While this may not apply to you, I ask that you share it with those you know who could benefit, as so many couples and their families have been, and continue to be, impacted by the ever-fluid consequences of dealing with a global pandemic during their wedding planning.
Weddings are supposed to be a time when families and friends come together to celebrate the love and union of two people and the bonding of two families. Since weddings are not only a joyous and emotional investment, but often a significant financial investment, I wanted to touch on some things to consider and the options out there for those who have been planning or are considering planning a destination wedding at an international location.
I wanted a Destination Wedding, but didn't mean in Puerto Backyardia!
Unlike the rest of us planning vacations, weddings need to be planned at least a year in advance so “waiting to see what happens” isn’t really an option – which means that action needs to be taken without knowing what could happen or what to expect. Suffice it to say, that itself, is a very daunting thought!
Luckily, human ingenuity and creativity are at their best when faced against difficult odds and this is no exception. We’ve put together a few ideas and options for those nearlyweds who want to stay true to their dream wedding vision while staying safe and keeping at-risk loved ones out of harms way. Read on for more!
So, what to do when you’re torn between a rock and a tropical paradise?
Why Not Both? (my personal favorite!)...
It’s your wedding day! Have it at home and abroad! In this instance, you could proceed with getting legally married at home and having a celebration with loved ones who are unable to make the trip abroad. This would allow you to scale both events to be as large, or as intimate, as you please and will ensure that no one feels left out.
During these last few months I’ve seen couples opt for having their closest loved ones attend a ceremony at local landmarks, or places with special meaning such as the location of the first place the couple kissed or went on a date and then have a simple celebration in their backyard. Other couples have gone the whole nine yards, with extravagant venue, flowers, family in the bridal party who can't travel all celebrating at home, and a celebration after. All my clients are still proceeding to have an additional symbolic and dreamy ceremony with full reception overseas with those who are able to travel. You can have it all if you want!
6 months ago, many of us had never even heard of Zoom, but humans adapt quickly and now everyone from Grandma to your 4 year old nephew are pro’s at utilizing technology to spend much-needed virtual time with loved ones. While many agree that it’s not quite the same as being there in person, we are seeing a growing trend of live-streaming weddings and then celebrating with a small celebration back home.
This is particularly helpful to those who have loved ones who live in different geographical locations and are unable to travel due to health, finances or travel restrictions, which are more and more common in these uncertain times.
The added benefit – you can host a memorable celebration for your anniversary at a time when people are able to travel again (who doesn’t want a bonus party?!)
Gateway to Love...
Another way to get your loved ones that can’t travel involved, is rather than invite THEM to come to YOU, you go to them, and then fly out of the gateway nearest where most of them reside. *If possible to be done safely, this can be extra fun and unique if you host the ceremony at a nearby local or regional airport in an empty hangar!
You can have a lot of fun with this option by going the traditional route and each choosing to stay with different friends/family members and not seeing each other before the ceremony, or you can make waves before you head for the beach, by inviting everyone to share the first step of your journey with you and heading to the town hall to sign the legal documents - or anything else in between! (be sure to check with your local court house first, as some may limit how many people can attend depending on your city).
When the first round of fun is over, you can jet off to paradise with those who can travel and have your dream wedding last for an extra week (or longer!).
Formality First, Group Honeymoon Later
In a similar vein to the above, another option is to go forward with a smaller ceremony and celebration at home, so you can finally get MARRIED (yay!) and have a group getaway at a later date. This has been gaining in popularity over recent years, prior to coronavirus hitting the worlds shores, and for good reason.
Taking this route ensures that you don't put any undue "pressure" on those who for varying reasons will be unable to travel to your destination wedding, but who would be heartbroken if they missed out on seeing you get married.
It also gives guests/attendees additional time for planning, saving, and requesting time off of work as well as giving you extra time for the same things! I'll let you in on a secret - if you plan a group honeymoon, you will still be eligible to receive many of the same perks as if it were an official wedding - so you may as well aim for the stars and still earn free stuff!
Group honeymoon's are a fun way to still create unforgettable moments and celebrate with your favorite people, but without the added stress to organize wedding events for the second time. You can even transfer to another resort after spending time with everyone, so you can enjoy some romantic alone time before heading home!
Remember – where there’s a will, there’s a way! Love will always conquer, and working together while utilizing a little creative license, can ensure that you and your soulmate are able to share your big day with the people who love you most in the world.
Every tradition throughout history was at one point a new idea, and while it might not feel like it now, you are in the unique position of creating both new traditions and history together, with stories that will be passed on down through generations to come!
As always, for a free consultation please reach out and we can begin working together to bring your destination wedding dreams to fruition!
Stay positive, safe and hopeful!