Everybody says destination weddings are stress-free. They say you can "set it and forget it," just like roasting a chicken. Today, many resorts offer wedding planning services to help coordinate the wedding ceremony and reception. Some famous wedding planners, like Colin Cowie, offer several locations with extensive wedding planning services. Many major all-inclusive Caribbean resorts like Sandals, Beaches and The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida have excellent wedding planning services. But there is more than meets the eye with a destination wedding, from family dynamics to traveling during stormy weather.
• Summer thunderstorms, hurricanes, winter blizzards and the recent polar vortex can wreak havoc on air travel across the country. With a destination wedding, you have to count on lady luck to make sure everyone arrives on time.
• You may not be able to anticipate nearby events that will affect your wedding. A wedding couple we know chose to hold a destination wedding on the shores of Lake Michigan, only to find out right before the wedding that a rock concert was taking place nearby on their wedding night and all hotel rooms had been booked months in advance.
• Destination wedding celebrations often last much longer than traditional weddings, often on for two or three days. The wedding couple and their parents can expect to be "on-call" for several days entertaining guests or dealing with last-minute details or interpersonal conflicts.
• Bridal attendants are starting to balk at the high cost of travel and hotel rooms for the wedding, as well as for their wedding outfits. If at all possible, wedding couples need to make sure well in advance that everyone is comfortable with the costs before committing to be in the bridal party.
• Not all resorts have complete destination wedding packages. Brides and their families may have to make their own arrangements for music, flowers, the wedding cake, hairdresser, photographer and officiant.
• Don't assume as the bride that everyone will be able to travel long distances to attend your destination wedding. Although Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean are all very popular destination wedding locations, they can be difficult to reach, especially if your guests are located thousands of miles away without direct airline flights.
• As much as you may want your closest friends and family members to attend your destination wedding, not everyone may be able to get time off from work or pull their kids out of school to be at your wedding. You may be asking your closest friends and family members to take their valuable vacation time and spend it on your wedding. Do you really want to do this?