Unity in Glass asked free-lance writer, Kim Lehman to share her thoughts on the early stage planning of a destination wedding. She has some great advice, from the guest list to the best unity ceremony option for a destination wedding. US!
So, you’ve said, “yes.”
One small word means the beginning of a journey that will last a lifetime and you want it to be perfect. Now what? Before you begin making plans involving venues to menus or guest lists and a date, consider whether or not you want a traditional wedding in your hometown, or the latest trend - a destination wedding. Destination weddings are, quite literally, the hottest alternative to taking vows in a local setting.“Hot,” because the number one choice is a balmy beach. Most Americans choose a sandy surf somewhere near the shores of Mexico.Regardless of your choice, whether it’s Cabo San Lucas or Europe, getting there involves travel. More and more couples are choosing this option to declare their unity because it is less stressful and less expensive.
Choose a date and time. If you want to save money, traveling during the off-season may be the way to go. Do your research and compare peak season and off-season pricing. But keep in mind that if it is likely you will end up landing on a beach with a hurricane blowing, reconsider. There are plenty of options to choose from that are off-season that won’t also mean being the next star of, “Weddings Gone Wrong.”
If you have a special date in mind, determine your destination around it, or be resolved to change your travel preferences if it means flying into the eye of a hurricane.
Consider the time of day your wedding will occur. Sunsets provide a beautiful backdrop for photography and may be the best choice for staying cool. Sunrises are lovely and provide cool weather for your guests, but no one, including you, may feel like getting ready for an early morning wedding while on vacation.
Choose a venue. Some of the greatest movie love scenes were filmed on the beach. It’s the perfect, romantic setting for your unity. But, if the winds begin to blow or the storm clouds gather, have an alternative ready to go. A tent set up nearby makes a wonderful place for a reception and in a pinch will provide protection from the elements. Decide on a resort or hotel that offers wedding-planning packages and much of the work will be done for you.
Make a guest list. Destination weddings tend to be smaller, as usually only family and close friends are able to make the trip. Smaller weddings mean smaller costs. Be realistic about who you invite. Unless you are Hugh Hefner, and can pay for everyone’s travel, only your closest friends and family will attend. In addition to smaller wedding costs, an intimate, small list means you get the bonus of spending some vacation time with your favorite people.
Best of all, because you’re already at your honeymoon destination, the festivities can begin as quickly as you can say, “I do.” Be sure to send out your save-the-date cards at least 5 to 6 months in advance to give guests plenty of time to plan their vacations. Don’t forget to remind everyone about getting their passports and any other required items that need to be taken care of, such as immunizations, if required.
Prepare for the details. An on-site wedding planner can answer most of your questions and make a majority of the arrangements, but there are some items you need to consider.
Find out about obtaining a local marriage license. Many places require blood tests and x-rays. The planner can answer those questions and make arrangements for you.
Packing doesn’t have to be a chore. Find out if the airline will accommodate hanging up your wedding dress or other wedding day apparel, but don’t overpack. Do pack an emergency wedding kit. Include a needle and thread, stain remover, and if you’re planning on wearing your hair down, consider bringing bobby pins or other hair items needed for a quick up do should the weather turn windy.
Some couples have begun seeking interesting ways to commemorate their special moment. Sand ceremonies involving couples and family members mixing different colors of sand in a container while saying their “I do’s” to represent their union are popular; however, traveling back to your new home with such a precious treasure could prove difficult. A suitcase full of spilled sand would spell disaster. A better, modern alternative ceremony is “Unity in Glass.” Glass crystals in your personal, chosen colors are blended together in a container during the ceremony to symbolize the union of the couple and the blending of those who are chosen to participate. The unified glass crystals travel in their own plastic bag, impervious to breakage.
After arriving home, you ship the crystals to “Unity in Glass” to have your memories made into a handcrafted, unique, glass art piece that will last a lifetime.