Saturday, August 1, 2009

Destination Weddings

Tom and I traveled to Big Canoe, Georgia for Ethan and Jennifer's wedding this weekend. We had an absolute blast hanging out with friends and getting to be a part of our dear friends BIG day! You may remember Jennifer and her jump roping bridesmaids from an earlier blog.

While traveling to Big Canoe, I started thinking about destination weddings. One reason I like destination weddings is because it shows that the bride has followed my first rule...DON'T BE AFRAID TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!. Eizabeth Ralls, chief editor of Atlantan Brides Magazine, says it best: "work with couples who can look beyond the blind traditions to craft an unforgettable affair."

Destination weddings must be thoughtfully planned out and organized!! Unless you are super planner, Jennifer Pennington McDaniel, you might need the help of Gather to handle the details and feel of the weekend. Below are a few things for you to remember when planning your destination wedding.

Location: If you want a majority of your guests to attend, you need to pick somewhere close by. If your guests are anything like Tom and me, they have not been saving up to fly to an island on the other side of the world. Make it somewhere everyone can get to on Friday afternoon and leave on Sunday.

Theme: Once you have a location, determine a theme for the weekend. Whether it is a color, flower or a feel, you want to carry this theme through the entire weekend! As an event planner/designer, it is my job to help you create this theme and incorporate it throughout the weekend.

Paper Products: Save the dates are a must. Your guests need as much time as possible to coordinate work schedules, babysitters, etc. You will also need a schedule of events so your guests know what is going on throughout the weekend. Leave this in welcome bags (see earlier blog for ideas). Also, make sure your "paper products" go along with the theme of your wedding.

The place cards for a seated dinner...

match the menu (that is hard to see)...

which matches the program.
I love the blue and brown with lower case letters....oh yeah..that is what my invitation was.
(the above photos are from Save The Date Events)

This couple used the letters A&J on everything! They even had fireworks that came out as A&J...not asking you to take the theme this far!! (Style Me Pretty)

**Thought...I feel as though a destination wedding opens the doors to be more creative with your invitation. At least consider something other than the ivory card stock with engraved print...

Transportation/Lodging: Make sure you send out detailed instructions on how to get to the location and what the guests are to do when they arrive. This can be done through an email or a mail out...doesn't really matter how, but your guests will really appreciate it. As for lodging, you need to make arrangements for your guests (not pay for it...just organize it). Talk to the resort and find out what the best options are. My favorite thing about Jennifer's wedding was staying in a cabin with friends Tom and I had not seen in 2 years. We had an absolute blast going over Friday night's late night fun while sipping coffee on the deck Saturday morning.

Activities: It is nice to include a list of things your guests can do on Saturday while you are off getting beautified, but do not fret this. I actually like to leave Saturday open for your guests to relax and enjoy their time with friends. Tom and I spent this weekend with friends we see every weekend, friends we use to see every day and now see way too little and with new friends we just met...LOVE, LAUGHTER AND LIQUOR.....This is what destination wedding are all about!

Happy Planning!

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