Determining Your Wedding Day Budget
- Make sure you have a completely frank conversation with all parties contributing to the budget. It is better if expectations are managed up front and there are no surprises along the way. Do this before you sign any contracts!
- One misconception is that a tent wedding in your backyard is more affordable than a nice hotel. Do your research because there are tons of hidden costs in throwing a tent wedding. Eight out nine times your backyard soirée ends up costing more than a hotel wedding.
- A budget is a living breathing aspect of the wedding. It takes a lot of due diligence and patience to research all the contributing factors. Take the time to understand all the factors at play before you start spending.
Choosing Your Guests
- When choosing guests for your destination wedding, be prepared for the reality that some people may not be able to attend due to the expense. Our advice is, be gracious and understanding.
- The number of guests you invite is the biggest driver for your budget. You need to be realistic with the amount of people you can afford to host…every subsequent cost is dependent on the number of guests you invite.
- Remember just because you have been invited to someone else’s wedding doesn’t mean you have to invite that couple to yours…
Creating a Seating Chart
- It's nice to have an even gender split at every table.
- The most effective plan of attack to create a seating chart is as follows; First take the diagram of the reception room with the placement of the numbered tables and blow it up at your local printer. Second, print individual sheets for each table with seating spaces so you can fill in individual guests’ names. Last but not least, once you have placed each guest at a table refers to the big diagram to decide the best placement of the tables. Having a large visual to take on this task helps tremendously.
- Take care to place your family matriarchs and your fiancé’s boss at good real estate in the room. Some things you just can't take back.
Wedding Day Schedule
- Remember that hair and makeup for the bride takes, on average, two hours. You should also allow an hour or so for each bridesmaid. If you have a large bridal party I suggest hiring multiple hair and makeup artists or heading to a salon to make sure you have a relaxed day and everyone is finished on time.
- On all my wedding day schedules I make sure to include quiet time for the bride and groom where I can, as it is such an emotionally charged day.
- Don’t overdo the wedding activities for the guests. You want your wedding to feel like an organic celebration not a forced march.
A destination wedding is its own adventure and takes incredible dedication on the part of all involved. For that very reason a real sense of camaraderie is created among the hosts and guests alike. It is this organic experience that I love, almost more than helping couples sculpt their vision!
My key to a perfect destination wedding is not to think you're done once you've finally found the perfect property. A destination wedding must embrace the spirit of the place – you have to help it find its heart. Remember, your guests are making quite a journey to join you on your big day and with that comes a responsibility to be an excellent host. Like all great relationships, this journey takes patience and love.
- Explore local customs and traditions and build some of them into your celebration.
- Give your guests an experience to remember.
- Don't let the fact that it may have been done before discourage you from making this wedding uniquely your own.
- Always look for unusual ways to apply what may be not-so-unusual design elements, elements that speak volumes about the wedding destination
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know:
- Don’t only focus on the fact it might rain – too much wind makes your guests equally uncomfortable.
- Destination weddings can be a both a blessing and a curse. Have reverence for the fact that those who you were sure would come can’t and those you never expected to show will!
- You can never be too gracious.
- Silliness is infectious.
- Long wedding veils don’t work on windy hillsides.
- Don’t make your rehearsal dinner party so spectacular it trumps the wedding!
- Don’t be so attached to the outcome that you forget to have a GOOD TIME.