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  1. Jeanette has always been a tropical island girl at heart. When planning her wedding she said she had always thought about the Caribbean coast of Mexico and decided to have a destination wedding because she wanted it to be intimate and unique. Let’s take a further look at Grand Palladium Riviera Maya and the option of having your destination wedding there. The Resort – Grand Palladium Riviera Maya The Grand Palladium is a 5 star Luxury hotel located in the Palladium Riviera Maya Complex. Grand Palladium Colonial Resort and Spa is located in the central part of the Complex. The Grand Palladium Colonial Resort and Spa gets its name from its detailed decoration in the Spanish colonial style. This environment, together with the different types of modern, spacious rooms, makes the Grand Palladium Colonial Resort and Spa a hotel to be enjoyed as a couple, with family or with friends. The Grand Palladium Colonial Resort and Spa therefore has a wide range of services on offer for all types of travelers. When asking Jeanette why she chose Grand Palladium she said, “I initially wanted to be married in a Mexican church. Their churches look very classic and majestic. Nonetheless, the requirements looked complicated and taxing. Apparently, I found a resort with a chapel in it. Aha moment for me since it can be more safe and convenient for the guests. I’m glad that I moved forward with this plan. The chapel was pretty and their service was definitely top-notch.” Jeanette’s review of the resort amenities: Service: 10/10 Pool: 10/10 Beach: 9/10 Food: 8/10 Spa: 10/10 Jeanette’s favorite part of the resort? “Love that the resort had 3 different hotels within the property to lurk around. The property’s size was overwhelming but you don’t need to walk since there were mini trains which can drop you off from point to point. The wedding department gave Chard and I a gold colored wrist band which gave us the privilege on almost all of the amenities in the resort. Being able to dine in any of the 21 restaurants and experiencing their exceptional service were amazing. I just hope we had more time to explore.” What a good problem to have! Jeanette did want to mention one issue that may arise when planning your destination wedding at Grand Palladium Riviera Maya. ”There were no options for an air conditioned venue for weddings. I was happy that it was warm since the sunshine bring joy in me. However, it can get really humid. Some guests can get uncomfortable with the heat.” The Wedding Planning When planning her destination wedding, Jeanette used and would recommend her travel agent at http://www.playadelcarmen.com. Not sure you should be using a travel agent for your destination wedding? Check out our post “The Pros of Using a Travel Agent for your Destination Wedding.” When it came to the resort wedding planning, Jeanette also had an on-site wedding coordinator. Shout out to Elsa Del Castillo Montiel. Jeanette stated that Elsa was patient and professional from start to finish and that she knows her job well. This can be SUCH a relief for brides planning their destination wedding. A good on-site coordinator can take a lot of the stress away from planning from afar. Bridal Q&A: Q: If the resort had wedding packages, which one did you pick? A: They had several packages but I had mine customized. Q: Where did you have your ceremony and reception? (i.e. pergola, beach, etc.) A: Ceremony: Chapel. Reception: La Laguna Restaurant Q: Did you pay for any add on’s that were not included in your wedding package? If so, what were they? A: $20 USD per guest who showed up at the chapel. Free for 12 y.o and below $100 USD – had to pay per guest at the reception even though it was an all-inclusive resort Priest Decor at the chapel & reception Chairs DJ & package Mariachi band Cake Photographer – $800 USD paid to the resort for external vendors; $600 USD extra charge per hour for the photographer *This is a reminder to destination wedding brides to be mindful of add on charges. The package can seem to include everything you need, but that may not be the case. Make sure you make room in your budget for add on’s. Q: What was your biggest challenge in planning a destination wedding? A: First: dress. I have a big love for my hometown in the Philippines, Davao City. I believe that there are lots of great talents there. So, I decided to have a customized dress from there, however, the designer was unable to finish it on the agreed date. Thank God, I later found a remedy. Second: Vancouver – Mexico timezone. Third: language barrier. My coordinator speaks English well but sometimes she mixes up some Spanish terms especially during phone calls. LOL. I don’t mind though. The photographer generally speaks French and some English. Despite this barrier, I guess as long as they are professional and values your time, everything will turn out great. Q: If you could change anything about your experience, what would it be and why? A: It honestly made me resilient and resourceful. It may be an unfortunate incident but I just thought of it as a blessing. I was able to find that dress which I have originally planned and envisioned. I may have been devastated at first but I was very delighted in the end. And I couldn’t stress it more — dig in more about your vendor. Ask for reviews from people or simply research. They should show professionalism and be trustworthy. Q: Anything else regarding your wedding planning and services that you would like brides to know? A: I must say, strictly follow your timeline as much as possible and be organized. Later on, you will see reap the benefits flash before your very eyes on your most special and magical day! What a stunningly beautiful wedding Jeanette had! A destination wedding can truly be the most breathtaking experience for you and your future husband. Looking for a review on a specific resort? Comment below or contact me here! Vendors: Venue: @grandpalladiumrivieramaya and Grand Palladium Riviera Maya On Site Wedding Coordinator: Elsa Del Raso Montiel of @palladiumweddings DJ: DbMusic Photography & Videography: @amoramor_weddings and Amor Amor Photo Booth: Palladium Weddings Musicians: The Mariachi Band C/O Palladium MUA: Lisa Alvarez of MVP Hair & Make Up Artistry Hair: Pablo Ortiz of MVP Hair & Make Up Artistry Florist: @lovememories_weddings Emcee: Dhon Gumban Wedding Travel Team: Playadelcarmen.com Dress: @verawang Suit: @thebridalgallery
  2. One of the trickiest decisions you’ll make for your destination wedding is how to decide on what the groom and groomsmen will wear. You know that the weather will be warm, but you don’t want the guys looking too casual on your big day. And with how many pictures will be taken, you want something formal, but comfortable under the hot sun. Here are some men’s beach wedding attire ideas to and the best places to shop for your destination wedding. When most people think of destination wedding apparel, they think cotton style linen pants and a white button up. Although some people love this look and want everyone in it, others may think it’s too casual or doesn’t offer enough color. Consider these options for the handsome men sharing the big day with you and your future hubby. Vest & Tie It’s not a full blown suit that they have to wear in warm weather, but still put together and classy looking. Clean cut and they can remove the vest and roll up their sleeves after pictures if they get too warm. Bowtie & Suspenders I have to show off my own groom on this one. The first picture is him with his groomsmen. We chose bowties and suspenders with dark grey pants. Thankfully, the sun was hiding behind the clouds most of the day, and none of them complained about being too hot. I don’t think any of them wore a t-shirt underneath either, and I couldn’t tell. I loved this look because I wanted their shirts tucked in, but still comfortable and not too restricting. Here’s an Amazon link to the suspenders, and an Etsy link to the bowties. Suspenders: https://amzn.to/2Q8GZxd Bowties: http://tidd.ly/11a57d2b Light Gray Suits If you still think a suit is necessary for how you want your wedding day to look, consider them in a lighter color. Navy or black is very clean and nice looking, but may be too hot under the sun all day. Light grey still looks put together and may not be too much to handle. Plus, you can still add a pop of color in the bowties, ties, or suspenders that matches the bridesmaids. Linen & White with Vest Similar to look the first look, but a different color scheme. If you still like the linen and white colors, but don’t want to be as casual, consider adding a vest. Maybe a bowtie or tie with it as well. Sometimes tan pants with an untucked white shirt just doesn’t look as put together and some people are hoping for in their pictures. Adding a vest with a tucked in shirt will really improve the look. Again, they can remove the vest later on if they feel too warm or uncomfortable. Best Places to Shop for Men’s Beach Wedding Attire One of the perks for having a destination wedding is the difference in attire. You aren’t as pressured to get tuxes for your groom and groomsmen, or formal dresses for your bridesmaids. But because of this, you aren’t sure about the best place to shop for men’s beach wedding attire. Here are a few financially friendly options to consider for the best places to buy groomsmen attire for your destination wedding. Island Importer If you’re looking specifically for linen pants this is a great site to start for men’s beach wedding attire. For example, take a look at this particular pair of pants. As you can see there are 3 steps to ordering. Step one is to choose a color. Step two is to put in the measurements, so make sure to tell your groomsmen they still need to get measurements if they don’t have them already. Finally, step three is to put in the wedding/departure date. This site will take 6-8 weeks to complete your order so it’s imperative that your groomsmen order on time. There are added fees to expedite the order if they happen to take their time ordering as we know men like to do. Keep in mind that they do have other pants where the groomsmen can just put in their waist measurement, which most men know already. This doesn’t include a length though, so if you want them looking more tailored a custom order would still be required. This site also includes men’s shirts and suits, boy’s clothes, and even bridal dresses. So many great options for a destination wedding! Cubavera Another good option for linen material attire. They seem to have a sale pretty often which makes them a financially friendly option. Even if there is not a sale at the time, it’s still a cheaper option than renting a tuxedo and the groomsmen get to keep their clothes. One con for this site is that the pants are sized pretty well (waist and length measurement), but the jackets are only a S, M, L, XL, and XXL option. For your large guests this might be tricky to get a big enough jacket. Also, your groomsmen may end up having to pay to get it tailored anyway if it doesn’t fit quite right. If you’re looking for a slim or skinny fit you may not find it here, as Cubavera has limited fit options. Wedding Tropics Another great option for men’s beach wedding attire. Wedding Tropics offers a little more of a tailored fit without having to get it tailored. For their shirts they offer a standard size, fitted or standard fit, and short or long sleeve. For their pants they just offer a standard waist size. Macy’s Macy’s has a ton of suit and suit separate options. If you wait for a good sale it can be pretty affordable as well. Sales run pretty often so don’t buy the suit at full price! THis particular suit above is originally $395.00, but on sale for $98.99. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for the linen material you see a lot of beach weddings, Macy’s doesn’t have many options in that category. What’s nice about these suit options is that the groomsmen can wear them multiple times after your wedding. They’ll still mostly likely have to get them tailored, but after that your groomsmen should have a really nice suit for life. ASOS What’s nice about ASOS is that they have a specific section for Weddings to shop under. Their prices are for the whole suit. For example, for the picture listed below it gives you the price of $127.00. Once you look further the prices are broken down as $87.00 for the jacket, $40.00 for the pants, and $40.00 for the vest. Similar to Macy’s, the groomsmen may or may not have to get their suits tailored depending on how well they fit based on sizing. I hope these men’s beach wedding attire ideas and best places to shop for your destination wedding have been helpful for you to get started. Have you come across another affordable option not listed above? Comment below or contact me here so I can add it to this post and provide even more resources to my destination wedding brides!
  3. Etiquette for a destination wedding is still a new and relatively unfamiliar topic. For a traditional wedding it’s pretty well understood that certain vendors should be tipped, as well as what is considered an acceptable amount. A destination wedding, on the other hand, can be more confusing and not as well known for brides. In the following post I lay out a tipping guide for your destination wedding that’s easy to understand and gives you peace of mind for your big day. First, I want to lay out a few aspects of tipping to consider when you start to plan for yourself. Every resort is different, so the following information is a broad overview of how most all-inclusive resorts will be. Check if your wedding package has gratuity included If you haven’t already received your full statement of charges from the resort, ask your travel agent if gratuity is included in your bill. If so, you don’t need to worry about tipping the people that will be included in that statement. For example, if you’re getting your hair and/or makeup done as a part of your wedding package then they have added gratuity for them in the statement. With that being said, if anyone that will be included in that statement goes above and beyond for you then you have the choice to tip them anyway. Some brides don’t like the idea of gratuity on the final bill. You really don’t know exactly who is getting that tip, so tipping extra is totally up to you. A good example of this is your on-site wedding coordinator. They’re included as part of your wedding package, but some brides feel that they’ve gone above and beyond from start to finish to make sure they’re wedding day is perfect. If you can relate to this then you may also want to consider tipping your wedding coordinator or someone similar. Check if there’s a service fee for certain services Some resorts will add an extra service fee for amenities or services you’re adding. For example, if you’re choosing to have a violinist during your ceremony an extra service fee may be added for them, therefore you may not feel the need to tip as well. Again, this is a general tipping guide for your destination wedding, so feel free to tip for certain services as you see fit. A general rule of thumb on who to tip Below I’ll list all the vendors and employees you should consider tipping, but if you’re ever wondering in general if you should tip just remember the following: Vendor/employee working for themselves – no tip Vendor/employee working for the resort – tip Most brides follow this guideline for their wedding and it works out pretty well. If the vendor or employee is working alone (any outside vendors like a photographer, DJ, florist, etc.) they generally don’t expect a tip. If the vendor/employee works for the resort (resort photographer, service employees, bartenders, wedding coordinator, etc.) you may want to consider tipping them. Above I stated that if gratuity is added in the statement then you shouldn’t have to worry about tipping the On Resort staff, but if it hasn’t been added then you should tip those employees. Again, even if gratuity is added, you may want to tip if anyone has gone above and beyond what you expected. How much to tip? Of course the inevitable question is then how much you should be tipping all these staff members and vendors. There are two ways to do this – a flat fee or a percentage. For vendors/employees like hair and makeup artists, DJ, or photographer a percentage might be an easier way to go. The reason for that is because you know exactly what they’re charging you, so you can choose a 10% or 15% gratuity to tip them. For example, if the extra service fee for your DJ was $500.00 then you’ll know what’s appropriate if you’d like to tip them at the end of the night. For employees like bartenders, servers, and housekeeping it will be easier to tip a flat fee. A few dollars goes a long way for these employees. Typically, you’ll hear that if you’re tipping bartenders a few dollars throughout the day they remember you, appreciate you, and make sure to get your drinks faster. They will happily accept the US dollar as well, so you shouldn’t have to worry about a currency exchange. Now that we’ve gotten the debate of tipping out of the way, the question now remains regarding who you should tip. Below is a list of all vendors and employees to consider. Of course this is a broad list so you may already know you won’t be tipping some that don’t apply. List of all vendors and employees to consider tipping: Wedding planning staff: Wedding coordinator Travel agent Everyday staff: Bartenders Servers Housekeeping Wedding day staff: DJ Hair and makeup artist Instrumental players Photographer Tipping can be a large and unexpected part of your budget, so knowing ahead of time who and how much to tip certain people will better prepare you for the amount of money you’ll need on hand before you leave for your trip. Make sure to keep this money in the safe in your room and only pull it out as needed to avoid it getting stolen. Also remember to only tip vendors and employees at the end of service. You want to ensure they’re doing a great job and don’t cut corners because they’ve already received your money. I hope you enjoyed this tipping guide for your destination wedding. Am I missing anyone regarding tipping? Any other helpful tips you’d like to share? Comment below or contact me here, I’d love to hear from you! Looking for more helpful tips and resources? Check out our Pinterest page!
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