Every getaway has surprises, but when you’re enjoying a destination wedding, surprises can be unwanted. Travel Blogger Lesley Carter shares with us some of the lessons she learned as a destination wedding bride in Jamaica.
1. When receiving a discount for a certain number in your travel party, make note of any potential moves or possible cancelations that could affect your discount. (Since we had exactly 20 people, this was an issue for us.)
2. Plan the transport of your dress carefully. Consider the packing options and possible issues with losing your dress or damaging it in transit. It is one item you most likely don’t have a back-up plan, so keep it with you at all times and pack it carefully.
3. Many Caribbean countries have heavy translation fees for your marriage documents, and there are legal requirements to consider for select islands. Know your requirements before booking your destination.
4. Plan to arrive at least three days before your wedding to adjust and make any last-minute preparations. [Editor’s Note: Legal wedding may have a required number of days you need to be at the destination before the wedding, which can vary by country and island. Talk to your local travel agent about these requirements.]
5. Consider the added touches that you’d like to have at your wedding and at your reception. A personalized cake topper and a serving set from my mother were important to us.
6. Most resorts allow the happy couple to reserve blocks of rooms, so be sure to request the situation that works best for you. Book room blocks in advance to avoid any embarrassment or last-minute changes.
7. Discuss the destination with your bridal party before you ask them to stand by your side, so that they can gracefully decline if necessary. Passports, vacation time from work, and costs are just a few of the considerations that should be discussed with friends and relates before assuming they can attend.
8. Don’t forget to consider the climate when choosing your wedding attire. Asking men to wear tuxes in the Caribbean heat is just cruel and not going to work well for photos. Similarly, heels on the beach sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
9. No matter what your style or budget is, there’s a destination for you. Not everyone wants a trapeze school at their resort but if you consider what’s important to you, you can find it.
10. Remember you’re on Island Time. Things happen when they happen, so if it’s 2:20 p.m. and you’re waiting at the door for your 2:00 wedding, relax. It’s “no problem, mon.”