All About Honeymoons - Destination Weddings

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Destination I Do Magazine

Ask the Expert from Destination I Do magazine

28-Jan-2011

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tips & Tricks for Planning Your Destination Wedding or Honeymoon Part 2

Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Lodging4Vacations.com & BaliVillasVacation.com

Our friends at AllAboutHoneymoons.com are back this week to answer more FAQ for destination brides and grooms. This is post 2 of 3, so check back next week for more helpful tips and tricks for planning your wedding abroad or honeymoon. Below you'll find info about how to make travel a cinch, pick your perfect destination and find a dream private estate for your nuptials.

5. What do you take into consideration when deciding what destinations might work for a couple?


A good travel agent will consider a multitude of factors before making any recommendations on a perfect destination. Typically I ask about 50 questions. The first factors are the basics:

-Area (Caribbean, Mexico, South Pacific, etc.)

-Time of year and length of stay ( no use discussing Fiji if they only have 3 days or Los Cabos in the heat of summer).

-Type of property (adult only, all inclusive, etc.)

The next things to consider are the property amenities. Is it important to have an ocean-view room, air conditioning, nightly entertainment, etc.

Then it's on to discussing the things that turn this from a regular vacation into the most romantic time of their life. Are they interested in a couples massage, a beachfront dinner, a picnic on a deserted island for the day? These things change this trip into a time never to be forgotten.

Last, but certainly not least, are what additional tours are offered in the area. I always tell clients that this may be the only chance they have to try something different. Have you always wanted to swim with dolphins or zipline through a rainforest?

Only after all these factors are taken into consideration can a recommendation be made on that perfect fit. Anyone can book a trip. Not everyone can plan a honeymoon.

All About Honeymoon franchise owner J. T. Fulkerson, Paducah, KY


6. For people who are unused to international travel, do you have any tips to ensure things run smoothly.

I will send them a "Before you Travel" letter advising them of things they should be aware of such as luggage regulations, current travel stipulations and things they should remember to take
with them. I encourage them to check for any flight number/time changes a day or so prior to the trip and to take advantage of the opportunity to do "on-line" check in. I also advise them to
arrive at the airport at least 2 hours in advance. Before sending their documents I highlight pertinent information such as the transfer company, the hotel and any phone numbers that they might need.

All About Honeymoon franchise owner Tina Hern, Houston, TX


7. Destination weddings at private estates are becoming more and more popular. What is the process for a couple to rent out a private residence for their wedding?

The Amalfi Coast, Napa Valley, Ambergris Caye, Ocho Rios and Punta Mita all have beautiful and intimate villas and lush estates available for rent. Many brides dream of a lavish affair at a grand private estate, but rarely actually consider the option to be a reality. The idea of securing a private estate may sound too elaborate or costly to consider, but this is not always the case. The price per person often is a bit higher than an all-inclusive resort, but for a wedding the small bump in price can equate to a truly majestic experience.

When selecting a private estate be sure to consider not only the number of persons the estate sleeps, but how many private bedrooms and bathrooms there are. It is important to work closely with your travel agent to ensure the particulars of the estate are represented accurately. For instance, an estate may advertise six private rooms that sleep 18. Undoubtedly, some of your guests will be sleeping on a sofa or in bunk beds. Proper management of sleeping arrangements is important for everyone’s comfort. Perhaps over flow guests can stay at a nearby resort and join you at the residence for dinners and the wedding festivities. The location should be well researched: the time of year, weather and nearby activities can make or break the overall experience. Consider carefully the wedding options at the location and if the price includes a full staff and private chef. Are beach permits needed for a ceremony, can the estate bring in all the wedding options you desire? Can they provide you an upfront breakdown of services and fees? Your travel expert will be able to navigate and negotiate for you the best price and locations that fit your needs.

All About Honeymoon franchise owner April Schmitt, Sacramento, CA

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