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6 perks of a destination wedding

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from theknot.com...


Just got this email today and thought it was worth sharing!



If stressing about planning the wedding has you at a point where you want to escape it all, maybe it's time you actually did. We're not saying just pick up and elope. These days, more and more couples are opting to say I do in a faraway paradise with their closest friends and family in tow, and we think it's a great idea. Here's why.


While some people think a wedding away would be a logistical nightmare, we're here to tell you it doesn't have to be. Think about it -- you're not going to be rushing off from one vendor appointment to the next, or worrying about Mom breathing down your neck. Resorts at most of the top destination wedding spots -- Hawaii, the Caribbean, Vegas, and others -- boast at least one full-time wedding coordinator on staff. She'll have relationships with vendors to sort everything out -- just give her an idea of what you want, and she'll pull together all of the pieces to make it happen. If you're flying off to a foreign land, be sure to call that country's tourist office, consulate, or embassy for the legal requirements to get married there.


Yes, it's your wedding -- but it's also your vacation, so take it easy. Bridezillas be warned: Giving up a little or a lot of control may drive you batty at first, but in the end you'll realize it's quite liberating to have a qualified professional take the reigns. You'll take care of the last-minute details as soon as you arrive at your destination -- the rest of the time leading up to the wedding and beyond, you'll be having fun in the sun with your sweetie and reconnecting with your nearest and dearest while someone else confirms the officiant, the photographer, the cake, even the champagne. Someone plans a party in paradise in your honor -- now come on, how often in life does that happen?


Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to spend a week in paradise feting you, no matter how much they adore you. (And no, you're not expected to pay for guests' expenses). The upside to this is that a destination wedding can trim down your guest list to a manageable size, which also can cut way down on costs. Plus, you can fly there, get married, and enjoy a weeklong luxury honeymoon for one flat fee that is your wedding package. To save even more cash, consider scheduling your I dos for your destination's "shoulder season," which is the week or two after the peak season. That way, you'll save dollars without settling for so-so weather. One note: If you're inviting more than just family and close friends, be prepared for a few surprise acceptances -- some of your friends or coworkers might jump at the chance to party with you in paradise.


If you're considering a destination wedding, there's a chance cookie-cutter I dos aren't your thing. Destination celebrations are tailor-made for showcasing your personality as a couple. Rules are not only bent for destination weddings...they can be nonexistent. Not a fan of the fluffy white gown? Get married in a bikini on a beach in Barbados. Looking for a nonstop party? Vamp it up in Vegas. Fancy yourselves explorers? Say I do in a cave, atop a volcano, or even on a glacier. Take advantage of your surroundings.


There are bound to be many people who can't make it to your faraway festivities. Don't want them to feel left out? Lots of couples host a postwedding celebration upon their return. Send out invitations to a party "celebrating the marriage of," where you can show slides or photos of your faraway vows. If you're having an encore ceremony closer to home, share the story of your getaway wedding in the program. You can even recreate the mood of your destination wedding at your hometown reception: Think Vegas-style decor or an island-inspired menu. And don't forget to register -- it's your and your honey's wedding celebration, and people are going to want to give you gifts!


Choose a spot you'll love to lounge at over the week or so after your wedding -- and be prepared for some company. After flying far distances and taking time off work to celebrate your day, guests will not want to head home right away, so think carefully about whom you invite: Are these people you'll want to spend time with? If you're lucky, they'll allow you plenty of alone time, too. This is your honeymoon, after all!

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