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Before you start packing your bags for the trip of a lifetime, be sure to read these tips—acquired over two decades of working with brides and grooms—for planning a destination wedding and honeymoon. In celebration of our 20th anniversary, here is our best advice.
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If you’re planning a destination wedding, make sure your VIPs can attend before you post your invites. Once you’ve set a date (preferably at least six months or more in advance to allow guests time to get the best fares), locate hotels that offer group rates.
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A Happy Maui Wedding
“When planning a destination wedding, take into account the time difference and plan to arrive a few days early so that you will feel comfortable with your wedding schedule. For example, New York is six hours ahead of Hawaii so your 6 p.m. evening reception would be starting at midnight New York time.” —A Happy Maui Wedding
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Do Your Homework
Marriage regulations vary from state to state and country to country. Be sure to check the requirements of the location where you are getting married as far in advance as possible.
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Tahiti Tourisme North America
“Your wedding and honeymoon are meant to be filled with romance and fun and too often we see these joyous events become stressful and chaotic. Start planning early to take some of the pressure off and spend a relaxing day before your wedding with an authentic Tahitian couples massage or simply lounging in your overwater bungalow.” —Tahiti Tourisme North America
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Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
You may want to enlist some local professionals to help in the planning. Resorts and hotels often have their own wedding planners or resort managers who will handle many of the details. Or you can hire a wedding consultant based in the area (or one who makes frequent trips there), who can recommend local photographers, florists, and caterers. It’s also helpful to work with a travel agent, who can arrange travel plans and accommodations for you and your guests, as well as provide brochures and other information about your destination.
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The Catered Affair
“The most common mistake is being unrealistic about the impact weather can have on the day of the wedding. As much as you wish, try not to assume it will be nice outside. Always have a solid plan B, which will make everyone happy and well-prepared.” —The Catered Affair
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You don’t need to see every sight in town, buy every (or any) pal and relative a souvenir, or squeeze every last drop of awesomeness out of your honeymoon. After all, this is only the beginning of many amazing adventures together.
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Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings