05/03/2012 02:14 pm ET Updated Jun 26, 2012

Destination Weddings: How Do I Plan A Destination Wedding?

Destination weddings are increasingly in demand for brides and grooms. I keep hearing "we want to remove ourselves from the modern frenzy and slip into the mindset of a calm, loving weekend," so destination weddings, whether in Colorado or Brazil, can be the perfect choice.

So many of my future brides and grooms want to celebrate their wedding day at a location they feel a personal connection to. Their main reason is that the guest lists are controlled and the wedding becomes a weekend of amazing celebrations shared with those dear to their hearts.

Create a Home Base

If your fiancé's family is from New York and yours is from California, one side is going to have to travel, right? Wrong! Why not meet in the middle at a beautiful ranch in Idaho, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee or somewhere totally different like Paris or a private island on the Amalfi Coast? Your options are endless, and choosing a destination wedding adds depth and closeness to the romance and a relaxed, carefree feeling for everyone.

Your guests all have one thing in common: "The Wedding"

A couple I planned a wedding for in an exclusive resort in Cabo San Lucas were from Canada and the USA. They had planned a bridal Olympics with Canada vs. USA. They played all kinds of games from tug-of-war to dodge ball against each other. It was fabulous, and the laughter warmed everyone's hearts and put them at ease. For the rest of the time, the guests felt that they had known each other forever.


After the wedding you don't have to worry about traveling, you can simply send your guests off and relax, as you are already on your honeymoon. No additional packing, no passport worries, you are already there! Once your guests leave, you can spend time together -- just the two of you.

Exclusive and intimate

A destination wedding is much more intimate than a large, grand wedding, and intimacy is the key reason destinations are so popular, whether you have a guest list of 10 or 100. You can spend more time with each guest and your families can get to know each other better. You are celebrating such an important day with your nearest and dearest and it is a chance for you to focus on your wedding and nothing else.

Your Guests Will Love It

A destination wedding is not only a special time for you and your fiancé, but also for your guests. They get to relax and take in the beautiful scenery while celebrating your love. Since destination weddings generally have a lot of events leading up to the wedding, a lot of fun memories can be made with your guests each and every day.

Location Location Location!

The location of your destination wedding is a place that will forever be near and dear to your heart, so make sure you pick a place that you love. Do your research and check the weather of where you are going so that you pick the best time of year for your big day. Bali is an amazing locale that lots of couples are choosing for their weddings right now, but the rainy season in December and January can put a real damper on your gorgeous ceremony, so make sure to check it out first.

Another factor to consider when choosing your location is budget, the big B-word: BORING! However, it always depends on how far you want to take it, price as well as distance. The Maldives are extraordinary and so is Kenya, but think realistic. The Caribbean may be a better fit for you and your guests, and just as wonderful. Hawaii, Bermuda and the Bahamas are all gorgeous locations.

Experience the Glamour

Being in an exotic location means gorgeous flowers, succulents and trees. Hawaiian flora, banana blossoms and avocado trees really make you feel like you are far, far away. Volcanoes in Brazil, ocean breezes in Tahiti, the picturesque, rolling hills of Scotland, majestic waterfalls in New Zealand and the romantic countryside of Italy are all options for your "décor."

Let Your Creativity Shine

A beach wedding is a modern and refreshing change from the "cookie cutter" traditional wedding that everyone is having. It allows your creativity and personality to shine through and your guests to feel your love in an all-new location. Most couples choose a place that really represents them and all of the guests can see this. You can incorporate your save-the-dates, invitations, wedding programs and favors to reflect the location and you as a couple.

Continue the Party at Home

A destination wedding allows you to have a chance to also do another wedding or celebration back at home for guests who couldn't make it. Although they are so excited for their destination wedding, many brides actually miss planning their wedding. Hosting another small affair at home gives them a chance to continue in the wedding fun. It also gives the couple the best of both worlds, a dream wedding at an amazing destination and a chance to celebrate with those who couldn't make it.