Let me begin my check list:
I spent this weekend at a bridal show. I was stunned at how many brides mentioned “destination wedding” as they spoke with me. If VIP does 12 bridal shows a year, I would imagine that maybe 3 or 4 times we hear someone ask us about a destination wedding. But, on Saturday, I must have had 10 brides mention this. I would reach behind me and grab my own photo album from my wedding and pronounce, “I am a destination wedding bride too”. Suddenly, we are like sorority sisters. There is this uncanny bond you share with another destination wedding bride who instantly knows that what was thought to be a simple process, is not as simple as expected. Needless to say, not only did I meet new clients, make new bonds, and share funny anecdotes, I also was reminded of how little information there is out on what you can/can’t bring or should and shouldn’t bring with you. I think for my next blog, I will share some amazing sites to get some really good deals on destination wedding accessories, but for this entry, I am creating a “check list” of sorts.
1 – are you going to do out of town or welcome bags? Many resorts can charge $2-5.00 simply to deliver these bags to your guests, so a good tip is to create a welcome point at the resort for the 1st night all are in attendance. For example, a pool bar, and there you can hand out the bags. This is one way to save money and another way to ensure each room is certain to get a bag. Some good ideas for the bag:
Calendar of events
sunglasses for kids
picture frame (island theme)
2 – Do not ship items down to an island. Not only will you have to pay customs fees, but someone also needs to sign for these packages. Then you risk having your items sit in a closet, or office where anyone can rummage through them.
Suitcases are usually $50 extra to check in on an airplane. Divide the extra suitcases you may fill with items among your family and have them bring them down on the plane. I brought 5 extra bags. OH, and currently, Delta allows 1 free checked bag per ticket on international flights.
3 – list what you can start packing right away and pack items that are not dependent on the amount of guests attending as that number can change even days prior to your departure. For example, legal paperwork needed (pack in carry on), veil, shoes, wedding day jewelry (pack in carry on also). Cake knife, toasting glasses, sand ceremony (any of these items you might consider bringing–pack in checked bag). Sashes for the chairs, favors for the reception, luminaries, battery operated tea lights, fans, programs, freeze dried rose petals, parasols, an album of “must take photos”, table numbers/names and name cards for the seating assignment, ipod loaded with your processional song, recessional song, first dance and must play music–burn this to a CD just in case there is no ipod docking station with speakers and only a boom box. Some neat ideas–dusting brush to keep by the walkway after guests leave the beach to wipe off the sand from their feet, a basket to place shoes in when guests arrive at the beach, a sign pointing to where the reception is, a parasol that says “thank you” on it that you can have a picture with to send to your guests after the wedding, a “do not disturb” sign to hang on door with wedding items on it for your wedding night, and small envelopes with some cash to give to your wedding planner, marriage officiant, photographer and DJ.
After you make the list and start crossing out things, I am sure more things will be added, but you don’t have to wait for the week before the wedding to do this. You can start getting these things ready ahead of time, and then when the wedding coordinator finally contacts you (about 60 days prior), you won’t feel like things have been left to the last minute.