you want control over. Bringing on your own wedding photographer means that you will be able to select someone skilled at capturing those images you want creatively, where many of the resort-included photographers may not have that same artistic eye.
Many brides think having a destination wedding means they can't afford to bring a great photographer with them, but just as with local weddings, photography is the one thing you should never skimp out on. Especially since your wedding will be like a vacation with your family and closest friends; you are definitely going to want to cherish those memories!
Thank you again Christina for the wonderful advice!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Real Honeymoon: Antigua

I am thrilled to feature the fabulous honeymoon that Patrick and Nicole recently took to Antigua!  They stayed at one of my favorite places, Coco's Hotel.  There are just 26 individual cottages on a hill overlooking the ocean with two private beaches.  Each cottage has ocean views and a balcony with a hammock and outdoor shower.  The hotel is also all inclusive, so the price you pay ahead of time includes all of your meals, drinks, taxes and gratuities.

This hotel is perfect for couples looking for a relaxing honeymoon on a beautiful beach, and want somewhere quiet and intimate.  I hope you enjoy reading about their honeymoon!

Look at that view!!!

  1. How did you decide on this destination?
There were so many reasons! All inclusive resort for adults only, private bungalows on a hillside just a short walk from the beach- perfect for honeymooners, as well as the beautiful views and teal waters of Antigua.

  1. Did you like where you stayed?
Absolutely loved it! The food was amazing, the employees were very accommodating and were eager to get us whatever we needed. The other guests were our fast friends!

  1. What did you think about the destination?
The beach and water were clean and the local residents we extremely friendly!

  1. Did you receive any special honeymoon amenities or upgrades?
The resort provided a “honeymoon dinner” with complimentary champagne as well as a complimentary 30 minute massage.

  1. What was your favorite part of your honeymoon?
Relaxing on our private porch in our bungalow enjoying cocktails (the resort kept our room refrigerator stocked) overlooking the ocean, lounging on the beach laughing with the other residents enjoying the fruity drinks the beach bartender Acare provided, and dinner was always delicious!

  1. Do you have any suggestions for other couples going on a similar honeymoon?
If anyone plans to attend during hurricane season, expect sand flies. They are tiny bug that are impossible to detect, and the bites are very itchy! Bring itch cream- the resort does supply everything you need to keep them away, however that does not work during the wettest season.

  1. What 3 words would you use to describe your honeymoon?
Dream honeymoon destination!

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Hitched Palm Springs

    I am thrilled to announce that I have been snagged for the Hitched Event in Palm Springs!  There are so many incredibly talented vendors and I am truly honored to be a part of it!  The event is on January 30th at the fabulous Ace Hotel.

    The last event was an absolute blast so I hope you can join us!  Grab your tickets here before they sell out!