Shauna Sharp from Rock-IT Travel Weddings is a certified wedding planner and destination wedding specialist. She knows the ins and out of destination weddings, the pros and cons of the most popular resort and locations and the most gorgeous “off the beaten path” destinations. Not all destination weddings are at a resort and she loves to do off site weddings too.
A destination beach wedding is a truly memorable event for both the couple and their guests. You’re given an intimate ceremony, a breathtaking backdrop for pictures, and can even combine your wedding and honeymoon! Pulling off a flawless event at the shore comes with a unique set of considerations to recognize before sending out your save-the-dates.
Here are the top 5 secrets to help as you start planning your destination beach wedding with ease!
1. Settle on a realistic budget Before you jet off to a foreign land to marry your partner, it’s important to set a realistic budget for both the wedding and for your guests.
To stay on track with wedding-related and travel expenses, here are a few things to consider:
● Destination costs
●Ceremony and reception venue as well as decor, and offsite or onsite location
●Guest list and number of guests invited Hotel accommodations: all-inclusive hotel vs European plan
●Wedding dress, hair, makeup, etc.
●Photographer and videographer
●Cost of shipping favors and other small items to your destination
2. Not all beaches are created equal The ocean presents one of the most beautiful ceremony and reception settings, but you must understand what each destination’s beach has to offer to guarantee the wedding of your dreams.
Consider the following before deciding on your perfect destination: White or Brown Sand Beach Not only is the color of the sand important, so is knowing if the beach is rocky, family friendly, whether the resort has sand breaks or even seaweed. Sunrise and Sunset The amount of daylight, what time of day, and your desired look can all be affected by your destination. Peak and Off-Peak Be sure to research the peak and off-peak seasons of the beaches you have your eye on.
3. The month of the year does matter As much as you may believe the rain is your #1 enemy at a beach wedding, wind and heat can be just as worrisome!
We’ve compiled our favorite and most recommended wedding-friendly months for each location: January – March The Caribbean, Mexico, and Costa Rica April – May Jamaica, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic June – October Hawaii, Los Cabos, and Puerto Vallarta November – December The Dominican Republic and Mexico
4. Not all resorts specialize in weddings, and there is a difference There is a big difference between a resort that does weddings and a wedding resort. Just because a resort says they can do weddings, doesn’t mean they are good at what they do.
5. Travel Agent or Wedding Planner? Planning a destination beach wedding from thousands of miles away takes a lot of organization, clear communication with vendors, time management, and many deep breaths. You can spend hours working with vendors and wedding coordinators when planning a destination wedding, or you can ask for help.
A certified travel consultant’s role is to provide you and your guests travel support to ensure everyone gets to the wedding safely. They will be able to give you sound advice on the travel components and some may be able to offer resort advice.
A certified destination wedding planner will give you planning advice, location possibilities, consider budget for the weekend and they work directly for you, so your interests are the top priority. Their focus will be 100% on the wedding.
The benefits of using both: A certified destination wedding planner and travel consultant is the ultimate find. They will offer sound advice on the resorts to choose from, the right destination for your wedding vision and have the skills to ensure nothing is left to chance. They will consider all elements, not just the trip or the wedding.