While this newsletter 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!
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I know that there are so many of us who won’t be able to celebrate our mother’s, mother figures, and the outstanding father’s who’ve played both Mom and Dad to us, in quite the same way this year.
With travel restrictions slowly lifting however, we can give the Gift of Reconnection in the form of a future travel certificate – and start thinking about the kind of travel that we can safely embark on as we enter our new normal way of life.
For those of us wanting to get back into the world and see new places or different scenery, but who are still wary of jumping right back into the fray of extensive multi-destination trips or mega-resorts, there are a number of smaller boutique and secluded style options available that are ideal to start. Let's explore a few of those today...
- Traveling in the New World as of Today -
Here are a few of my recommendations that may offer you some peace of mind as you start to venture into the new normal travel world.
While we are all excited to travel again and get back into the swing of living our lives and socializing, we understand that part of our new normal will include new and different ways to travel – safely, in a socially conscious manner – and I’m pleased that my boutique agency is able to help offer these alternative options.
Remember, travel will be booking up fast as the world begins to open up again, so even if you’re not sure when you want to make the leap to travel yet, you can absolutely schedule a free consultation to go over your needs and desires to discuss your options sooner rather than later.
Stay safe, positive and hopeful!
I hope you have been staying safe and well during this period of uncertainty we all are sharing! I have been overwhelmed by the kind words and support I've received from so many of my clients about the travel industry and how they can help us.
I know a lot of people have been displaced from their work and income amidst the pandemic, and to see the community unite to support small and local businesses where they can, has been truly inspirational!
I feel so blessed to have amazing clients like you! Since so many of you have reached out asking, I felt like it was a great opportunity to write about all the ways Destinations HD could use your support if you should feel compelled.
- Just a Few Ways You Can Help Destinations HD Endure -
Most of you are aware that I founded, built, and run this boutique travel agency – but what you might not know, is that travel advisors are commission based and that I pay my staff, and all costs associated with the business out of those commissions.
My greatest concern during this crisis has been to ensure that I am there for my clients. For the last month, I have assisted over 250 clients who have been impacted by what’s going on, and there are still many more I'm currently working with. As a travel concierge, I'm not only on your side when making your reservation by providing all the travel tips, tricks, and suggestions for your trip, but I'm also your point person should anything go awry – and it’s safe to say things have definitely gone awry.
I am so pleased to have the resources and network that I have spent a decade building, which has enabled me to assist clients as swiftly as possible during these times. However, as this crisis and worldwide travel restrictions continue, the financial impact to my business can’t be ignored.
To that end, for those that have the inclination, I'd like to share how you can provide support to Destinations HD so that once we get through this, we are able to move forward and thrive stronger than before.
Here are some simple and easy options you can do to show us your support and appreciation!
Thank you so much for your kindness and taking your time to show us your support. Together we can get through anything!
Stay safe, positive and hopeful!
Book your consultation or call (913) 244-9195!
I just returned from Mexico doing resort site inspections at 12 different luxury resorts around the Riviera Maya and Cancun area - hopefully you saw some of those online at facebook or instagram. If you didn't, go check them out, as I saw some amazing resorts and now have an even longer bucketlist of more resorts I'm dying to stay at! :)
There is a new all-inclusive resort with a twist to the inclusive concept which opened last year, and I had the pleasure of staying there for the first 3 nights of my trip. I just wanted to share my remarkable experience with you about my new love...
UNICO 20°87° isn’t just a destination, it’s a journey! From locally-inspired gourmet dishes to exhilarating tours of ancient ruins, you will find more than your typical all-inclusive resort, you will enjoy the rich, warm culture of Modern Mexico!
This adults-only resort was everything I dreamed it would be and more! If you prefer unstructured schedules, natural elegant decor, quality food, premium drinks, fun, yet laid-back energy and romance - this resort might be for you!
This upscale resort is set on a natural eco-reserve along a beautiful white sand beach with dreamy views of the Caribbean Sea. Upon arrival, you are instantly embraced with the most enchanting aroma in the lobby. As you check-in, you are asked to personalize the scent of your own room, then your personal host ("butler") will escort you to your room and provide a personal tour. Here, you won't find entertainment staff asking you every hour to join them for archery, salsa classes, etc... Instead, you will enjoy pop-up activities, music and scheduled classes that you can leisurely join if interested or just relax and not be bothered.
The true luxury of this boutique resort begins with unlimited inclusions, such as unlimited golf, scuba diving experiences, spa treatments, local tours and beauty salon & barber services... that's right ladies, I said UNLIMITED SPA TREATMENTS!! Here you can find a variety of select tours and spa/salon services that are included with your stay! You just pay a 20% service fee for each service used (plus gratuity).
For example, if want to do the Xtreme Mayan Jungle Tour - which combines ziplining, rappelling into a freshwater underground river, and swimming through a series of underground caverns - you would normally pay $99 per person for this tour, but at UNICO 20°87° you only pay $19.80 for this incredible experience!
During my stay, I was fortunate to enjoy two spa treatments. The first one was their signature massage with FOUR hands, where I had two massage therapists working at the same time, melting my stresses away! OMG! This was incredible!! It felt like a synchronized dance with hands from head to toe. Each moment I continued to fade deeper into a blissful state with a permanent smile on my face. An experience I will dream about until I return and enjoy my next one :)
My other spa treatment was a relaxing Shaman Body Wrap with a gentle exfoliation treatment and cocoa wrap. This was my first body wrap experience and it was like three mini massages as each layer was applied. My skin was so hydrated and smooth after PLUS I smelled like chocolate :) There are a variety of spa treatment options that are included under the unlimited inclusion program, but they also have many others for an additional cost.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE...
Other included experiences worth mentioning are their redefined cultural tours. They created a few one-of-a-kind excursions (only available through this resort), which include unique and memorable adventures that will make your vacation truly one to flaunt! Their included tours range from a Wine Sunset Sailing, Snorkeling, Zip-Lining, Mayan Ruins, and so much more! You just pay the 20% service fee of the cost as I mentioned earlier. I had the pleasure to join their Sunset Sail with Vino tour... We had a lovely catamaran with around 30 guests from the resort and sailed down the coast enjoying wine, drinks and music before docking at a shallow lagoon for a perfect sunset photo opportunity, where we listened to music, and snacked on cheese and fruits before returning to the resort.
This resort is also located on the beach where many sea turtles come to lay their eggs. I was fortunate to be there during this season and stayed up late to tag along with the Turtle Conservation Team and was lucky enough to witness three different turtles nesting and watch them return to the sea. It was a remarkable experience to be a part of!
Also worth mentioning is their stunning wedding creations at this resort. If you are looking to elevate your destination wedding or vow renewal and offer a truly one-of-a-kind experience filled with personalized touches, locally-sourced dishes and artisanal cocktails PLUS a dreamy backdrop of the turquoise sea - look no further! They have gorgeous wedding options to make the ultimate event. This upscale resort will impress your guests and your wedding will be one that no one will ever forget!
There is SO much more to discuss about this resort and the one-of-a-kind experiences it offers, but I'm getting a little carried away already, so don't want to overload you at once! Let's schedule a time to chat about your next vacation and see if this resort might fit your expectations and desires! Call us today (913) 244-9195.
Summer brings somethings to the air that often turns it into a "pop-the-question" season, so if you know anyone recently engaged or thinking about a destination wedding, so we wanted to give you a little information to think about.
Destination Weddings are not losing steam in terms of their popularity. However, just because something is popular doesn't mean it's the right choice for you. There are some important questions to ask before deciding to have a destination wedding of your own...
1. How Many People are you Inviting?
A destination wedding is typically much smaller than a traditional wedding. They are harder for people to get to, and typically require travel that some would deem too expensive or just don't have the time to take off work. An average size for a destination wedding is typically around 40-60 guests. Perfect for those looking to control the budget on all the wedding costs!
2. Do you Have a Dream Destination in Mind Already?
I find the hardest part for couples is choosing the location. If it's a place you want to honeymoon at, then getting married there too could be a great and cost effective idea, but if you're uncertain it could mean you have a lot more to consider.
Here is just a few things to think about when looking for a destination: weather, holiday events (local and in the destination which can increase cost), travel time depending on the age/health of guests, type of resort (all-inclusive, large, more intimate, kid-focused activities...), ease of getting there from the airports most guests would travel from, and the requirements for legal ceremonies)
3. What is your Budget?
Budget is undoubtedly a prime aspect that has to be considered before choosing the venue for any wedding celebration. You want a memorable day, yes. However, just because you want to get married at the same spot your celebrity crush did shouldn’t mean you're willing to go bankrupt for the occasion (and don't forget it may rule having very many guests if they can't afford it either).
4. Will you Need to Bring Certain Items with you to Get Married?
This is something people don't often think of, but if you're having a destination wedding you may want to forgo wearing the family heirlooms on your big day. Security is harder to control for expensive and priceless items when you're leaving the country. Also, keep in mind that some destinations ban certain types of materials (such as paper lanterns, fireworks, or silk flower petals) - therefore if you have an important tradition you require with a particular element, you need to find a destination that allows that.
5. Do you Care that your Wedding Might Not be Legal?
In many cases it's easier to have a symbolic ceremony in lieu of a legal wedding depending on the country you're getting married in. The laws in other countries don't always make it easy to marry your spouse to be, and the red tape is just more frustrating than most couples are willing to deal with. So, they marry in the states, and simply have a symbolic ceremony in their destination in which the recognize as their true wedding date with their friends/family.
6. Do you Want a Cake, Photographer, & all the Traditional Wedding Vendors?
It may be harder to hire certain vendors for your destination wedding if you aren't looking at an all-inclusive resort. Some couples also find it's difficult to hire local vendors since they can't meet them face-to-face until the day or week of the wedding. If it's at an off-site location, many times the couple will need to plan to arrive much earlier, so they can run errands and drop off items to the different vendors prior the wedding day. If you are looking for something less involved, an all-inclusive resort is an ideal option for one stop planning!
7. How's the Reputation of your Destination Venue?
This question is why it's critical you work with a reputable travel agent, like Destinations HD, that specializes in destination wedding group planning. You want your day to be amazing, without any issues, and not have your guests complain that the service, food or accommodations weren't worth the money. Some couples find it best to do a pre-site visit early in the planning to meet the wedding coordinator, see the wedding location(s), taste the food, etc... to ensure it's something they feel would meet their expectations. Having a professional that has knowledge and experience in the destination you are looking at, will help you narrow your options and help you focus on those resorts that will meet or exceed your desires.
To truly have enough time for planning (especially if want to do a pre-site visit) and to give your guests a reasonable amount of time to save and figure out work or daycare schedules, we recommend beginning the process at least 14-18 months prior to your ideal wedding date! Prime locations/dates at the better-quality resorts tend to be reserved over a year out, so if your date isn't flexible, but sure to plan early to get the date/time you want!
There are many other questions to ask and things to consider before jumping in with both feet. If you would like assistance in planning your destination wedding, call Destinations HD (913) 244-9195 to discuss more about our services and how we can make your destination wedding stress-free!
The holiday season is just around the corner, which means it's also it's the proposal season. While you may already be married, you might know someone that is engaged or about to be and may be thinking about a destination wedding. If you do, we have vast experience with helping brides figure out how to start planning and organizing their destination wedding to tropical destinations.
As a past beach bride in Puerto Vallarta, I have some insight to pass along for those that might be asking if a Destination Wedding is right for them.
Traditions are becoming the “old way” of doing things, and these days people are looking for better and more exciting experiences. The same is true for weddings. You’ve likely heard about underwater weddings, or even ones where people sky dive as they say “I do.” Your story as a couple is a unique one, and you deserve a wedding that is just as unique as you. Let’s explore just a few reasons that destination weddings are better than traditional ones...
They’re exciting - What separates a destination wedding from a traditional wedding is the feeling you extract from it. You will enjoy more quality time with loved ones, instead of just one day that is over 6 hours later when everyone goes their separate ways. Plus, every destination wedding can be very different. It’s a breath of fresh air. You can wed atop a mountain, or underneath the sea. You can carry a bouquet made of seashells, or forego one altogether. The possibilities are endless when you don’t have to conform to traditional expectations.
They’re more intimate - Don't expect a wedding crasher at a destination wedding, let alone your Uncle Joe that you can’t even stand seeing at Thanksgiving. You get to be selective with the group that will be there on your day. In fact, you can choose to avoid everyone altogether and make it a completely private event with just you and your spouse to be.
They’re budget-friendly - I mentioned this in a previous newsletter, but it bears repeating. Destination Weddings are typically much less expensive than traditional ones. Because you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a hall, a reception location and all the usual wedding vendors, allowing you to save a lot of dough. Plus, since it will be a significantly smaller group, so you won’t have to fork out as much for the reception dinner either!
They’re convenient - When choosing a resort destination wedding, they usually come complete with a wedding coordinator taking care of the organization. Plus, Destinations HD can help you with many of the details of coordinating the travel plans for your guests, including all requests, allergies, travel questions, transfers, payments, etc... so all you have to do is communicate your dream wedding vision and show up to get hitched. The best part? You can honeymoon in the same spot you get married in. All the traveling is already over, so once you complete the ceremony you can slip 100% into vacation mode (maybe change hotels to an adults-only or more luxury resort for an intimate honeymoon experience). No hassles, and you’re in paradise... Sounds like a win-win to me!
Want to learn more about planning the destination wedding of your dreams? We specialize in beach weddings internationally and would be honored to help you plan your special day. Call Destinations HD today to find out more: (913) 244-9195
I am heading to Nevis in a few days (a very small Caribbean Island just off St. Kitts). Nevis is known as one of the most unspoiled and relaxing islands. The vivid green landscape, blue skies, clean air, and long empty beaches - creates an island life that makes you stop and appreciate all the natural beauty around and within you. Nevis has also been said to be one of the most romantic islands - which leads me to my topic this week regarding LOVE...
Also, don't miss my photos of my upcoming experiences in Nevis... Follow me on Instagram or Facebook to admire the beauty of Nevis!
Regardless of how long you’ve been married, a vow renewal ceremony is a fantastic way to reaffirm your love and commitment with your significant other. The sad reality is we live in a day and age where divorce is as common as catching a cold and easier to do than fighting a parking ticket. This is all the more reason to show the love of your life that the love is still there and help keep those embers of romance burning bright for many more years to come! If you are considering a vow renewal, here are a few things to keep in mind:
When Should you do a Vow Renewal?
There is no universally accepted time for a vow renewal: it can happen just a year after your original nuptials, decades after or any time you choose really. It is all dictated by the couple. However, many people around the world prefer to have their vow renewals coincide with milestone years in the marriage; for example, to celebrate 10, 15, 25, or even 50 years of marriage. The vow renewals can also be planned to coincide with an important birthday. There is no wrong time as there is no wrong reason to do it. In fact, some people plan their vow renewals after they’ve had children and want to reaffirm their commitment in front of their children.
How Should you do a Vow Renewal?
Deciding on who to invite - the vow renewal ceremony can be as intimate or as big as you want. You may opt to invite only immediate family and friends, or you can open up the event to a large group of people for a mega-celebration. Whichever way you prefer it, intimate or a huge party, send out invitation cards in advance and begin planning your big day of saying “I do, still”. (invitations should be send 9-12 months prior if planning a destination vow-renewal OR about 4-6 weeks prior if hosting the event locally).
Make New Memories - While it is alright to incorporate some or all of the elements from the original nuptials, for example, reciting the same vows and wearing a wedding gown, you can also seize the opportunity to make new memories with your spouse by, for example, opt for different kinds of flowers. It is all up to you.
Hire a Photographer - Don’t leave the photos of the day to friends and family. Let them be there to celebrate with you, not work the event. You will also want a professional for the best possible memories - they have the eye and attention for details which you can cherish and show off for years to come.
Find the perfect destination - Like the rules of when to do it, there are no rules as to where to re-tie the knot. Why not opt for a sexy destination you have always wanted to visit? Think Venice, Caribbean, even Tahiti! An all-inclusive resort is a great option, especially for larger groups - everyone pays before they go and then they can just enjoy themselves on the trip. As an added bonus, having the ceremony at an exotic destination could make for a fabulous second honeymoon spot. Then again, if you would prefer to stay home for the ceremony you can always have the second honeymoon after the fact ;) Remember, the rules are up to you and your spouse!
How much you’ll spend on the big event will depend on a variety of factors including your number of guests, where you hold it, where you escape to afterward, etc… But, looking into the eyes of your spouse to declare your endless love? Priceless!
If you plan to travel for the event and would like help planning all the travel accommodations that will come with it, we would be honored if you would choose Destinations HD. Gives us a call at (913) 244-9195 today to discuss!
You may already be married, but this also applies to vow renewals if you are looking to celebrate a milestone. Also, the proposal season is quickly approaching, so if you hear anyone getting engaged, please pass this along, as they may be interested in having a destination wedding. Referrals are our best compliment!
There are a number of ways to go about getting married, many of them can be quite stressful and severely damage the pocket book. When you consider the number of decisions you have to make, from the size of the wedding to the budget, the venue, linens, flowers, and even the photographer, it’s easy to see why some people would rather check out of the whole process and simplify their wedding by holding it at an All-Inclusive Resort.
With destination weddings becoming more and more popular with every passing day, All-Inclusive Resorts have adapted to meet the demands of couples flooding some of the world’s most popular destinations to get married.
Why Get Married at an All-Inclusive Resort?
More than merely adding convenience to the equation, there are a number of factors that make All-Inclusive Resorts the perfect choice for a destination wedding. Some of the benefits you can expect to enjoy if you choose to hold your wedding at one of these resorts include the following:
If you know someone that has popped the question, it's hard to deny that a destination wedding at an all-inclusive resort may be the best option for the big day. Not only will you save money and have all the planning handled, you have dozens of destinations to choose from to meet your unique needs.
We would be honored to help you create your dream destination wedding. If you have questions, feel free to call us at (913) 244-9195! Experiences Await...