Destination Wedding Planning

Planning a Bahamas wedding?  Below are tips from Destination Weddings and Honeymoons Magazine to consider:

Think about your priorities.

Is it more important that the destination fits your budget, that it has certain attributes or that it’s easily accessible for you and your guests? “Even if you know you want a beach or a historic inn, you can truly find yourself all over the map,” says Karen Bussen, author of Simple Stunning Weddings. “Once you decide what your priorities are, you’ll be able to narrow it down to a few key options.”

Pelican Bay entrance

Get the scoop on a potential location.

Look on websites like epinions.com and tripadvisor.com for real-people opinions of resorts. Read through the reviews to get an overall impression, and take any raves or pans with a grain of salt.

Keep your guests in mind.
If a friend or family member is flight-phobic, even your wedding may not be incentive enough to get her halfway around the world.

Watch your numbers.
Many sites require you to have a certain number of guests to book the space; if you don’t have enough, you could end up paying for meals or rooms for guests who are no-shows.

Do your research to ensure you get what you want.
A hotel’s claim of “luxury” may not match your idea of the word. Study the details to get a truer sense of what to expect.

Get a guarantee.
If you chose your villa for that mega hot tub or elaborate barbecue grill, get a written guarantee that everything will be in working order when you arrive or you’ll get a significant savings on the rental.

If you can, scout it.
The cost is well worth the peace of mind you’ll feel after meeting with your vendors in person and seeing how the site works.

Factor in all the costs when you’re determining affordability.
In some parts of the world, hotel taxes and resort fees can add 20 percent to the room cost.

Know the marriage rules.
If there are residency requirements or paperwork needs you can’t fulfill, consider having a legal union at home and a nonbinding ceremony at the site.

Remember the currency rates.
As the dollar’s value fluctuates, so does the cost of your wedding.

Find out exactly what’s included in the package price.
Some resorts include just the location fee, and you’ll pay extra for flowers and food; others will include decor and even photography in their price.

Have a plan B.
Ask what options are available if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Your resort may have an indoor location you could use, or they may allow you to postpone things until later in the afternoon or even the following day.

Find out what happens if your guests stay off-site.
Some resorts require a day fee for visiting guests from other hotels.