So you’ve chatted with your wedding planner and have decided to take the plunge into a destination island wedding. Even though it calls for special consideration, who doesn’t want a decadent, winsome wedding on a beautiful island? Island weddings capture the essence of the location with an added sense of enchantment to leave guests with an extra special experience. To top it off, runaway brides can easily hide for a little personal time in between all of the festivities to connect with the elements and rejuvenate. Making the decision to take this from concept to concrete, however, does require a little extra effort.
Island weddings are rated pay-or-stay (home, that is). Unless you are having a non-traditional wedding, expect to pay for everything pertaining to the wedding. This includes the ceremony, reception and pre and post wedding activities. On some occasions you’ll even cover guest rooms but usually guests take care of their own rooms and flight.
Hire a planner that you trust. They are there to make sure everything goes as planned so you don’t have to. This becomes important when dealing with local limitations on the day of your wedding. Although venues often have personnel who can assist, it’s always best to have someone on your side overseeing the event to ensure your special day goes on without a hitch. They will also greatly assist with logistics such as timelines, vendor load-in and guest activities. Be clear on all vendor contracts and stipulations. Sometimes props, floral elements and even entertainment must be flown in. Brides should read and discuss contracts carefully to avoid any mishaps on the day of the wedding, especially on an island.
Due diligence for island weddings is a must because oversights can alter wedding activities. Though you treasure local vendors, it can be very costly to fly them out. It’s important to prioritize who is available on the island of your dreams. Then you can hire your favorite vendors to consult and work in tandem with the local team.
Consider the possibility of bad weather and plan accordingly. For island weddings, couples should arrive at least two days before the wedding. Guests arrive at least 1 day before, which allows for any last minute changes to be considered and addressed. If you plan to have a rehearsal dinner on the island, it is very important to calculate travel time accordingly.
We’re here, now what? Always have something for your guests to do. Work in tandem with your planner or venue to put together a fun itinerary of activities for guests to take part in. Remember, this is a way to thank them for attending your wedding. After all, they invested in your special day just to be there.
Take a plunge, make a splash, sneak off to steal a little inner peace, but prepare yourself, island weddings can be terribly enchanting.
Marc Wilson is the Guest Lifestyle Editor of World Bride Magazine, a 2013 Big Apple Award nominee and the Founder and Creative Director of Weddings by MWD Lifestyles. Marc’s company, MWD Lifestyles (formerly Marc Wilson Design), is a full scale wedding, event design, production and planning company with destination partnerships and capabilities and has grown to be the name in the decor and events, weddings and destination industry it is today. Marc’s fifteen years within the events industry has resulted in national and international recognition and, to date, MWD Lifestyles has worked with Rolex, Hugo Boss, Martha Stewart Weddings and MGM Metro Goldwyn Mayer. Marc’s work has been published in Grace Ormond Wedding Style, Design Bureau, New York Weddings, Manhattan, Essence, Weddings by Design, The Knot, Brides and Town&Country. FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.