Wednesday, June 10, 2009

After the "I Do:- Planning a honeymoon to remember

There is so much to do in planning your wedding, your stress level can be off the charts. How do you survive all of that, and still have time to arrange for the perfect honeymoon?

As a Certified Honeymoon and Destination Wedding Specialist, I participate in a lot of area Bridal shows. I see these poor girls, scrambling through the booths, trying to get information on every aspect of the wedding in a 2 hour time period.. They get to the honeymoon booth with this look of exhaustion and longing on their faces, knowing they are going to need the relaxation, but wondering how they are going to arrange one more thing without a breakdown.

The answer is- Plan, Communicate, and DELEGATE.

Plan

It may not seem top priority when there is so much to arrange for the wedding itself, but when that day is over, most couples only have a week, to make honeymoon memories to last a lifetime. Advance planning can alleviate a lot of last-minute stress.

Apply for a passport right away. They can take 6-10 weeks to arrive.

Get travel brochures. You can obtain from a travel agent, or from the suppliers themselves. It is relaxing to cuddle up on the couch together, and go through these brochures, and just the process of doing that begins to form your honeymoon wish list in your head.

Budget. Don’t forget the honeymoon costs is your wedding budget. It IS important.. If you can budget for a florist, cake, invitations, etc, why not budget in $ to Celebrate your love, your marriage, and memories you will make. A lot of couples say they will do the honeymoon later, and sadly, later never comes. Life gets in the way.

An emerging trend is the Destination Wedding, as it combines the costs of BOTH the wedding AND the honeymoon. This can save thousands over planning the two separately.

You can also consider a honeymoon registry to offset your honeymoon budget. It is a great way to afford the honeymoon you’ve dreamed of, and allows your guests to give a gift they know you will love- a contribution to your honeymoon.


Communicate

The honeymoon is one trip I DEFINITELY recommend the use of a travel agent, and more particularly, one who specializes in honeymoons. The internet is great for research, but, if you want to make the honeymoon perfect for BOTH of you, you need someone who can hear you.

I had clients with two different wish lists- one wanted Colorado in the mountains, and ziplining, and the other wanted a beach in Cancun, which is a bustling busy place. By listening to both of them, I was able to determine her main desires were privacy, seclusion, and ziplining. His was a beach. They are now going to a secluded hideaway in the Riviera Maya, and are BOTH thrilled.

Delegate

As previously discussed, this is one trip I definitely recommend the use of a Honeymoon specialist. There is so much for you to do with the wedding, and unless you have hired a wedding planner, you are responsible for most of the work. You will NEED the honeymoon, so delegate the work involved to a professional who understands your wants, needs, and desires.


A little planning, communicating and delegating can result in a lifetime of cherished honeymoon memories..

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Destination Weddings - The New I DO

by Lisa M. Fondell

Picture a beautiful tropical beach, full of pure white sand against a turquoise background of perfect water. There is a gentle ocean breeze swaying the palm trees. At this moment, all seems right in the universe.

This, for many, is the ideal honeymoon setting. It is also, for a growing number of couples, the perfect Destination Wedding.

Destination weddings are growing in popularity every year, and have become a specialty niche of their own in the travel industry. There are as many reasons for deciding on a destination wedding, as there are destinations to have one.

Cost-Effective

The typical honeymoon accounts for almost 15% of the total wedding costs. By combining the wedding and the honeymoon into one location, you can actually save money, over the traditional wedding and honeymoon.

Both Sandals Resorts and Palace Resorts actually offer basic wedding packages at no additional charge.

Distance Travel

Couples are marrying at an older age than they were 20 years ago. Many times, they have moved away from their home towns for their careers. If both of them are from different cities, the couple is also faced with deciding where to have the wedding.

For couples that have to travel anyway, a destination wedding just makes sense. The wedding party and guests get to attend the wedding, and combine the travel expenses they would have had anyway, with a relaxing vacation for themselves.

One-Stop Shopping

Let’s face it- there is a LOT of work that goes into planning a wedding. Then, you are still faced with planning the honeymoon. A destination wedding is going to cut that planning in half! The best destination wedding resorts have an on-site wedding planner, that will work closely with you or your travel agent to ensure that everything goes just as you have always envisioned.

Your agent and wedding coordinator will help you with everything, the out-of-country marriage requirements, guest arrangements, d├ęcor, dinners, and photography, etc.

Once you have decided on what you want, you can turn it over to your trusted planners, and begin to enjoy just being the ‘bride-to-be’.


Popular Destination Weddings

Mexico, Jamaica, and Hawaii, are among the most popular Destination Wedding locations. Also very popular are Las Vegas, Disney, the Bahamas, The US Virgin Islands, and weddings aboard cruise ships.


Second Chances

The high number of couples that are getting married for the second time are also contributing to the rise in popularity of the Destination Wedding. For many of these couples, they feel like they have ‘been there, done that’ with the traditional wedding, and now want something more exotic.

Many of these couples have children, and want them included in the wedding. For them, the Destination Wedding makes sense. Resorts like Beaches Family Resorts not only offer wedding services, but additionally have superior children’s’ programs. Mom and Dad, aka Bride and Groom, can have their family with them, and still have their private time.

Perfection

A dream is something you envision in perfection, and your wedding should be your dream realized.