With over 25% of weddings now taking place away from home, destination weddings have evolved into a cost-effective, meaningful and unique way for couples to share their wedding experience with their guests. Planning a wedding from a thousand miles away can still feel a bit daunting at first, but it is impossible to ignore the gorgeous beach wedding photos on Pinterest and Instagram, right? If you feel the little spark of hope in your heart as you scroll through destination wedding ideas, don’t ignore it! Don’t be afraid of it! Planning a destination wedding has come a long way and is now actually easier to plan than a wedding at home. Here are a few questions you may be asking yourself:
1. How will I ever decide on a location and resort?
This is often the most difficult part of planning a destination wedding. Our best advice here is to find a travel agent that specializes in planning destination weddings. Anyone can book a trip. Planning a destination wedding for 20, 40 or 100 guests takes a completely different set of skills. Need a recommendation? Reach out to one of the award-winning agents at Romance Travel Group. Destination weddings are our passion!
2. What will my guests think?
Most of your guests will be thrilled at the idea of a vacation with you! Some will be concerned about cost or safety. Your agent will communicate with your guests, answering all their questions and making sure they know everything they need for their trip. Trust us… your guests will RAVE about your wedding. Many destination wedding groups start traveling together every year because they had such a great time at the wedding. They will have a great time!
3. How much will all this cost?
Legit question! We often say that the couple can expect to pay under $10,000 for the trip, ceremony and reception. This can vary, of course, but it is a good estimate. Your guests can expect to pay about $1100 for a 3 night/4 day all-inclusive experience.
4. How can I be sure my wedding will be what I want?
Most resorts have wedding departments with a team of coordinators on-site that will execute your vision. You can send them photos, Pinterest boards, spreadsheets, etc, and they will recreate the wedding of your dreams. Just about anything you see at local weddings can also be done in destination.
5. Who is going to help with all the travel plans?
Remember that destination wedding travel expert we mentioned? She will work with each guest to create the trip that works best for them. Some guests will make a week-long vacation out of their trip, while others will only be able to sneak away from 3 nights. No problem! Your agent will handle all the details so you don’t have to.
6. How will I know what needs to be done?
Your travel expert and the wedding coordinator will ensure everything has been considered and your big day is executed perfectly. Together, they’ll help you through all the steps and decisions that need to happen. You’ll be amazed at how seamlessly everything comes together.
Did we answer some of the questions you no-doubt have about planning a destination wedding? We hope so! We know how overwhelming it can seem at first, but we are here to help you through it all. The first step is filling out our destination wedding questionnaire. This gives us a little peak into your wedding dreams. We’ll schedule a 20-30 minute phone call so we can meet and get to know each other. Then, we’ll get to work on hand-selecting a few resorts we think would be absolutely perfect for your destination wedding, based on everything you’ve shared with us. After that, we’ll help you select the resort, book the date and soon, you’ll be inviting guests! Ready to start planning? We sure are! We can’t wait to hear from you!
The happiest day of our lives! Our wedding was a dream, and we are so grateful for our parents, friends and family for celebrating with us! Venue: Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa ~ Destination Wedding Travel Agent: Romance Travel Group ~ Photo: Pink Palm Photo ~ Videography: Romanza ~ Hair and Makeup: Loscabosmakeup ~ Floral and Rentals: The MAIN Event CABO ~ DJ: Encore Event Technologies ~ Dress: Bridal Boutique - Maggie Sottero ~ Paper goods: Minted
Why did you choose Romance Travel Group?
We had read great reviews about Romance Travel Group and had two couple friends that had used them for their own destination weddings. After talking with Shelli on the phone, we were confident that she knew what she was doing!
What led you to choose a destination wedding?
We wanted a wedding and vacation all in one. We wanted it to be smaller and intimate with only our close family and friends. We created memories that we will never forget!
How did you select the resort? What were the deciding factors?
We wanted an affordable, all-inclusive resort in Cabo. Shelli helped us narrow it down to Dreams Los Cabos. We have nothing but wonderful things to say about Dreams! It exceeded our expectations! The property was beautiful, the restaurants were nice, all of the employees were friendly. Our couples’ massage at the spa was incredible. The club on property had a fun karaoke night we all went to on Thursday night. It was everything we wanted for our wedding weekend.
Describe what it was like working with the wedding coordinator at the resort? What went well? Any challenges?
Minerva at Dreams Los Cabos Resort was an absolute dream to work with! She was prompt, always made me feel at ease, and very detail oriented. I highly recommend working with Minerva at Dreams. She made our experience great!
Tell us about your wedding dress – How did you find it? Who went shopping with you? How do you feel wearing your dress?
I went shopping at Bridal Boutique Lewisville for my wedding dress. I tried on many styles and types, but finally said YES to my dream dress with my mom! It was a Maggie Sottero design. It was a romantic sheath wedding dress, covered in lace and beaded spaghetti straps, a sheer bodice and illusion plunging neckline and sheer back with buttons all the way down the back. I had my fairytale moment; it was absolutely my dream dress!
Tell us about how you chose your bridal party and asked them to stand up with you.
I took all of my bridesmaids to brunch in Uptown Dallas and gave them mini bottles of champagne with “Will you be my bridesmaid.” We had a fun morning as we laughed and sipped mimosas!
Were your guests wowed by the resort and the all-inclusive concept? What was their reaction upon arrival?
The guests LOVED the resort, it was clean and beautiful! The views were incredible.
Tell us about your wedding – did you have a traditional wedding with a cocktail hour, dinner reception and dance? What was different about a destination wedding compared to a wedding at home?
Our wedding weekend was incredible! For our rehearsal dinner, we had a Bonfire on the Beach. The resort put up tiki torches, lounge furniture, an open bar and hor doerves. It was so much fun! On Saturday, we had a beach ceremony at sunset. Then all of the guests went to cocktail hour on the terrace overlooking the resort infinity pool and the ocean. Our reception was outside on the terrace. It was all whites and greenery, simple, clean and romantic, with hanging lit lanterns and a customized dance floor. We had white roses, eucalyptus, and greenery with lit candles. To find their tables, all guests had to go to a table with mini tequila shots with lime wedges to find their table numbers, “Take a Shot, Take a Seat”. When we entered the reception, everyone shook his or her maracas to welcome us! It was an amazing night!
To help you narrow down all of the destination and resort options, start by asking yourself these 5 questions:
Try to keep travel times within reason. For example, you won't want to plan a Hawaii wedding if guests need to fly for 9 hours and can only stay for 3 nights. Likewise, the more exotic islands can often require multiple airline connections to get there. Assume all guests will need a passport. The top destinations are Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, but really, the possibilities are endless.
There are two types of ceremonies for destination weddings; legal and symbolic. Some locations are better than others for legal ceremonies. For a legal ceremony, you’ll need to follow all of the laws of the country you are traveling to. If you absolutely must have a legal ceremony, we recommend avoiding the Dominican Republic and Aruba. To have a symbolic ceremony, you would be legally married at home by your clergy or courthouse before you travel. At your destination wedding, you will celebrate your union as if it were your actual wedding with flowers, music, vows and other ceremony details. Your guests will not know the difference between a legal and symbolic ceremony. Approximately 80% of all destination weddings are symbolic. It is so much easier!
Do you envision something small and intimate, or something loaded with activities and energy? We highly recommend all-inclusive resorts that include meals and drinks. This makes it so much easier for your guests to budget for their trip. And, many all-inclusive resorts include a semi-private reception with their wedding packages, which saves you money. Perhaps money that could be spent on a nice upgrade to the honeymoon suite! Are you beach people, or pool people? Are you foodies? Are you super casual, or more refined?
Adults Only, or Family Friendly
If all of your guests are 18+, do adults only! The adult only resorts offer an elevated atmosphere and experience for your wedding day. Some resorts have an adults only “section” while the rest of the resort is family friendly. These often make a great compromise for wedding groups.
Consider how much you're comfortable having your guests pay for a 3-night vacation. Typically, budgets start at approximately $1000 per person for a 3 night, all-inclusive vacation including air, hotel, transfers, meals, drinks, tips and taxes. Remember though, you get what you pay for.
Of course, the absolute best way to find the perfect destination wedding resort is to enlist the professional guidance of a destination wedding travel specialist like the ones at Romance Travel Group. The RTG specialist will listen to your wants and needs and provide you with a list of hand-chosen resorts that fit your style. Because our specialists travel to the destinations several times a year, they know the ins and outs of each resort better than anyone else, and can accurately compare the pros and cons of each with you. Why not give us a try? You'll be so happy you did! Call us at 507-237-6133 or email us at email@example.com. Hope to hear from you!
December 14, 2018
Romance Travel Group Wins Big With Karisma Hotels at the 11th Annual GIVC Awards
Launched in 2008, the Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultant Program (GIVC) is limited to an elite group of travel agents who are obligated to meet specific standards and requirements in order to exceed extremely high expectations with regard to customer service and support. Each year, the event honors the industry’s top performing travel professionals during four days of celebrations, ceremonies and meetings at El Dorado Royale Spa Resort, by Karisma, in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
On Friday December 8th Karisma Hotels & Resorts unveiled the award winners on the final evening of the company’s Eleventh Annual GIVC Awards and Sales & Marketing Forum, which drew over 600 agents. The 11th annual gala dinner awards were presided over by Armando Chomat, Executive VP for Sales and Marketing Worldwide for Karisma Hotels.
“This evening, with deep appreciation to Sr. Martínez and Sra. Dolores, we could not be more excited to provide our revered Gourmet Inclusive Vacation Consultants with the recognition they have earned.” Romance Travel Group’s Shelli Nornes was named #1 Top Selling Agent (home based) in the United States, top 10 wedding agent and top sales agent for El Dorado, Azul and Generations resorts. The final and most esteemed award of the night, The Hall of Fame Award, was given to Ms. Nornes for making a significant impact on business and partnership. “What a night!” says Nornes. “Karisma has been a wonderful partner for many years and we love sharing these favorite resorts with our clients. Receiving the Hall of Fame award means the world to us. It is such an honor to be recognized like this.”
Romance Travel Group is known for their expert destination wedding, honeymoon and vacation planning. Having just celebrated 20 years in business this past June, Romance Travel Group is a long-time industry leader. For more information on Romance Travel Group, visit www.romancetravelgroup.com.
We can’t imagine a bigger bridal nightmare than a missing or damaged wedding gown. Here’s our best tips for traveling with your dress, so it arrives to your destination in mint condition:
1. Keep it on you
Although some brides are fond on the idea of shipping their dress to their wedding location, no amount of insurance could take the place of your gown should it arrive damaged, or worse –missing! We recommend you carry the dress along with you, as it’s far too important to entrust to anyone else.
2. Check your airline
It’s highly suggested to contact your airline prior to your departure to ask for specific carry-on requirements and restrictions. One tip we’d like to point out is to NEVER pack your wedding gown in your checked bags. The risk of it getting damaged or lost is too much of a gamble.
3. Befriend your flight attendant
Okay, okay – so technically, no one should get special treatment on a flight (unless your first-class, of course). But let’s be honest, most people have a soft spot for brides, so use it to your advantage! Politely ask the flight attendants if they’d mind stowing your dress away in a first-class closet. If that option doesn’t work, consider laying your gown flat on top of your bags in the overhead compartments nearby.
4. The WallyBag
Have you heard about the wonderful ? This 66-inch portable carrier has become increasingly popular among destination brides. Not only does it come in a variety of sizes to accommodate how much dress you have, but it also has various pockets to store a few accessories, or even your veil. The WallyBag folds up 3-ways, and is secured with side-release buckles – perfectly compact to store in the overhead compartments with your other luggage.
5. Use the extra hands
With all the airline restrictions these days, you might realize your carry-on bag just doesn’t cut it. Perhaps you’ll want to ask your fiancé or maid-of-honor to pack your garment or accessory bag as their carry-on to free up some space. You’ll also want to make sure your jewelry is on you at all time... you’d hate to lose your precious wedding bling, right?
Be sure to follow these tips to ensure your destination wedding travels are as effortless and stress-free as possible (and also pin this article for later 😉).
For any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or read the full-article here.
From planning your destination wedding, all the way to your honeymoon, our FREE Romance Travel Guide covers it all. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s inside:
Why Choose a Destination Wedding?
Congrats! You’re getting married! Now, let the fun begin! But first, let’s figure out what kind of bride you are. Start by asking yourself questions like, “do I want a traditional, local wedding?” or, “do I want a simple, yet elegant destination wedding?” If you’re having trouble deciding, no worries! We’ve broken it down for you in our FREE Romance Travel Guide.
How Much Does a Wedding Cost?
Did you know that the average traditional wedding costs around $31,000? Yep, it’s true – and this is excluding the price tag on your honeymoon. We’re excited to share that a destination wedding can be surprisingly affordable! Just download our FREE guide to find out the average cost for a tropical, week-long wedding celebration.
How to Plan a Destination Wedding
Great! You’re sold on a destination wedding, but “where do I start?” is the real question. Well, say no more! We’ve helped hundreds of brides from all over the United States plan their dream wedding and know exactly what you should do (and should not do) to ensure your day turns out, well, perfect! Be sure to take a look at our planning steps and preparation timeline in our FREE guide.
Where to Have a Destination Wedding
Did you know that 24% of American weddings are destination weddings? That’s nearly 500,000 destination weddings a year, and that number is expected to keep growing. Curious which destinations are the most popular (hint: Mexico is our #1 choice for value and incredible experiences!) among couples? Then, you’ll want to check out the full list in our Romance Travel Guide!
Destination Wedding FAQs
You asked, we answered. Find all our most frequently asked questions that we’ve collected over the years laid out for you in our FREE guide.
Destination Wedding Tips
From creating your “Save-the-Dates” and guest list, all the way to traveling overseas with your wedding dress, we’ve got you covered. We’re here to help you throughout the entire experience!
Added Bonus: Honeymoon Guide
As an added bonus, we’ve included an entire list of ultimate honeymoons that are sure to suit any couple’s style. Because your honeymoon is the cherry-on-top of a perfect destination wedding, after all!
Ready to access our entire Romance Travel Guide? Then click here to download your FREE copy today! For more information, contact us at Hello@RomanceTravelGroup.com, or fill out this form to start planning your destination wedding now!
Meet The Authors
We are passionate about destination weddings and love helping couples make their wedding dreams a reality. We are the destination wedding experts.