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Planning A Destination Wedding Feb/18 - How Do You Choose A Location?


KBReis
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Hello everyone!

 

I am new to this site and looking for advice on choosing a destination for our wedding!  We are planning a destination wedding in February 2018 - but every time I start trying to look at different places and resorts I am overwhelmed by the options!

 

We have both been to Cancun/Mayan Riviera, Mexico several times, although Mexico is definitely not out of the question.  I have been to Cuba and loved it, and neither of us have been to Jamaica, or DR or any of the other popular tropical destination wedding locations.

 

We will likely have 50+ people attending, we have 3 children (ages 9-17, possibly a few other younger ones coming as well), and price point is definitely a factor!  How in the world does one start looking through the list of thousands of possibilities and start narrowing it down??

 

Any advice you have is much appreciated!!

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Hi KBReis,

TA Wendy here.. I wanted to chime in as I know the initial part of the search for your Destination wedding location can be overwhelming! Some things to ask yourself that may help you to narrow your selection would be:

  1. What is the ideal date and time of your wedding (if you have not booked this with the resort, what dates are you interested in and I can check with the resort to see if it is available)
  1. What dates would you like to stay?
  1. How many people will be attending?
  1. Where will most of your guests be traveling from?
  1. Will this be a legal or symbolic wedding?
  1. Would you prefer a gazebo or a beach wedding?
  1. Will there be children at the wedding?
  1. Do you have any resorts in mind (all inclusive, family friendly, etc)? If not, describe the type of resort you are interested in as well as a target price range (per person, per night)

 

Most all resorts offer benefits and amenities for you as the wedding couple for booking your wedding and group there, some more than others. If you have any questions or would like to chat with one of our Wright Travel Agents who specialize in Destination weddings please click the Contact me button and one of us will be happy to discuss and explain the entire process with you and perhaps help you to zero in on the perfect resort for you!

Best regards,

TA Wendy

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Hello Beautiful Brides-to-be,

 

 

Have you heard of Las Caletas Beach Hideaway?

 

 

We are a wedding venue & assist with the wedding coordination. Our company’s mission is not only planning a beach wedding but also creating a every couple’s dream come true and life time experience to get married in Las Caletas, one of Puerto Vallarta’s most exclusive beach locations. We have the perfect combination of mountains, beach and ocean to create the ideal backdrop for unforgettable weddings.

 

 

We basically give you a blank canvas and ask you to design your dream wedding. All of our services are in house, so we are able to fully supervise and manage the quality to ensure we make your dream become a reality. We have been recognized by Best Destination Wedding as the leading wedding coordinators in Mexico, and this is created by client reviews.

 

 

Las Caletas is located in the south of the bay area in Puerto Vallarta; 1 hour catamaran boat ride from port. We have boat departures from Puerto Vallarta & Nuevo Vallarta.

 

 

Furthermore, please find the below links with some of our most recent wedding moments.

 

 

 

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4k9Y3A2zElocEJyTHFhQ0JINDQ?usp=sharing

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7JVVsetSElnZEFhT2kwRXNDV3M

 

 

 

All the best,

 

 

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Hello KBReis

 

I have been in your shoes.

 

Our first trip together was DR.  Our most memorable vacation was Mexican in MR.  We have been to just about everywhere together, Bahamas, Barbados, Turks and Caicos, Curacao, Costa Rica, Brazil, Jamaica and Cuba.  We liked aspects of each and there is no country we did not like.

 

I think it all depends on what you like and what your guests will be willing to spend and if you want children at your wedding.

 

We have travelled all over, off the beaten track, in all inclusive, in a treehouse in the rainforest, rented houses in foreign countries, we are cultured, open-minded.

 

We have some friends who will not stay in all inclusive, some who hate Cuba as they "heard" the food is horrible and therefore will not go, some friends who said they will never go to Mexico as its too dangerous.  Some friends who will never stay below a 5 star and others who will never stay above a 4 star. So what does one do?  You chose a country that fits you not your guests.

 

As my partner's  family only speaks Portuguese and my family only speaks English this left Spanish speaking countries so our families can get by.  Although I love my family spending a week with them on a resort, I would go crazy and would want to do a cultural day trip and my friends and family are cheap the most economical is Cuba.  In addition, as I want to spend another week after the guests leave Cuba had numerous options on other cities to visit as I did not want to spend 2 weeks at the same resort.

 

The other reason to be quite honest is growing up I never travelled, I never had a family vacation, my parents have never been on a plane and my brother 30+ years old has also never been on a plane.  Cuba is the only country that is different than most, no Walmart, no McDonald's, it is one of the safest countries and if you go off the resort its an eye opener on the real life and culture.  As my family is not cultured it will be my chance for me to show them why I love Cuba and why I love traveling to learn other cultures and languages.  We are also organizing a day trip to Havana for our guests so they get to experience the beach and the culture.

 

Once you have the country settled then how I did it was decided I wanted children at my wedding so eliminated adults only resorts.  I wanted 4 star and up so this eliminated all resorts under 4 star.  Then I did a spreadsheet [yes I am OCD but I am also a project manager/planner/ designer just not weddings but its transferable skills :) ] with the name of the resort, in order of the map from left to right, with columns rating on Trip Advisor, number of rooms, bungalows or elevators, location from airport/downtown, number of pools, restaurants, types of room categories such as Spa, Family, Suite, Junior Suite etc., what is included with the various categories, approx. price based on your approx wedding date, name of wedding coordinator, email of wedding coordinator.  Then I narrowed it to 12, flew down had appointments in advance spent 4 hours at each resort over a course of a week and a half, saw the rooms, beach, wedding package, restaurant, gazebo, pictures of other weddings, what was included, not included, pictures of linens, colours, packages, etc.  I had questions which I sent in advance for them to answer. I also arranged to meet hairdressers, entertainment, videographers, photographers interviewed them and it made my decision easier.

 

I thought it would be difficult to narrow but once I met coordinators in person, saw the rooms, resort, it was easier than I thought.

 

Not everyone can fly down in advance to do this but a lot of research can be done online it just takes a bit more time.

 

Don't worry you will find a country and resort that meet your needs.

 

Also it is important that the final decision is yours do not pick a place that you think your guests may like.  Pick a resort that you like.  As your close friends who you think for sure will not miss your wedding may not RVSP.  The guests you think may not come actually will.  I have friends who would never miss my wedding but are, I have guests  who think anything more than $500 a week at a 5 star is too expensive as back in 2001 it was $500 and last minute and therefore that is all I should pay.  You will have guests who are never plan ahead and do not want to RSVP by the deadline, they want to wing it last minute which means they will not be part of the wedding party guest package incentive and the probability is high it will be sold out of more expensive.  So you will learn you cannot please everyone so it is best that you pick a place you both like.

 

A few important questions is ceremony beach or not? Indoor or outdoor? Gazebo or no gazebo.  Dinner inside or out? Dinner on Beach or no beach? Do you want strangers at your wedding or private ceremony?  What most people do not know is that although it is all inclusive on the day of the wedding it is not for the bride and groom.  You pay for appetizers, cocktail reception, servers, bartenders, per plate per person and its not cheap 60-90 CDN.  If you want free then you have the choice of eating where all the other guests eat.  So there are lots of questions you need to know and ask.  DJ is till 9 p.m. if you want later you pay cash.

 

Congrats and all the best in your search 

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