Choosing To Have a Destination Wedding
Luther and I are right in the middle of heavy planning for our October wedding this year. When I say we are in the middle, I mean we are literally in the thick of it and it has been quite the experience! Contrary to popular belief (everyone thinks it must be SOO easy since I'm a planner) it hasn't been that easy. I can't even imagine how difficult it is to plan such an emotional event without any context on how the industry works. Now more than ever, I can attest to the true value it is having a planner that can help you think outside of the emotional tornado that planning a wedding can be. That being said, I know quite a lot about this industry and even with this knowledge and industry friends who have helped me guide, this planning stuff can be pretty overwhelming!
While in the middle of the harsh reality of planning such an emotional event, one of the questions Luther and I have recently been asking ourselves has been, 'Why did we decide to have a destination wedding?' To be fair, we immediately answer the question and realize we would have asked the same thing regardless of where we were doing it. It is true, if we decided to do it in our home base of New York City things would be easier, but then again, they would also be three times more expensive and I have this odd feeling it would feel like work for me..... (insert shrug emoji)
Either way, I started thinking about the reasons why we decided to have a destination wedding and how we finally settled on our dream venue. I like thinking about these reasons, especially now when things are a bit foggy in the planning department, to remind me that we made the best decision for us. So I've decided to help all of my fellow bride and grooms to-be, help identify the reasons why you might be planning on jumping on a plane and having a wedding adventure! I hope these tips help!
Figure Out What You Don't Want
Luther isn't a fan of my 'Don't Want' list of making decisions but I find it easy to see the available options that I 'Do Want' once I've removed all of the things that I know I won't. Some people may say this is a negative way of looking at things, but I disagree! Thankfully, Luther and I both did not want the same things. Neither once of us wanted to get married in our home towns or get married in New York. We wanted all of our guests to have a completely different experience from what they were used to, which ultimately led us to looking at places away from our home base. We also knew that we didn't want to have a beach wedding which surprised everyone when we told them we'd be doing it in the Caribbean!
Find a location that means something to you both
We settled on the Dominican Republic for several reasons. The obvious? My family heritage is Dominican and it holds a very special place for me, which is very much true. But more importantly, we visited Dominican Republic on our first official trip as a couple just a month before we moved in together. We learned so much from each other on that trip! Not just the standard 'this is how you travel' kind of knowledge, but the kind that leaves you sitting at the beach in the middle of the night talking about your childhood and the people you want to become. One of the best memories I've ever had was there. So Dominican Republic was really a no brainer. It was the logical place to bring the people we love to a place that held such an important place in our hearts.
Think about Your Ideal Guest Count
This was hard for us guys! But having a destination wedding meant being able to get a lot of people on a plane and we knew that sadly it would involve some of our family and friends not being able to make it. This was a hard well known fact for us and we really had to sit and think it through before we decided on moving forward. Keeping that in mind, we also knew we didn't want too large of a wedding. Intimate for us meant about 50-75 people which is feasible counting our family members that we know will absolutely be there. Keeping you posted on how that turns out in October!
Finally, Think About What You Do Want
I went full circle here. After we thought about all of the above we got into the REAL fun stuff. Everything that we wanted our wedding to feel like let alone look like! Neither Luther or I are huge beach goers but we visited this little private island off the cost of Dominican while on vacation, and fell so deep in love, that we really want to treat our guests to that experience. So that is on the itinerary. We also really, REALLY love Dominican food so teaching Luther's family the culinary traditions and experiences that I was raised with, is going to be very special for me. And finally, being able to say I Do to my forever dance partner in the middle of our favorite little piece of paradise, is a definite Want on my list.
I hope this helps friends! Is anyone else planning a destination wedding? If so, let me know so we can share notes! We're right in the thick of planning and although it has been fun and exciting it also is very blurry and overwhelming. So let's be study buddies!