Destination Wedding Planning Tips – Part 2

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If you didn’t catch it last week, here’s part 1 of my destination wedding series. If you’re planning or thinking about planning a destination wedding, here are some of the dirty details no one bothers to tell you.

Money Saving Tips

Pay for the bar on consumption

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Bar on consumption means you only get charged for what your guests drink. This one is a bit tricky and you really have to know your crowd to make this money saving tip work.

One thing I didn’t consider is that since people were on vacation, they had been drinking all day so didn’t really hit the bar too hard at the wedding. We purchased top shelf open bar and people barley drank! We could have saved a ton of money by basing the bar on consumption as opposed to having a free for all.

Don’t pay for open bar for people who don’t drink

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About a third of our guests didn’t drink for religious or health reasons so that saved us a ton of money on the bar. We gave wrist bands to those that did drink and purchased a soft drink package for those that didn’t which kept about 1K in our pockets.

Lunch portions instead of dinner portions

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Some hotels will allow you to serve smaller portions of the same entrees or choose from their lunch entrees which are typically cheaper. It never hurts to ask.

General Tips

Hire a full service wedding planner

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Although I hired a wedding planner based in Puerto Rico, I only hired her for the month of and she was on island time. I could barley get her to respond to me so I highly doubt she would have been timely in responding to my guests. If you do hire a planner, make sure he or she is SUPER detail oriented and RESPONSIVE. This will take a huge burden off of you.

John’s cousin (pictured above) is an awesome wedding planner based here in Texas. She helped me with logistics towards the end. She was fabulous!

Don’t plan on relaxing until after the wedding

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Like I said in my video, as the bride you probably won’t get a chance to fully relax until the wedding is over. You’ll be playing hostess – making sure everyone is comfortable and having a good time. Just plan on it. Schedule some spa services, carry around a glass of bubbly everywhere you go and do it with a smile.

Place/escort cards

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If you’re planning a destination wedding, chances are it’s small and you won’t have assigned seating. Something my wedding planner forgot to tell me about is place/escort cards to let the venue know who gets what entrée. Luckily I was organized and had a spreadsheet of everyone’s food choice handy. My wedding planner ended up using the ugly cards she had. Overall, not a huge deal, but I would have known so I could have picked something a bit more stylish.

Pre-wedding gathering

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We had a completely unplanned pre-wedding gathering right before the ceremony. Since our suite was right in front of the ceremony space. Since John and I already saw each other during first look pictures, there was no pressure to keep my dress or his outfit a surprise. We cracked open a few bottles of bubbly, put on some music, and everyone mixed and mingled in our room before the wedding. It was a great time to get some informal pictures and chat with everyone all dressed up before the festivities got underway.

All and all everything was fabulous and the few small things that did go wrong, no one noticed except for me. Happy planning!

Missed the other posts in my destination wedding planning series? Catch up.

Top 3 Destination Wedding Planning Tips – Part 1 

Your Ultimate Destination Wedding Packing Checklist

Honeymoon Packing and Practical Tips

How to Get a Fabulous Wedding Dress on a Budget

Epic Pre-Wedding Bridal Meltdown

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