When the leaves change color and it starts to get chilly, those of us in the romance travel and wedding planning industry can almost feel the anticipation in the air! Approximately 40% of marriage proposals will happen between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, with the most popular days being Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and Valentine’s Day. December is particularly popular for those “surprise” engagement getaways that we are often asked to help plan during the winter holiday season, when family and friends gather for those special celebrations.
However, unless the couple has a favorite place they both love, choosing a wedding destination and venue can be a daunting task as there is so much to consider! How do you choose a venue if one loves the beach and the other is more of a city person? Same with choosing activities. What about the legalities of the country where you will get married or the vendors you would need? Do you buy your wedding attire where you are getting married, or take it with you? How many guests should you invite, and should you remain in the same area for the honeymoon! So many details to think about and that is what your travel advisor will help you with. Once you have decided on a venue, there are amazing professional planners on site who will give you great advise and support you throughout your event and stay. As far as destinations are concerned, these three popped up most often when I did research in my singles groups and FYI, these destinations are LGBTQ friendly.
Several years ago I catered a wedding at a hotel where the Marriott Beverly Hills is now, and not operated by Marriott at the time. I was not impressed by the dark uninviting interior nor the design. It felt gloomy and I never returned there for another event.
Whenever destination weddings come up in conversations with my wedding clients, the countries that usually pop up first are Paris or Italy which are known as the most romantic places for lovers and are the usual Countries that inspire romantic visions. Lately though, couples have been asking more about off the beaten track destinations which got me doing some research about the latest trends that are NOT France or Italy of course, and Croatia kept popping up as trending. In case you were wondering… The country is situated just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. It’s no wonder that it has the perfect climate for making wine and olive oil! Well there is no better way to get the down low about a country, than from a dynamo travel agent with many years of experience and hails from Croatia!
This week, on Erev Rosh Hashanah I want to write about something a little different but still wedding related. Even though the heading refers to the month of Elul and preparations for Rosh Hashanah, we can apply some of the same principles in our personal lives and especially to our close relationships during these months.
According to the Rabbis, Elul is the time when we attempt to come closer to God and establish that relationship of intimacy in preparation for the Days of Awe that follow in the month of Tishre and they believe that we cannot simply enter that period without preparation and expect the Days of Awe to be meaningful. As we prepare for our wedding we often become so bogged down with all the details that we forget that we cannot or should not enter into a marriage without preparation and expect it to be meaningful. We should not lose sight of the fact that this is not just about the celebration but also about the many years ahead of us.
In the last post I wrote that having a backyard wedding could be one way to save quite a bit of money but received a few comments that the idea of a having a wedding in someone’s backyard didn’t actually conjure up exciting images so I decided to do a blog post showing just how magical a backyard wedding can be.
Now that you and your fiancé have decided on your vision and the most important aspects of the wedding, the next step is the budget. A realistic budget that will allow you to choose most of the must-haves for your special day. In order to do this well you should know approximately what things cost in your area. You don’t want to spend time creating a budget only to discover that flowers cost twice as much as you had hoped to spend, so do the research. When you have info on most of the costs, you can look at the available funds and figure out what kind of wedding you are going to have. If needed and possible, ask your parents if they are willing to help in some way – whether by paying for some aspect of the wedding or just adding funds to the budget. Have a discussion with them and share your wish-list so that they know the scale of the wedding (and also so that they don’t try to pressure you into having the wedding of their dreams!) With open communication, parents can tell you how much they were planning to contribute. If you want their help financially you’ll get much better results when you invite parents to participate and allowing them to state what they’re comfortable with. Show them your priority list and share your excitement about the wedding planning process, rather than just telling them what your dream wedding is going to cost or trying to guilt-trip them into contributing more than they can afford. Never compare what they are contributing to what the in-laws are! If you initially told your parents that you are paying for the wedding yourself but after a period of time expenses have piled up and you now need help, just be direct and ask whether the offer of financial assistance is still on the table. Just FYI – couples typically spend between $20,000 and $33,000 but, it is possible to spend less than $10,000 and still have a fabulous wedding.
Destination weddings are a great way to ensure you have a wedding that is completely you. At a typical wedding, you are often on the run meeting guests and welcoming out of towners but destination weddings are pure vacation time. You arrive a few days early so by the time your wedding day arrives, you’ve had two to three days of fun and site seeing with family and friends. How often do you have the opportunity to spend no-rush quality playtime with dear, far-flung friends? This is it!
Among the most spectacular destinations, the winner is the congenial sun-soaked Morocco; truly the perfect destination. The scent of rose petals is everywhere and there is this constant feeling that you are part of an Arabian Nights story. This ancient, exotic, mysterious and beautiful country is becoming an increasingly popular choice for couples and is also very hospitable. If you follow my Instagram account you have definitely noticed the vibrant colors I post from the rich and ornate colored buildings and interiors of the stunningly beautiful hotels and riads often and aptly called palaces, to the souks where you can get lost in the sights and sounds that is Morocco. The possibilities for the color palette for a wedding here is endless! No matter what your religious observance, there are many local traditions that you can add to your wedding. The pre-wedding parties are legendary and a wonderful way to embrace the culture. There are hammams and henna painting which are part of a bridal experience and the tradition here adds that special touch which will ensure an unforgettable experience.
When you have nothing other than “we want to get married”… which is of course the most important part, it has to feel pretty overwhelming! Just know that the first decisions are the hardest. As you go along everything will start to fall into place and it will get easier. If you decided on a long-ish engagement it will give you time to get everything done without any (or too much) panic. Continue reading “Planning your wedding – the most important decisions.”
So…your partner proposed and you said… YES! and then reality hits you. HELP! Overwhelming details spinning through your mind furiously and you are wondering how you will actually pull this off followed by images of the dream wedding you have imagined maybe since you were a kid. If you and your partner decided on a long engagement you might not be panicking too much or if you are not surprised by the proposal and have secretly been planning under the radar, you have most likely thought about most of the details by now and are ready to jump into action. Continue reading “I said YES!”
Surrounded by the lush mountains of Malibu is the Malibu Canyon Ranch; a stunning estate famous for it’s European castle like tower. With white horses and white oak trees you will never believe that this beautiful gem is only 40 minutes from Beverly Hills and 10 minutes from Paradise Cove Beach.