Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Destination Weddings: Pros, Cons, and Considerations

The Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding
Faced with the daunting prospect of wedding planning--renting a venue, renting a reception hall, hosting dozens if not hundreds of friends and family--a destination wedding can start to seem awfully tempting. And certainly, for some couples it’s the perfect option, but the fantasy of a destination wedding is different from its reality. Here are some things to consider when deciding if a destination wedding is right for you.

Pro: A Much Smaller Guest List

Your guest list will be limited to those who can afford to make the trip, or even just to the couple getting married. All of those distant relatives and friend-of-a-friend folks won’t expect to be invited to a destination wedding, so you can focus on the few key people you really want to be there.

Con: A Much Smaller Guest List

In the heat of the wedding planning, it might seem like you’d rather get married at a courthouse with no witnesses rather than mess with the delicate politics and economics of managing a guest list. But take a step back from the process and imagine the memories of your wedding day that you’ll have five years from now. That buddy who doesn’t fly, or that elderly relative who can’t make the trip, might be someone you’ll wish had been there on your special day. And sometimes the magic of combining social circles and family groups leads to lasting friendships forged on the day, something that is less likely to happen with a destination wedding.

Pro: Everything’s Included

With a destination wedding, you won’t have to worry about finding the cake decorator, florist, photographer, and officiant that’s just right for you. Most wedding destinations will provide a package deal with everything you need for the day, so you can stop hunting through Yelp reviews for that one magical florist and focus on your time with your significant other. And since your hotel will likely serve as your wedding location and reception hall, the planning gets a lot simpler.

Con: Options May Be Limited

The flowers, cake, and officiant are included in the package, sure. But if you want a different type of cake (or perhaps a doughnut bar instead), or nontraditional flowers, or for your best friend to be your officiant, you might be out of luck. Not having to plan the ceremony means that you’re handing over at least some degree of control of how the ceremony plays out. You’ll have to ask yourself if you’d rather control every detail of the wedding, or if you’d rather not have to worry about it.

Pro: You’ll Save Money on the Reception

A smaller guest list means you won’t be renting a reception hall and providing a meal for 200 people. Bar tabs and catering costs will be lower.

Con: You’ll Spend More on the Guests That Do Come

Wedding etiquette stipulates that the wedding hosts should pay for their guests’ hotel rooms, food, and most other expenses. While guests should be responsible for their own airfare, that’s still a substantial amount of commitment to each person who attends.

Consider: Red Tape

A couple of friends of mine had a beautiful destination wedding in Costa Rica a few years ago. After a couple of years, though, their relationship deteriorated and they filed for divorce. When they filed, they discovered that the marriage was legal in Costa Rica but never ratified in the United States. In the eyes of U.S. law, they were not married and never had been. If you’re not doing a package deal with a resort, make sure to do your homework to make sure your wedding actually legally marries you and your spouse.

Consider: Protect Your Couple Time

If you’re flying out friends and family to a destination wedding vacation that will also serve as your honeymoon, make sure to plan plenty of time for just the two of you as a couple. It’s fun to take a vacation with friends or family, but might be less fun to have your new father-in-law tagging along on your snorkeling trip. In the whirlwind of a destination wedding, it’s even more important for the couple to take time to connect.

A destination wedding can be a great start to a happy marriage, provided the couple takes the time to research and make sure it’s what both of them want. As with every part of the planning, communication and research is key to make sure you know what you’re getting into and what you’ll get out of it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sparkler Tip #6: Have Good Timing

Sparkler Tip: Have Good Timing
As with most things at your wedding, making sure you have the right timing with your wedding sparklers is very crucial. Depending on how you are planning to use them, every detail from how you hand them out to when you hand them out are important details when trying to get the timing just right. Here are a few tips that should help you plan out your strategy and get the timing right for your guests to get the most enjoyment possible out of their experience while using their wedding sparklers.

Sendoff Line

One of the most common uses for wedding sparklers is as part of the sendoff line. If you are trying to make sure everyone is coordinated for this type of display, you’ll want to either have a sign or make an announcement about where they should line up and how they will light their sparklers. That way, everyone can get lit at the same time so the timing is right to pull it off.

Wedding Favors

If you are just going to place some sparklers on the table for your guests to use at their own leisure, you probably aren’t too concerned about the timing. However, there are probably certain times you’d prefer them to not be using the wedding sparklers or only certain areas where they can be used. A good way to make sure the guests are informed is to put a little tag at each table the nails down this type of information so there isn’t any confusion.

Choreographed Photos

If you are going to choreograph some photos with things like writing in the air with the sparklers, hopefully your photographer will know what to do. If not, you’ll want to make sure to do some dry runs before everyone lights their wedding sparklers to ensure that the timing is right and you won’t have to abort the photo only seconds after everyone’s sparklers are lit.