So the question was finally asked, and you’re engaged! Congratulations, now what? Choose the date and attire, determine the guest list, find a venue? What’s most important in planning that perfect wedding? How about defining what you really want to remember about your amazing wedding day? Do you want to remember the stress of planning, what to do if Mother Nature turns on you, or why the band showed up at the wrong location? Or do you want memories of time spent with loved ones, how Uncle John did the worm on the dance floor and the fact that the flower girls all went in different directions? The most important first decision you can make is: What do you want from your special day? Do you want a relaxing day with all of the details professionally managed and time to spend with friends and family? If so, a destination wedding may be the right choice for you.
First decide what you feel defines the two of you. Are you mesmerized by an ocean view? Do you love the feel of your toes in the sand? An oceanfront venue and beach ceremony may be the answer. There are so many advantages to having a destination beach wedding. Couples may initially think that the cost will be too high, but the truth is often the opposite. Consider this: If you have a large family, parents who have many friends and business associates that just must be invited, or so many friends and co-workers that have been waiting for him to pop the question you may need to get away from home just to narrow down those that will accept the invite. Travel restrictions and costs may significantly eliminate many of those acquaintances that you would really love to invite but really aren’t the core invitees. If those that you think won’t attend indeed do, all the better and you know for sure that they truly support and care about your relationship. Those that are unable to attend are simply unable to, and while they still truly support you they have to decline due to personal reasons. Win-win.
Now you have made the decision to have a destination wedding, what next? It’s time to find a venue. If you have a specific date, the day he proposed or a numerical combination she better not forget, that may narrow down your options. If your date is flexible, that’s even better. Quite often brides and grooms need to work around so many specifics. Teachers have school schedules-or the date you pick is the Gamecocks vs. Clemson game and half the wedding party is likely to be in the bar watching TV- so choose carefully. Try to be considerate of what your guests have going on in their lives at that time if you really want to include them on your special day. Your Maid of Honor can’t take off two weeks in a row because she is a bridesmaid the week before in another wedding.
Once the date is at least narrowed down, the venue is most important. Do you want an all-inclusive, no worry venue? Look for an oceanfront resort that has not only accommodations for your guests but also a venue for your reception and/or your rehearsal dinner. You may want to include a breakfast or brunch on check out day so your guests can give their best wishes before departing. Look for a resort that is full service. Your Resort Wedding Specialist can give you guidance about not only the venue but also guest accommodations and whatever else you may need for the duration of your stay.
Beach wedding companies abound. Some are spectacular… some not so much. If you work with a resort the Resort Wedding Specialist will have some insight to local beach wedding providers. Some local providers have relationships with certain resorts and you will be able to contract through the beach wedding providers for the entire event. Other providers will recommend you contact certain resorts for the reception and accommodations in relation to your ceremony location. Keep in mind you will be working with several representatives if you choose this route. Most resorts do offer full service wedding services including ceremony set up however, in some cases; you will need to secure your own vendors. This is a great option for the Bride/Groom who does not want to choose the wedding cake baker, DJ and officiant but don’t want to have to travel back and forth to the destination to firm up details several times.
An important note on the venue/accommodations… visit!!! You will want to do this either before you book or soon after. Don’t wait until the check in date and trust that it is exactly what you envisioned, or rely on pictures you saw on the internet. If you can’t visit ask the Resort Wedding Specialist for current photos. I have taken pictures for clients on my phone of arbors, ceremony chairs, chair sashes, lighting at a certain time of day- so many things-don’t be afraid to ask. If you do put down a deposit before you view make sure you are aware of the refund policy, if any. I have rescued many a bride from event spaces or resorts that have been too small or just not what they envisioned. If you can’t visit then do your research with online reviews. Keep in mind that reviews can be negative. Most resorts accommodations are condos so units are individually owned and not all accommodations are managed by the companies that you will be booking through so reviews can be misleading. Concentrate on the reviews for the events. These reviews should tell you if you will be taken care of properly. Be sure to book all of your accommodations directly through the resort or parent company so you are able to get the best in accommodations, personalized service and all of the full benefits offered.
Resort weddings offer you an all-inclusive, one site event that caters to you and your guests. Often things like centerpieces (who wants to schlep glass containers back and forth from Chicago to Myrtle Beach) chair covers, vendors, ceremony and set up needs can be provided for you. If the memories you want to create are those of friends, family and good times let the professionals handle the details and choose a beach wedding at an oceanfront resort!