photo by karolina grabowska
When planning your honeymoon, one of the things that people think about is how much they'll need to spend. What will airfare cost? Are there any hidden fees you need to factor in? And of course, the cost of your honeymoon accommodations itself, where you get to be pampered and spoiled for a few days. But there's another fee that you might not think about: the tip. Here is a quick breakdown of how tipping should work when you have your honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort.
Do You Have a Tip?
photo by lukas
Before we dive into the specifics, allow me to answer one of the most frequently asked questions: Do I have to tip at an all-inclusive resort, or are the gratuities included at an all-inclusive resort? See my blog post about Honeymoon Resorts
The rate at an all-inclusive resort includes gratuities. So, the resort will divvy up a certain portion of your per-night rate amongst the team members. While resorts don’t tell you how much, many of the team members are there for 12 hours or more per day every day. It is a pretty grueling schedule where they could potentially work nine days in a row and then have two days off. What the resort gives them isn’t equivalent to the amount of work they put in.
With that said, I highly encourage tipping where you feel led. The resort you travel to and the level of service you have paid for (concierge or butler for example) will affect what you should prepare for regarding gratuities. Determining gratuity expectations is something I assist my clients with as they prepare to travel.
Let’s get down to some specifics regarding tipping for your all-inclusive honeymoon vacation.
The Airport Porter
An airport porter is someone who will assist you with your luggage once you are at your destination. While this could be a bit annoying, a porter at the airport may swoop in and can sometimes aggressively start helping you with your luggage.
You can certainly decline their assistance, but if you decide to let them help, please give them a tip. $3-$5 is reasonable depending on how much luggage you have.
Porters are generally independent and are not employed by the airport, so they work for tips.
My theory is to support those who are willing to show up and do something to make a living for their families.
Airport Shuttle Driver
The driver that takes you to and from your all-inclusive resort is not employed by the resort. Please be prepared to tip this person for the ride each way.
Something that most people don’t factor in is the time involved. Please consider the distance that the driver has to go to get you to your resort and then turn around and head back to the airport for their next assignment.
For short distances $5 is sufficient, for longer drives (1.5 hours or more), consider giving at least $20. If it takes them 1.5 hours to get you to your resort, that is a 3 hour round trip investment of their time.
Hooray! Welcome to the resort.
As you step out of the transportation vehicle, the first resort team member who will assist you is the bellhop. He or she will check your luggage and give you luggage tags while you head to the lobby to check into the resort.
Once you are checked in, your bellhop will escort you to your room and will likely share some details about the resort and where things are located, as well as share a few features with you regarding your room.
Depending on the time invested with you, a $5-$10 tip is recommended.
Concierge or Butler Service
If you’ve opted in for a higher level of service at your all-inclusive resort, come prepared to tip. If your concierge sets up your dinner reservations or helps you with an issue your room is having, don’t feel compelled to dish out cash.
However, if the concierge sets up a special dinner with some surprise touches or goes out of their way to get you something to make your stay special, be sure to tip according to their time invested.
Butler service is a bit more hands on generally, but some resorts will have butlers that are really more like concierge.
In the case that you have a hands-on butler that is available to you via a cellphone and he or she is in charge of everything your suite needs (managing and communicating with other staff members), setting up your dinner/spa/golf/ reservations, serving you any meal in-suite, saving you chairs at the pool or beach, then this personal level of service should be a per day tip.
I suggest a minimum of $20 per day depending on how much you utilize your butler. Again, keep in mind any situations where the butler has gone above and beyond to make your stay and experience special.
So overall, anticipate having $10 for small one-off experiences from a concierge, and a minimum $150 for a week of butler service.
Imagine you are sitting at the beach enjoying a book or good conversation, and a beach waiter asks what you’d like to drink.
You order your beverage of choice, receive it in a few minutes, and quickly realize you have $0 on you.
This is pretty typical as most of us head to the beach or pool with only the essentials, especially since we often leave our beach bags unattended from time to time.
First, don’t feel compelled to have cash on you when you are enjoying the resort. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, it is okay. Like I said at the beginning, the gratuities are technically included in your all-inclusive rate.
If possible, always have a few dollars on you for tips like this. A bartender, pool, or beach waiter will keep the drinks coming for $10 but will also happily accept $1 or $2 per drink.
At a restaurant where you are served buffet style, again, don’t stress if you don’t have cash. Since they likely assisted with beverages, you can leave $2-$3 if you want.
If you are being served at an a la carte restaurant, consider tipping more. Again, base this on the level of service and the quality of the dining experience. If it was a several-course meal and white-glove service, dish out a bit more. Maybe $20 in this situation. If it is a burger joint, maybe leave $5.
As we wrap this up, we can’t forget about housekeeping. Simply said, these resort team members work diligently every day and generally are paid the least.
It’s so nice to come back to a freshly cleaned room, isn’t it?
I suggest leaving $5-$10 per day for your housekeeper at an all-inclusive resort.
If you are planning an all-inclusive honeymoon to Sandals Resorts, gratuities are not accepted except for butler service. So, a Sandals honeymoon will not have the same gratuity guidelines at the resort as I’ve mentioned above, but you can still tip the porter and shuttle driver as they are not Sandals employees.
The bottom line is that tipping should be part of your overall honeymoon budget at an all-inclusive resort. It should be done based on the service you’ve received. You will most likely receive excellent service regardless, so there is no need to tip excessively. However, if you feel the service has been above and beyond exceptional, that's when it's time to show your gratitude by tipping a little more than normal. See my blog on Honeymoon Trends.
If you’re tired of googling every question you have regarding your honeymoon planning, I’d be delighted to chat with you - no strings attached!
Having your destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort is a great way to go when you're planning your wedding, especially if you are looking for maximum value without sacrificing quality. Here are 7 reasons why I think you should consider having your destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort.
If you are planning a destination wedding, you will want to keep reading, because this article is all about how hosting your destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort benefits you.
Let’s get to it!
1. All-inclusive inclusions
You may be wondering what is included at an all-inclusive resort. The all-inclusive rate includes the accommodation, all food, all beverages (including alcohol), taxes, fees, and gratuities.
So, you can stroll into a restaurant, sit down, open up the menu, order two different meals (because you can’t decide), have as many margaritas as you want, and mosey out when you’re done. So, when it comes to hosting a destination wedding group, the all-inclusive option is a huge win for your wedding guests as they know the cost upfront and don’t have a surprise bill at check out!
2. The Wedding Packages
Wedding packages will vary as well as the inclusions, but all-in-all, the wedding packages at all-inclusive resorts are very inclusive and a great value. Especially when you factor in that you have a full wedding planning team at your service to design your dream wedding in paradise.
I love how customizable the all-inclusive wedding packages are and the fun touches that can be offered to bring your wedding vision to life. There are even packages available that guarantee you are the only wedding for the weekend, or unique exclusive experiences for a full
wedding weekend itinerary. How cool is that?
3. The Venue Options
This may be the reason why you are considering a destination wedding - those
Instagrammable backdrops! I think the beauty of hosting your destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort are the choices. You could host a welcome cocktail reception, an all-white party, a beach bonfire, a rehearsal dinner, your wedding & reception, and a farewell breakfast all at the same resort, but at
different venues giving you completely different styles and experiences.
When I consult with clients, the vision for the wedding and all of the private events is a big part of our discussion. Keep in mind that there will be venues that will not work for your group based on the capacity, so be flexible.
4. Less Stress
photo by Johnathan Borba
Imagine that all you and your family have to worry about on the day of your wedding is getting ready and showing up! No worrying about setting up, no exhausting late nights tearing down and cleaning up, and no worries about anyone driving home after the celebration. Ahhhh...pure bliss.
While you will have decisions to make before your wedding, once you arrive, you’ll have a final meeting with the wedding team and they will take it from there. You seriously can just relax and have fun with your guests knowing that it will all come together, and it will be more amazing than you ever imagined.
You can focus on each other instead of a list of things to do. You can focus on your guests and create memories with them.
Can I get an “Amen”?
5. Having a Wedcation
photo by dale adams
If we all took inventory of the weddings we’ve been to over the years, some will be more memorable than others.
When your friends and family look back at your wedding, they will always remember it. They will have fond memories of celebrating with you for several days rather than getting five minutes of your attention on one day. They will remember how fun it was when you all went on the catamaran cruise, played beach volleyball, did shots at the pool bar, went dancing at the discotheque, had a spa day, went golfing at an amazing course overlooking the ocean, and played the silly games with the resort entertainment team.
They will remember the great conversations playing late-night card games and all the “had to be there” moments.
A destination wedding is so much more than a wedding, it truly is a wedcation. And you don’t have to schedule every waking moment. That’s the beauty of the
all-inclusive - your guests can decide how they want to spend their time and everything they need will be at their fingertips.
6. All The Amenities
Click HERE for a If you were on the fence about a destination wedding, my guess is that I have you leaning toward a destination wedding. Well, hold on to your hats, ‘cuz it’s getting even better!
When set up correctly, hosting a group at an all-inclusive resort comes with a ton of benefits, freebies, and amenities. This will vary by the size of your group, time of year, and any promotions, but let me share a few examples of what you can earn: free rooms, free events like a welcome cocktail, room upgrades, free wedding packages, honeymoon amenities like a candlelight dinner or breakfast in bed, and more. Click HERE for a blog on the Best Time of Year to Book a Destination wedding.
Here’s the scoop - many couples don’t understand how this works, so they just let their guests know when and where the wedding is so that they can book their trips. The problem is that if your guests all book on their own, you won’t earn any of the amenities you should have.
Don’t let that happen to you! Consult with an expert. https://calendly.com/windermere-wedding/free-discovery-call
7. The Overall Value
I suppose this is really just a summary of all the benefits I’ve shared, but I need to emphasize that you can get so much more for your money with a destination wedding. Between the wedding packages, the inclusions with the all-inclusive rate, the fact that it is less stressful, and all the amenities, it is a slam-dunk value!
Not to mention that your honeymoon is all wrapped into it - if you want. Whether you stay a few extra days or transfer to another resort in the area, your travel dollar goes beyond the wedding.
In case you need it, I wrote an article about how much a destination wedding costs, you can check it out HERE.
photo by gab sammuel
All-inclusive resorts are one of the most popular options for a destination wedding, and it's not difficult to see why. They offer the best of both worlds with a mix of the comforts of a luxury resort along with the staples that you and your guests will need on a fun & relaxing vacation. Depending on your needs, you might find one particular resort has more to offer than another. And I think choosing one is definitely worth the incredible benefits they can offer for your destination wedding.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and want to ensure you get the best value for your all-inclusive destination wedding, I’d be delighted to chat with you. HERE is a link to schedule a complimentary consultation - no strings attached!
The Ultimate Guide: When is the Best Time to Book Your Honeymoon in the Caribbean or Mexico?
As popular romantic destinations, the Caribbean and Mexico* attract honeymoon
couples all year round. One of the most important factors to consider when planning a trip to these destinations is the weather. Like any other place, the Caribbean and Mexico have distinct seasonal weather patterns that affect the kind of experience you can expect during your stay.
Let's take a closer look at what you can expect for weather in the Caribbean and Mexico based
on the seasons.
Let's take a closer look at what you can expect for weather in the Caribbean and Mexico based on the seasons.
Winter (December to February)
The winter months in the Caribbean and Mexico are characterized by warm and pleasant temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit. This is the peak tourist season, and you can expect crowded beaches, busy resorts, and higher prices.
While the risk of hurricanes is low during this time, there's still a chance of rain. However, it's usually short-lived and shouldn't affect your plans too much. The water temperature in the Caribbean is cooler during the winter months, making it less ideal for swimming. For example, the Bahamas and surrounding islands will have colder water during this time of the year.
Also, certain areas in the Caribbean & Mexico can still have cooler temperatures, so it is best to talk to an expert to get the weather you are desiring.
Spring (March to May)
Spring is a great time to honeymoon in the Caribbean and Mexico as temperatures rise slightly, and crowds start to thin out. The average temperatures range from mid-70s to low 90s Fahrenheit, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities such as hiking and exploring. While the chances of rain and humidity increase, it's still not enough to affect your plans significantly. The water temperature starts to warm up, making it more inviting for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The best value for your money is booking your honeymoon towards the end of April through May, as prices begin to dip as high travel season is coming to
Summer (June to August)
media by taryn elliott
Summer is the hottest season in the Caribbean and Mexico, with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to mid-90s Fahrenheit. It's also the beginning of the rainy season, with tropical storms and hurricanes more likely to occur. However, the risk is relatively low in June and July but increases in August.
Despite the rain, summer is a popular time for honeymooners looking for budget-friendly options and less crowded destinations. The water temperature is warm and perfect for water sports.
Fall (September to November)
photo by Jhoon
Fall can be an ideal time to travel to the Caribbean and Mexico as the crowds dwindle, and prices begin to drop. Temperatures remain warm, ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit, but the chances of hurricanes in September into October are usually the highest.
So your best value for the money is in the fall, but your chance of having some less than ideal weather is higher.
While fall is considered the low season, you can still enjoy a sunny and beautiful honeymoon if you plan accordingly.
The water temperatures are still great for swimming, and water sports as well.
Where to travel during hurricane season:
If your honeymoon travel dates are during hurricane season, especially August - October, there are destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico that are located outside the “typical path” of a hurricane.
You may want to consider speaking with a honeymoon consultant like myself who specializes in honeymoons to the Caribbean and Mexico to help you pick the right location for you.
The best locations in The Caribbean to travel to during hurricane season are Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao.
The best location in Mexico to travel to in hurricane season is Los Cabos.
Hurricanes can still occur in these locations but it is very rare.
Just Because It’s Hurricane Season Doesn’t Mean One Will Happen:
As we wrap this up, it is normal to be concerned about a hurricane ruining your honeymoon, but I always tell my honeymoon couples that just because it is hurricane season doesn’t mean that a hurricane will develop.
The beauty of today’s technology is that you can know well in advance if a tropical storm or hurricane is on a path to “hit” your destination. Getting quality travel insurance is advised to protect your investment in case you have to postpone, or even leave your destination early.
My personal advice is to manage your expectations and decide that you won’t let anything ruin your honeymoon experience as you have control over how you respond.
photo by aviv perets
In the end, you know your preferences best, and no matter what, you’ll have a
good time on a tropical honeymoon*. The important thing is to make sure that you're comfortable with your plans, and that you make an informed decision about where and when to travel.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and want to ensure you cover all your bases with your honeymoon planning, I’d be delighted to chat with you. Below is a link to schedule a complimentary consultation - no strings attached!
5 Proven Ways to Choose the Best Time of Year for Your Destination Wedding in Caribbean or Mexico.
Destination weddings, destination honeymoons, destination anniversaries --
whatever the special occasion, it can be hard to choose the ideal time of year for a
tropical wedding or tropical vacation.* Is there even such a thing as an “ideal” time
for your special occasion? Well, we'll talk about that later. But first, let's focus on the weather! You can spend hours researching locations and resorts online and compare services, food and drinks and prices...but you might overlook the most important detail: what time of year do you have to visit to avoid hurricanes and tropical depressions. In this article, I've broken down what to expect when you're choosing a wedding date in Mexico or The Caribbean based on the weather conditions.
Let’s jump into the weather you can expect for your destination wedding in the Caribbean or Mexico based on the time of year that you travel.
If you want to know the best time of year to have a destination wedding in the Caribbean and Mexico, it is between December to April. This is the region's dry season when rainfall is minimal, and the temperature is mild and comfortable, averaging around 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Hello sunshine!
photo by Ben Mack
While the dry season is safer bet for a weather-friendly Caribbean or Mexico wedding, it’s not a guarantee. Rain and wind can still occur. Additionally, it's essential to note that it's also peak tourist season. This means that flights and accommodation are likely to be higher than at other times of the year. Bummer, I know.
Based on my experience, the most popular months to have a destination wedding are in May and November. This would be considered “shoulder season” where you aren’t really dealing with the higher “peak tourist” prices, but also don’t have as much concern with the weather. Hooray!
photo by Gab Samuel
The struggle there is that the dates at the best resorts and venues book very quickly. So, if you want to plan a destination wedding in May or November, do not waste time or you’ll end up compromising on the venue.
So, what happens if the dry season months don’t work well for you and you are hosting your destination wedding in the Summer or Fall months, when hurricanes could develop?
First, let me put your mind at ease. Just because it is “hurricane season” doesn’t mean that a hurricane will develop. Also, there are some destinations that are “safer” during the tropical season, so don’t throw in the towel quite yet!
Here are 5 ways to help avoid having your big day ruined by a storm, here are some tips on how to plan a destination wedding regardless of the season.
1. Choose your wedding date wisely
photo by pic jumbo
As mentioned above, the best way to avoid hurricane season when planning your destination wedding is to choose a date outside of the peak months. If that isn’t possible, consider these general rules of thumb... Hurricane season runs from June to November, with the most active months being August, September, & October. possible consider a wedding in June, July, Mid to Late November, or even early December.
2. Research the weather patterns
Each destination has different weather patterns during hurricane season, so do your research before choosing a location. Some islands or regions may be more prone to hurricanes than others. For example, the northern Caribbean islands are at higher risk than the southern ones. Consider speaking with a travel agent who specializes in weddings to help you pick the right time and location.
3. Consider wedding & travel insurance
photo by Jonathan Borba
Wedding insurance can provide a financial safety net in case of a hurricane or other natural disaster. It can cover unexpected expenses such as cancellations, postponements, or rescheduling fees. It's important to note that not all wedding insurance policies cover natural disasters, so be sure to read the fine print before purchasing a policy.
Travel insurance is recommended for you and your guests. In case the weather prevents you from arriving to your destination, or requires you or your guests to depart early, it will protect your investment. Travel insurance is always recommended, but during the tropical season, it is much more imperative, so I encourage you to encourage your guests to have the right coverage.
4. Have a backup plan
Regardless of the date of your wedding, it's always a good idea to have a backup plan in case of unexpected weather.. When booking your venue and vendors, ask about their contingency plans in case of inclement weather. For example, some resorts may have indoor facilities or covered areas that can serve as backup locations for the ceremony or reception. It’s always a bonus when you love the back-up venue as much as your chosen outdoor venue.
5. Stay updated on weather forecasts
photo by Engin Akyurt
If you're planning a wedding during hurricane season, be sure to stay informed about any potential tropical storms or hurricanes that could impact your wedding plans. Sign up for weather alerts, monitor weather websites, and keep in touch with your vendors and venue. Be prepared to make changes if necessary and I advise to make a swift decision, getting the advice of the onsite wedding team, if things are not looking promising on your wedding day.
If the wedding team at your venue advises you to change to an indoor venue due the weather report, and you choose to move forward with an outdoor event, they will likely have you sign a contract. If weather does disrupt the wedding there will be a fee to set up the wedding décor again in the back-up location.
The combination of fun, excitement and relaxation a destination wedding in Mexico or The Caribbean* can offer is an unbeatable experience. We hope you have found this article helpful and that it answered some of your questions about wedding dates, weather and time of year to visit.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and want to ensure you cover all your bases with your destination wedding planning, I’d be delighted to chat with you. Here is a link to schedule a complimentary consultation - no strings attached!
Your honeymoon planning is never to be taken lightly. The stress, planning, and expectations involved are enough to put any newly married couple off their honeymoon bliss. This is where a honeymoon travel specialist can help. They will offer you the best chance to have romance, relaxation, and fun, while not having to worry about the little details!
Let’s dive into five reasons to work with a travel advisor who specializes in honeymoon travel.
1. Knowledge of a variety of honeymoon properties:
Honeymoon travel specialists have knowledge of a variety of destinations & resort
brands that are a cut above other types of resorts & properties for an amazing
honeymoon. honeymoon destinations
Resorts that will offer you...
b. Romantic extras like candlelight dinners and a couple’s massage
d. Romantic & pampering suites
e. Amazing spa experiences
All of these details are vitally important when it comes to having a great
2. The Best Honeymoon Packages:
A honeymoon travel consultant knows the best honeymoon packages that will enhance your honeymoon and the requirements to qualify for them!
Too often, couples think that they can show up and receive the honeymoon amenities without understanding the qualifications or how to set it up in advance. Unfortunately, they are highly disappointed when they don’t get any of the perks and that is a sour way to start your happily ever after.
3. Setting Up Special Experiences:
A honeymoon travel consultant not only can do all of the above, but also will
recommend, design, & set up unique and special experiences for your honeymoon.
Note: If you are working with a “honeymoon specialist” who doesn’t guide you or
recommend special experiences for you to enjoy on your honeymoon, then you are working with the wrong person.
Here are a just a few of the special experiences a honeymoon specialist can design and set up to take your honeymoon from good to AMAZING!
● Set up a private upgraded transfer with VIP service.
● Schedule a couple’s massage/breakfast in bed/picnic on the beach.
● Set up off-site excursions, like a cultural tour, ziplining, swimming with
dolphins, rum tasting, and so much more
● As well as many other recommend must-do activities, & sites to see, or
places to eat that you can only experience in your area.
4. Giving You VIP Status:
Your honeymoon consultant can make sure you and your new spouse are wowed upon arrival from the minute you step foot on your resort by...
a. Personally contacting the resort concierge and sales team to notify them that they have VIP honeymooners arriving.
b. Sharing any special requests that you may have with the appropriate team
member to make sure they are implemented! (It’s not just a comment on a
booking that we hope gets seen).
c. Following up on the honeymoon amenities to ensure you receive them.
5. Skipping the 1-800-wait-on-hold and crossing your fingers that you get the help you need.
Let’s face it, we’ve all experienced the 1-800 “call center” with the random agent who doesn’t know you or your honeymoon from Adam! You’re just a number to these types call centers, and the last thing you want is for an error to happen during your honeymoon planning. A true honeymoon consultant, such as Windermere Getaway will be with you from start to finish and care about you and every detail of your honeymoon. WE will listen to what you want in a honeymoon experience so that we can recommend a destination and resort that is the perfect fit for you, Every question.
Any special requests? Even needs you may have while in your destination or after your honeymoon is complete. Let’s face it, no online booking engine is going to do that.
Planning your honeymoon is one of the most exciting parts of your wedding planning process; however, it can also be extremely stressful. There are many options available to you and many decisions to be made. But don't worry, using a honeymoon travel specialist to help you along the way will make this process seamless and stress-free!
If you’re in the midst of planning your honeymoon and feel like you’re stuck and not getting very far, I encourage you to use this link, to schedule a free 30-minute
strategy session with me! I would be honored to help your figure out everything
you need for an amazing honeymoon! Remember this isn’t just any vacation, this is the start of your new life together!
photo by giuseppe messira
As a destination wedding planning specialist, we are often asked about destination weddings and if a couple should have a symbolic or legal wedding, or how it works to get married in another country. Destination weddings are huge, with couples deciding to travel to far away location to say "I Do", and it's important to know exactly what your options are so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
Destination Weddings are More Popular Than Ever
photo by jonathan borba
In the past couple of years, destination weddings have experienced a splurge and popularity. So much so that the trend is making its way across to those who would otherwise not have considered it.
If you're planning to get married in a different country, you will probably be faced with the decision between a legal and a symbolic wedding and may be wondering, "what the heck is a symbolic wedding?" or, "is in symbolic wedding legal?" or "what's the difference between a symbolic ceremony and a civil ceremony?"
This article is going to give you the deets on both a legal (civil) destination wedding ceremony and a symbolic destination wedding ceremony so that you can decide which is best for you.
What is Required For a Legal Ceremony Away?
photo by katarina dragojevic
Documents You May Need
Just like you would experience in the state, there will be documents and proof of identity required, along with any licensing fees. Some countries require notarized copies of your passport, divorce decree, or legal name change. Others would require translation of the document into their language.
Ceremony Officiated in Language of that Country
Additionally, when doing a legal ceremony in a country where English is not their native language, there is no guarantee that your wedding will be officiated in English. In this case a translator (using the on site wedding planner) will translate what the officiant is saying.
Then there will be government fees involved, and possibly a blood test done on-site.
Some countries will require witnesses (who are not related to you) to arrive with you on the same day.
Beyond that, most countries will also require a residency. For example, a requirement may be a 4-day residency and only business days (Monday-Friday) count toward your residency. Others may have a requirements of 48 hours and you can arrive any day of the week.
A Legal Ceremony is Nothing to Worry About.
Don't let this scare you! Some countries are super easy to get legally married in. It all varies, so I generally advise my clients to do what is best for them based on the country they decide to get married in.
I also suggest being flexible. You may be going into planning a legal destination wedding abroad assuming that you'll be able to make it legally binding in the destination. Don't let this pigeonhole you into only a handful of options.
Benefits of a legal/civil marriage.
A Symbolic Ceremony
Second, let's discuss the mystery of the symbolic wedding and what you need to know. Essentially, a symbolic wedding looks and sounds just like a civil wedding, it just isn't legally binding, It is like a commitment ceremony or a renewal of vows.
Avoiding Extra Hoops to Jump Through.
The purpose of choosing a symbolic destination wedding would be to avoid the legal requirements to get married in another country. Maybe due to the hassle, or possibly due to the cost.
Can Ensure Everyone Can Celebrate
Sometimes, couples will have certain family members who won't be able to travel with them, so they choose to get married in the States before heading to their destination so that those family members can be part of the union.
You will Need Proof You Are Married
No matter your reason, with a symbolic destination wedding you will want to ge married before heading to the destination because the country you are heading to will want a copy of your marriage records. To them, your ceremony is like a vow renewal, and theyd want to ensure you are legally marred before officiating your ceremony. Make sense?
Benefits of a symbolic wedding ceremony.
Ultimately, your destination wedding should be about two things only: You and your Partner! It doesn't matter how you decide to get married; what maters is that it is done in a way that makes you both comfortable. The ceremony itself can have any format you like - legal or symbolic - so long as it has special meaning for you. After all, a wedding isn't all about the paperwork.
If you are in the midst of planning your destination wedding and feel like you're stuck and not getting very far, I encourage you to click the link below to schedule a free 30-minute strategy session with me. I would be honored to help you figure out everything you need for an amazing destination wedding (Legal or Symbolic)
Your honeymoon is considered to be one of the most exciting times in a couple's life, second only to their wedding day. Years from now, your fiends and family will still be asking you about memorable events of your honeymoon. So with that said, I have put together a list of the Top 7 Honeymoon Trends for 2-23. Enjoy!
1. Planning Earlier Than Before;
Before the pandemic, it was customary for a couple to book their honeymoon around 6 months out, but as the world has opened up again, many couples are doing what I call "revenge travel!" for all of the lost and postponed trips couples have had to deal with these last two years. In 2023 there will be higher demand and lower inventory, which also drives up prices.
BOTTOM LINE: '"The sooner you can discover the destination & resort you want for your honeymoon and book it, the better!
2. Premium on Service:
In 2023, couples will be putting a premium on pampering luxury, and service. They are looking for great value. Not a low price, but a honeymoon that includes extra touches of service, (See my blog post on Honeymoon Packages) such as a private airport shuttle, having a butler welcome you with a refreshing drink and moist towel, and then entering your honeymoon suite to see a chilled bottle of champagnes, with gourmet snacks waiting for you as you enter your honeymoon suite.
3. Bucket list Stays & Experiences:
In 2023 couples are looking to do a bucket list experience with their honeymoon. More and more couples are expecting their honeymoon to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience including staying in the over-the-water bungalow and luxury honeymoon suite or even renting a private yacht. (See Top 6 Honeymoon Resorts) Many couples now want their honeymoon to include some type of archaeological tour or visit to historical landmarks or cities.
PRO TIP: If you don't quite have the budget for a full 7 or 14 night stay in an over- the-water bungalow then I always suggest to my clients doing a split stay. Maybe start your honeymoon off with the bang at a more expensive WOW factor room, and then finish your honeymoon in a room that allows your whole honeymoon to fit your budget.
4. Group Moons!
No, this isn't a honeymoon for swingers but many couples who had to postpone their weddings or honeymoons during the pandemic want to make up for the missed opportunities to travel, as well as now being new parents. They still want a big fund celebration, and therefore they are now bringing their closest family and friends to join them to celebrate with them on their honeymoon.
5. Focus on Health & Wellness
Many couples will be planning their honeymoon with a focus on regenerating both mind and body. These honeymoons will include an itinerary of farm-to-table food experiences, eating at local fresh food restaurants and markets, as well as pampering spa treatments, sunrise yoga sessions, meditations, and activities that prompt all around health and vitality.
6. Honeymoon Registries:
With rising inflation, and couples looking to have an above average honeymoon experience, many couples will create a honeymoon registry for fun that their family and friends can give as a wedding gift to help them pay for their dream honeymoon.
7. Consulting with a Honeymoon Consultant
In 2023, couples will consult and hire a honeymoon specialist to help them make sure they are getting everything they want and the maximum value of their honeymoon. Couples are busier than ever before as they work, start their family, buy a new home, and try to fit in time for each another, all while trying to plan their wedding. It's worth the investment to spend a little extra get their honeymoon planned right, and take the rest and frustration of planning the perfect honeymoon off their plate!
Sure, your honeymoon will still give you time to be alone in the world and enjoy each other's company. However, these seven trends are not likely to fade out anytime soon, so you can assume they will be popular options to think about for your honeymoon. If you're planning to tie the knot anytime soon (or simply have an eye for what could become a honeymoon norm in the future), then it's worth taking note of these trends so you know what to expect. After all, who doesn't want the best for their dream honeymoon?
If you are in the midst of planning your honeymoon and feel like you're stuck and not getting very far, I encourage you to use the link below to schedule a free 30 minute strategy session with me! I would be honored to help you figure out everything you need for a relaxed and trendy honeymoon!
A beautiful destination wedding will be one of the highlights of your marriage celebration! But every year, there are new trends and shifts in destination wedding travel. After compiling and analyzing data across various sources, and seeing the new requests that have come from my own destination wedding couples, I have predicted that these are going to be the top seven destination wedding trends of 2023.
1. Plan EXTRA EARLY:
Before the pandemic, it was customary for a couple to reserve their wedding resort venue and room block around 12 months out, but as the world has opened up again, many couples are finding resort and venue space filled up for the dates they originally want. In 2023 and beyond, expect higher demand and lower inventory, which also drive up prices. Post on Destination Wedding Costs. Couples are now looking at least 15 months our in order to get the room inventory & price that they need.
BOTTOM LINE: The sooner you can discover the destination, resort & wedding venue, you want for your destination wedding, and reserve your date the better!
2. Toes NOT in The Sand:
In 2023, brides are looking to get married in an Instagram-worthy location, with a breathtaking backdrop, but they DON'T want their feet in the sand. Many destination wedding venues now are putting in beautiful above-the sand platforms, sky weddings garden gazebos, and over-the-water gazebos which are growing in popularity.
3. Exclusive Private Experiences:
In 2023 couples are looking to do private, exclusive experiences with their wedding groups, such as private receptions to welcome their guests complete with a mixologist who creates a special cocktail for just your group. Couples are also scheduling their own private events such as fire shows beach parties, tequila or rum tasting, private casino, and even a private tour or excursion for just your wedding group.
4. Over-The-Water Ceremonies!
As I mentioned above, more and more wedding couples don't want their feet in the sand, but they still want the breathtaking backdrop. One wat to achieve this is to have an over-the-water ceremony. Many resorts now contain wedding venues that are built over-the-water. This not only gives the normal amazing view but also adds a 3-demensional beauty to the ceremony.
5. Focus on Incorporating Cultural Traditions:
Many couples will be incorporating local & cultural traditions into their destination wedding experience for both them and their guests! Today's couples want to do more than just have a "wedcation" they want to give their entire wedding group an authentic experience with the location they have chosen for their destination wedding!
6. Including Local Cuisine $ Cocktails:
Along with my previous trend of including cultural traditions in their wedding, many couples also include local cuisine and cocktails in their wedding evens. For example, in Mexico, blog post Pro & Con of a wedding in Mexico, there is a special liquor call Mezcal. Couples will hire a mixologist to use a liquor like that in creating a cocktail native to the location they ae getting married in. In addition to a cocktail, they may also include some type of authentic delicacy on their menu.
7. Consulting with a Destination Wedding Specialist
In 2023, couples are choosing to consult with a destination wedding specialist to help them make sure they are getting everything they want and the maximum value out of their destination wedding. The reason is that wedding couples are busier than ever, as they work, finish school, start their family, and possibly move to a new home, all while trying to find some time for each other.
Today's couples believe it is worth the investment to spend a little extra to get their destination wedding planning right and take the stress & frustration of planning their destination wedding off of their plate!
My prediction is that we will see these destination wedding trends growing in popularity both this year and into the future. While it's entirely up to you to decide which trends are best for your destination wedding, I hope that my list has given you some food for thought as you move forward in your wedding planning.
If you are in the midst of planning your destination wedding and feel like you're stuck and not getting very far, I encourage you to use this LINK to schedule a free 30-minute strategy session with me! I would be honored to help you figure out everything you need for a magical & trendy destination wedding!
If you live in the Chicago Area and planning a Destination Wedding, contact us and let me answer some of your pressuring planning questions.
Congratulations! You found The One, got engaged, and are in the midst of planning your wedding & honeymoon. YAY! After all of the stress & time of planning your big day, having a much-needed pampering & romantic vacation sounds fabulous right? It will be assuming you have these 8 essentials in place! This honeymoon planning guide is exactly what you need to have a honeymoon that will truly be fabulous!
Let's discuss 8 essentials steps for planning your destination honeymoon!
1. Create a “Honeymoon Wish List”
Before you do any honeymoon planning, you and your future spouse need to take some time to make a list together of what you both are hoping to get out of your honeymoon. I call it a “honeymoon wishlist” Is gourmet food important to you, do you prefer ala cart vs. buffet restaurants? Do you care more about having a stunning honeymoon suite, or are you ok with the standard room? Are you both wanting a beautiful long stretch of swimmable beach, or are pools more important to you? What type of excursions would you like to enjoy? You will want to have at least some of these settled before you start researching destinations and resorts.
2. Don’t Base Your Decisions Soley on Recommendations!
Recommendations are great, but you have to remember that you are a completely different couple than they are. What is great for one couple, may not be great for you! Your honeymoon is pretty important, you don’t want to take a chance on having an underwhelming or poor experience. It’s fine to take a recommendation, but use it as a starting point, not your end point. And PLEASE, don’t go to Trip Advisor until you’ve narrowed your selection of honeymoon resorts down to two or three options!
3. Do This Instead:
Remember that list I told you to create in point number 1? Once you have that list made, you’ll want to start thinking about past travel experiences, both good and bad… What did you like or love about a trip you took, or what did you dislike or hate, about a past vacation or getaway? Add these to your “honeymoon wish list”. Now you will be ready to move on to point number 4.
4. Make a List of Potential Honeymoon Destinations:
Now it’s time to start making a list of potential honeymoon destinations! Use your honeymoon wish list to help you narrow down destinations that offer what is on your list, then make a list of potential honeymoon resorts. You may enjoy reading my article on The Top Destinations For a Dream Honeymoon.
5. Research Possible Honeymoon Resorts in Your Targeted Destinations
Once you have a couple of honeymoon locations chosen, then it’s time to figure out which location will be best for you and new mate. Check your list of items you want for your honeymoon and read my article on Top Honeymoon Resorts.
6. Get a New Email For Only Honeymoon Related Conversions
This is a great way to stay organized and not miss any type of important communication about your honeymoon. I always suggest that you create a special email address exclusively for your wedding & honeymoon. This way all of your honeymoon correspondence & conversations will be in one spot! Believe me, this will save you so much time and probably money in the end. The last thing you want is to miss a confirmation email that your honeymoon resort suite is almost sold out, booking because it was sandwiched between emails from Beach Body & your Grandmother’s cataract surgery!
7. Consider Getting a New Credit Card That Earns Miles
As long as you are going to be charging your wedding expenses, you mind as well earn some reward miles to help you pay for your honeymoon, or at least pay you back for booking your honeymoon. This is a great time to open a new credit card that will earn you miles or points or cash back for future or even current travel. You could actually get a discount on your airfare if you play your credit cards right!
8. Consider Working With a Honeymoon Designer or Specialist
If you want to ensure that your honeymoon won’t be a disappointment, as well as, reduce the stress and frustration you may feel when trying to plan this all on your own, it may be worth it to invest in hiring a honeymoon designer or planner. A properly trained honeymoon planner or designer knows how to take your honeymoon Wishlist, and quickly narrow down destinations & honeymoon resorts, that will be perfect for both of you! They will also make sure that you receive ALL the honeymoon amenities & perks you will qualify for as well.
A honeymoon is a fabulous time of FINAlLY getting away, just the two of you,
where you can relax, be pampered, and just focus on each other. By taking this honeymoon planning guide to the heart and putting these 8 steps in place, you can ensure that your honeymoon experience will be everything you hoped for, as well as one of your fondest new memories as a couple.
But, if you feel like you need a little help planning your honeymoon or just want this lifted off of your shoulders, then I encourage you to use this link, to schedule a free 30-minute strategy session with me! I would be honored to help your figure out everything you need for your dream honeymoon to come true!
Many newly engaged couples don’t know what they’re getting into when trying to plan their destination wedding. Most couples have this idea, that they will just find a place somewhere in a beautiful location, get married, then live happily ever after. But there is a lot of planning that comes into play to make this all come together and most couples eventually find out the hard way that it’s not so easy. There's so much to consider, from where to stay and how to get there to what gifts to bring and how
to keep everyone organized. I wish I had this destination wedding survival guide back when I first started planning destination weddings!
WOW! Ok, Let's get started and jump into these six destination wedding essentials.
1. Get Started Right Away
In today’s post-COVID environment, dates & availability are booking up faster than ever before! Many couples are eager to finally say “I DO!” in an amazing location, just as they had hoped before the pandemic! Now dates are booking up fast, so don’t procrastinate, start researching resort wedding venues & availability now!
2. You Don't Have To Know It All
You may think you have to know everything about planning a destination wedding before you begin, but that’s simply not true! You don’t need to have it all figured out to get started. The two most important things you need to start working on is making a list of potential destinations you would like to get married, and then, a list of potential resort wedding venues to hold your wedding & wedding group at. You may enjoy reading my article on The Top Destinations For a Dream Destination Wedding.
3. Consider Doing a Pre-Wedding Planning Trip
Hey, Who doesn’t like the samples at Costco, before you buy a 12-pack of hot chocolate bombs? Right?
Once you have a destination wedding location chosen, then it’s time to figure out which wedding venue & resort to have your ceremony and host your group. One of the most effective ways to choose a wedding resort & venue is to visit it first before you decide. In fact, many resorts offer special “wedding visit” packages to encourage you to visit their resort, hoping you will choose them for your destination wedding. Read my article on the Top Destination Wedding Resort Wedding Venues.
4. Get a New Email For Only Wedding Related Conversions
In order to have a successful destination wedding, you have to be organized. I always suggest that you create a special email address exclusively for your wedding & honeymoon. This way all of your wedding correspondence & conversations will be in one spot! Believe me, this will save you so much time and probably money in the end. The last thing you want is a confirmation email requesting you to verify your wedding date & time at the resort, and you miss it in a crowded inbox sandwiched between emails from Fitnation & your uncle’s gallbladder surgery!
5. Consider Getting a New Credit Card that Earns Miles and /or Cash Back
As long as you are going to be charging your wedding expenses, you might as well earn some reward to help you pay for your travel. This is a great time to open a new credit card that will earn you miles or points or cash back for future or even current travel. You could actually get your airfare paid for if you play your credit cards right!
6. Consider Working With a Destination Designer or Specialist
If you want to ensure that your destination wedding will be planned correctly, and reduce the stress and frustration you may feel when trying to plan this all on your own, it may be worth it to invest in a destination wedding designer or planner. A destination wedding planner or designer knows the ins and outs of a destination wedding and has plenty of experience setting up wedding groups, negotiating contracts, and managing all of the logistics for you and your guests. They will also make sure that you receive ALL the amenities & perks you will qualify for as well. Things that many resorts won’t tell you unless you ask.
No matter how much you plan for your destination wedding, there's bound to be something that will come up that you weren't prepared for. This doesn't have to ruin your wedding, you just need a solid resource to help you through these challenges when they show up…
…If you feel like you could use the help of a destination wedding designer, to help take all of this planning off of your shoulders?
I encourage you to use this link, to schedule a free 30-minute strategy session with me! I would be honored to help you figure out everything you need for your dream wedding to come true!
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