By Kim Goldstein with Journeys Inc.

Planning a destination wedding is a great way for your friends and family to spend some quality time in a beautiful place. There’s no reason your wedding day has to be like everyone else’s. Maybe you and your partner have a more casual and untraditional lifestyle. Or maybe the two of you prefer a more intimate setting with your inner-most circle of friends. Whatever the reason, a destination wedding offers a unique experience that makes it incredibly hard to forget.

Here are some things to consider:

Location
While there are many fabulous destinations, it’s important to consider places that are easily accessible for your guests and affordable. If the cost of travel is too expensive, it will be difficult for most guests to join you for your celebration.

Resort
There are two types of resorts to think about: all-inclusive and regular resorts. With an all-inclusive resort the food, drinks, activities, etc. are included, which is highly recommended. Keep in mind, if you’re having a reception at an all-inclusive resort, it’s not included because it’s actually a private event. At a regular resort, either you or the guests will be responsible for the meals. If the resort allows you to pick a menu and dedicates staff for your event, then this will also go on your bill.

Most resorts include wedding planner services, ceremony location, decor, cake, and a variety of reception packages. Everything you need is in one place, so you don’t have to spend months searching for each individual vendor. A good Destination Wedding Planner can assist you in determining the right resort for you based on the complimentary amenities they offer for bringing groups and weddings to the resort.

A Flexible Date
Every day is a weekend when you’re on vacation, so getting married on a Saturday at 7 pm isn’t critical. Most resorts offer several times each day for weddings, so if you’re flexible with the date, then you shouldn’t have a problem getting married at the resort of your dreams!

Contract Space
Once you’ve locked in the wedding, you’ll need to do a contract with the resort to secure enough rooms for all your guests. A savvy Destination Wedding Specialist knows what to negotiate with the resort to ensure you get the most for your money.

Save the Dates
Now the fun begins! It’s important to let all your guests know about your big day ASAP. They will need plenty of time to plan and budget. Many Destination Wedding Specialists will assist you in this process.

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Planning Your Big Day
So now the best part…how do you want your big day to look? Want to do a pre-selected package to keep it simple, or customize all your details? Don’t forget to schedule a welcome cocktail, a group Catamaran cruise, or brunch with a Mimosa Bar! The best part of a destination wedding is being with your closest friends and family for an extended celebration!

Kim Goldstein is an award-winning Certified Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist at Journeys Inc. To learn more about how she can help plan your dream honeymoon or destination wedding, please visit www.journeystravelinc.com.