4 minute read

How to Choose your Dream Wedding Destination Focus on off the beaten paths, new destinations around the world

So you are from one part of the country and Mr./Ms. Wonderful is from another, yet you met and currently reside in a city all your own? With family and friends scattered throughout so many different places, how do you decide on the perfect spot to host your nuptials?

Recently I attended a wedding in a cold, dull city, I had to wear a suit and sit in a church on my day off. To say the least the drinks afterwards were the highlight of the occasion, at least for me. Yet, I had to pay for them and still, I had to buy airplane tickets so essentially, most weddings are “destination weddings” I could not stop thinking about another previous wedding in a warm beautiful beach in a location where we all did activities and tours together and a fun holiday was had for all. To this day we all remain close as families and friends. This is why I support a genuine destination wedding in a welcoming, memorable and unique locale, that is usually all-inclusive.

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According to old tradition, weddings typically are produced and take place in the hometown of the bride. But these days, the rules are constantly changing, and it has become increasingly popular for a couple to pick a destination of their choice. After all, this is about the two of you beginning your life's journey together, and what better way to start than in a place that is of unique interest to you both? A destination wedding is about carving out your own personal experience with your fiancé, and turning this into a launching pad for your marriage--while creating an unforgettable experience to share with all of the people you love the most.

Here are some things to consider when deciding on the perfect spot to celebrate:

1) You're both majorly adventurous and want to create an unforgettable

experience for you and your guests. For the most adventurous duos of all, a wedding is an excuse to go on another amazing thrill-seeking journey with all of their closest family and friends. These types of trips not only develop memories (and photos) that will last a lifetime—think of your group going on a Vespa trek on the Amalfi Coast, surfing in Brasil or Hawaii, exploring ancient sites in Turkey, partying and shopping in London, taking in the treasures of St Petersburg or exploring the exotic sights and cuisines of India. Why not have a traditional Indian wedding in India or Jewish wedding in Poland? Take a group cruise to see many different locations. IWPA planners are in all of these countries and have access to travel rates better than on line for your groups.

2) Who are your guests? What are their ages and interests, is it children, singles, seniors, colleagues...choose locations that can pander to not just interests but needs as well. Decide on locations that have activities, hotels, transportation, airport access, dining choices for all to ensure success. You may think it’s exciting and memorable to tie the knot on a Himalayan mountain but that may be a fail for value and access of your guests. With most destination weddings many of your guests will want to add-on or visit other nearby areas also so be sure the region offers more destination choices.

3) Consider that costs will be almost equal or better. The time and expense to travel to your hometown is often the same or less than to a dream destination especially when working with a planner that has air/hotel contracts and knows the local area. They may also get freebies like free reception or spa and dinners because of their leverage and relationships. Ask your planner for an RFP for the breakdown of a daily rate for you and your guests. Some venues will pay for the wedding couple with at least 20 guests. Also consider an “all-inclusive” option where food, drink, activities, lodging are in one bulk price up-front, no-one has to worry about grabbing the wallet every 2 hours. 4) If not inviting guests, consider the honeymoon in the same location. I had my wedding in Ravello Italy, we then toured Italy and Europe. This cut down on a lot of stress and cost for us and we were able to do the beach with a ski trip while visiting later with friends who live in Paris. We are quite active and we thought this was a much better honeymoon than sitting at a bar in front of a hotel on a tourist beach.

Rob McKee has been in the industry for 25+ years and has planned weddings and conventions from 2 to 100,00+ people. Having owned a destination wedding IATA certified travel agency and working corporate travel management for major Hollywood studios, he is a trusted player in negotiating contracts and maximizing commissions while delivering VIP service to his clients. He is also an accredited university teacher for those subjects. IWPA is delighted to have Mr. McKee as their USA regional president for 5 years now.

Picture on left page Wedding in Ravello - Amalfi Coast www.andreagallucci.com