Real Couples

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While wedding planning can sometimes feel like a marathon, planning a destination wedding is a whole new endeavor. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone. We sought the perspective of five couples on their destination weddings — what advice they had to share, how a travel advisor was a game-changer and what moments made it all worth it — to help you put your best foot forward with turning your dream-wedding into a dream come true.

 

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Megan & Justin


Married in Punta Cana,
Dominican Republic


36 people in attendance

Q. What was the best part of your wedding?

A. My favorite part of our wedding was after dinner when we got to dance and have fun with all of our guests. My nerves from walking down the aisle faded away, and seeing all of our planning come together while enjoying it with our closest friends and family was the greatest feeling. I also enjoyed the sunset photos my husband and I got to sneak away to take. At the time, I didn't realize how little time we would actually get to spend together on our wedding day, so I am very grateful our photographer suggested these photos.

Q. What was your favorite part of the destination?

A. We loved that whatever mood we were in, there was somewhere at the resort to accommodate us. When we just wanted to chill and have a laid-back day, there was a quiet pool or beach cabana to hang out at. When we wanted to go to dinner with a large group of people, there was the hibachi restaurant that had amazing food. The day after our wedding, when we wanted a quiet morning together, we were able to get breakfast brought to our room and eat on our balcony while listening to the ocean.

Q. How did using a travel advisor make wedding planning better?

A. Wedding planning, in general, can be very stressful as we wanted everything to be perfect for both us and our guests. But then, adding on the additional stress of planning the wedding in a different country during COVID and at a resort we have never visited, really started to add up. Having an expert to answer all our questions and take away some of the worry made us feel more comfortable. Our travel advisor had personally been to the resort and was able to make great suggestions. He also took away the burden of answering all the questions our guests had. We knew he could handle the constant travel changes that COVID threw his way, but never did he let us know of that stress. He was always very positive and made our options clear when changes needed to be made. We never would have gone through having a destination wedding during those crazy times if we didn't have a knowledgeable and experienced travel advisor on our side.

Q. What advice do you have for other couples planning a destination wedding?

A. Do it! Never once have I looked back and regretted deciding to marry my best friend on a gorgeous beach surrounded by our closest family and friends! Yes, it was hard that a few of our family members weren't able to make the trip, but we did have a very casual celebration back home after to celebrate with them too. At first, it felt like we had little control of the vendors and details of the wedding, but our onsite wedding coordinator was so easy to work with and she accommodated all of our ideas. She was able to provide pictures from prior onsite weddings to ensure us exactly the setup we would be getting and how we could customize it to work for us. She also greeted us upon arrival and then took us around the resort to show us exactly where the wedding would be held and how it would all come together.

 


 

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Noelle & Mack


Married in Cap Estate, St. Lucia


130 people in attendance

Q. Why did you and your fiancé choose this location?

A. My husband and I chose this location because, while looking for the perfect destination for our wedding, we came across pictures of the Pitons and quickly fell in love with St. Lucia. Those iconic mountains are even more impressive in real life!

Q. What was the best part of your wedding?

A. My favorite part was walking down the aisle on that beach, my friends and family on both sides smiling big, and my handsome husband-to-be at the end — all with the incredible Caribbean waters as our backdrop. It was absolutely magical.

Q. What was your favorite part of the destination?

A. We did so many things while there to make the event extra special. We took a mud bath at the spa, hiked to the most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen, took a catamaran ride at sunset and just spent countless hours on the beach. Our wedding turned into a true Caribbean vacation.

Q. How did using a travel advisor make wedding planning better?

A. Using a travel advisor allowed us to focus on making our day memorable. She took care of all the travel details, so we could turn all of our attention on the wedding. She took so much stress off our plates, we will always be thankful.

Q. What advice do you have for other couples planning a destination wedding?

A. Just remember that this is YOUR day and should focus first and foremost on what you BOTH want. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to please your parents, aunts, cousins and friends.

 


 

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Chelsie & Adam


Married in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia


33 people in attendance

Q. Why did you and your fiancé choose this location?

A. We wanted an all-inclusive beach wedding in the Caribbean, and we loved the venue options and overall value.

Q. What was the best part of your wedding?

A. The entire week was amazing. Between our beautiful private sunset catamaran rehearsal cruise and our gorgeous beach-side ceremony and reception, it’s hard to choose. The venue was amazing, and the staff were ultimate professionals who made the event go off without a hitch. The food was plentiful and delicious, and the entertainment was perfect. We even had fire dancers!

Q. What was your favorite part of the destination?

A. The staff; we had amazing service, food and entertainment. Everyone was so friendly and respectful the entire time.

Q. How did using a travel advisor make wedding planning better?

A. Our travel advisor made the “destination” portion of a destination much easier on our guests. They helped with the planning from start to finish and offered payment plan options. They also helped immensely with the day of travel, especially during the week COVID hit America. Which is when our wedding was – March of 2020. They helped people adjust their itinerary and get refunds if necessary.

Q. What advice do you have for other couples planning a destination wedding?

A. Go all-inclusive and use a travel advisor. The best part of a destination wedding is enjoying the destination. Use the resources they have to offer to make the trip and event special. We arrived, had a blast, dressed up and then the best part — we’re married! We enjoyed every minute and never once had a stressful moment.

 


 

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Deb & Tom


Married in Lake Como, Italy


32 people in attendance

Q. Why did you and your fiancé choose this location?

A. I had visited this area before and wanted to return for the wedding. Once you’ve been to this magical part of Italy, you want to return time and time again. Nothing compares to it.

Q. What was the best part of your wedding?

A. It’s so hard to pick just one! The Villa Capressi gave us a fairytale wedding – and I loved the harp player for our wedding ceremony. It was like a dream come true.

Q. What was your favorite part of the destination?

A. Lake Como is majestic — all the surrounding mountains, local cities, the food and friendly people are amazing. Most people only visit Rome and Venice when they come to Italy, which is fine, but the lake district up north is my favorite part of the country.

Q. How did using a travel advisor make wedding planning better?

A. She was there every step of the way and couldn’t have done it any better. She took so much pressure off me and my fiancé, that it made it easier to enjoy the adventure.

Q. What advice do you have for other couples planning a destination wedding?

A. Go for it and don’t let anyone dissuade you. It is your wedding, and this memory will never fade. You only get to do it once! 

 


 

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Taite & Kurt


Married in Punta Cana,
Dominican Republic


52 people in attendance


Q. Why did you and your fiancé choose this location?

A. We both come from families that travel a lot and have traveled to Mexico and other islands in Caribbean. In fact, Kurt’s Mom owns a travel agency. We knew we wanted to be married on a really pretty beach with a great resort that was affordable for our guests to attend. We visited Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana one year prior to our wedding and fell in love with it.

Q. What was the best part of your wedding?

A. The first look. It had started to rain, but we found a cool location to have that first look and our photographer captured it perfectly. We were high school friends before we became a couple and then decided to marry amidst the pandemic. It was a magical moment when our dream came to fruition.

Q. What was your favorite part of the destination?

A. Everyone knows the beaches are magnificent in the Dominican Republic. The wide beaches and swaying palm trees just make it look so inviting. We enjoy taking long walks on the beach when we are on vacation. Our guests loved it too, as we suspected they would. The resort arranged for our group to take a snorkeling excursion on a party boat, with drinks and music - that was fab!

Q. How did using a travel advisor make wedding planning better?

A. Using Kurt’s family’s travel agency was a key part of our wedding. His Mom, Denise, and the destination wedding specialist, Heidi, took care of our guests, fielded all of the questions, and took all of the pressure off of us. Working with a destination wedding specialist who is already a pro at working with complex groups gave us the confidence that we could pull this off and offered peace of mind to us and
our guests.

Getting married with the COVID restrictions made it challenging, but we pushed ahead with our plans. Our wedding was scheduled to happen just as new testing rules were put in place. Dreams did an amazing job of getting our return tests scheduled.

At the time, it was a brand-new requirement and we were concerned about someone getting stuck in the Dominican and unable to get back into the U.S. That was nerve-wracking, but we later learned that testing positive at our destination is very low.

Q. What advice do you have for other couples planning a destination wedding?

A. We felt like everything was perfect. A destination wedding for 52 people amid a pandemic was a big feat. The resort arranged a welcome reception on Friday night, which was amazing. We had a casual gathering with drinks, appetizers and music in lieu of a rehearsal dinner to introduce anyone who hadn’t yet met. Bottom line, keep in mind that this entire event is about you and you chose this route for a reason. It’s easy to get caught up in the things that don’t matter in the long run, but stay true to your heart and it will all work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.

 

Ready to get started planning your destination wedding? Connect with one of our travel agents today!

 

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