All About Destination Weddings


As summer peaks its pretty little head out from the sky, people are getting ready for beach time, pool days, barbeques and all around fun in the sun. Summer is also the primary season for destination weddings. After all, with kids out of school and great weather, it makes sense to plan for extended off-site nuptials.



There is a great debate surrounding destination weddings. Some couples opt for them because they’re suitable for small weddings, offer a chance for friends and family to go away together, and can be much less expensive than a traditional wedding. Although there are many advantages to destination weddings, the troubles that come with planning a wedding from an entirely different location shouldn’t be underestimated. To help out those adventurous couples, we’ve put together some things to keep in mind when planning for the big day somewhere far way.



When to Host  As we mentioned, the summer is the most popular time to host a destination wedding− and for good reason. We recommend early summer, preferably prior to mid-July, because temperatures begin to rise to uncomfortable numbers after that point. If you’re aiming for a late July or August wedding, an early evening ceremony followed by a night sky reception will make for a more comfortable atmosphere for your guests. Also, although families are likely to be off in the summer, they’re also likely to want to go on family vacations. So booking your destination wedding early in the summer should guarantee your big day a top spot on their list.



Location, Location, Location When thinking about where to host your destination wedding, you don’t always need to think international. There are great places within the U.S. that can serve as amazing backdrops, as well as vacation destinations, for your wedding. For a tropical feel, think coastal (the Carolinas, Florida, Maine, California) and for a country feel, think outdoorsy (a National Park, a mountain/ski resort, a lake resort).



Entertainment This is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when planning a destination wedding. Typically, a DJ or band is bundled in with the package offered by a destination venue. The problem with that is, a DJ in Maine or the Caribbean may not understand what a tri-state area crowd wants to hear. Not to mention, face-to-face time with your entertainer will be limited prior to the big day. We suggest soliciting a DJ from home. Based on our experience with renting equipment, flights and accommodations, the cost tends to come out cheaper than you would expect. Plus, you get exactly the entertainment you want because you’re able to meet with your DJ to discuss ideas.


Two Stories to Keep in Mind

Kristy L., Salon Bridal Coordinator at Substance Salon & Barberspa in Lyndhurst, N.J., shares her entertainment experience at her destination wedding.

“I got married in November 2010 and I had a destination wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  I had a great time at my wedding and it was beautiful, but there were a few things I might have done differently.  While planning the wedding, I had thought about flying in some vendors, but then the cost concerned me.  The DJ that the hotel provided was ok, but I quickly realized he had little experience. I did not have a chance to meet with him before the wedding. Fortunately, Jorge at LJ Productions gave me a music form to take with me.  It basically laid out the schedule of what songs would be played and when.  Even with list, (which was a life saver), the DJ still wasn’t strong.  I didn’t realize how important the music at a wedding is until I had my own.  The music dictates the flow and the timing of main points in the reception.  The DJ’s lack of experience unfortunately disturbed the flow of the night because he often played the wrong music at the wrong time.  If I could do it all over again, I would have chosen to fly in a DJ from home, and the cost would’ve been well worth it.”

Photo of Kristy and her husband on their big day


Gerry Lopez, Owner and Stylist at Hudson Square Salon in Hoboken, N.J., discusses his entertainment experience at his destination wedding.

“We went to the Riviera Maya in Mexico for our wedding. We researched resorts and quickly realized that the DJs that worked in the area, were used to catering to the normal American wedding. Being that my wife and I are Colombian, we needed a DJ that would not only cater to our Latin sounds, but also cater to our non-Latino friends attending our wedding. Our biggest concern was that the food at our wedding be awesome, and that the music and entertainment would be amazing. We even had some cousins fly in from Columbia who are professional band members. So the music had to be up to par. And my man Jack, founder of LJ Productions, sure did live up to that standard. Thanks to him, we had an amazing party! Even the staff at the Azul Sensatori Resort said they never witnessed a party where everyone danced the whole time. Needless to say, it was well worth it to fly our own DJ down.”

Photo of Gerry and his wife dancing the night away at their reception


Post by Izabella De Souza

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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