Your Wedding In The Caribbean – Do:
Hire A Wedding Planner
This isn’t a shameless plug! The simple truth is that we’ve seen couples go it alone on planning a wedding in the Caribbean, and we honestly don’t believe that it’s worth it. Planning your own wedding may cost less than using a wedding planner, if you’re measuring the cost purely in terms of dollars and cents, and for a ceremony in your local church it makes perfect sense. But the time, effort and energy that has to be spent organizing a wedding in another country soon adds up and can really detract from the overall experience.
Last minute travel for a wedding in the Caribbean can be expensive, so for the best chance of securing great deals on St Lucia flights, try to book as early as possible. Each couple’s circumstances are different, but we recommend selecting your wedding date at least a year in advance. This is equally important for your guests, as not only will they need to book flights, but they will also need to negotiate time off work.
If you’ve read through some of our Testimonials you’ll know that prompt communication is something that we take very seriously. It’s a two-way street, however, and not all of our clients are as responsive as we would like! When planning a destination wedding in the Caribbean, you’ll need to keep on top of communication, not only with us, but also with your guests. This is especially important where travel plans are concerned. Synchronising travel and accommodation can play a key role in keeping costs down. Putting together a wedding website is a great way of communicating important information to a large group of people without the need for dozens of emails back and forth.
Of course, this also applies to those who are not traveling with you. Not everybody will be able to join you for your wedding in the Caribbean, but with adequate communication those unfortunate enough to be left behind can still be involved. We’ve seen loved ones send notes to be opened and read aloud at the ceremony, and one bride’s mother sent a vial of her favorite perfume so that her daughter would remember her on the day!
Agree On A Budget
It goes without saying – the cost of a wedding in the Caribbean is not going to be pocket change. However, it doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Flights and accommodation make up the lion’s share of many destination weddings, but can be managed with sufficient planning (see #2 above). Similarly we can help control other costs through our considerable local experience. The most important thing is to establish a budget early on in the planning stage, to avoid costs spiraling out of control. We can help you put together a realistic budget and, more importantly, make sure you stick to it!
Plan Some Downtime
We always recommend planning a wedding in the Caribbean at least three days after arrival. This gives you the time to catch up on rest, especially if you’re flying in from Europe, settle into your accommodation, and also to visit your wedding venue (see below). We typically meet with clients on the first morning after arrival to go over plans, review the weather forecast and address any last minute changes.
After the big day, take some time out to celebrate by exploring the island. Regardless of age or fitness level, there is no shortage of St Lucia activities to enjoy. Guests typically plan a few activities for the group to take advantage of, but remember to leave some empty time so that individual guests can relax as they see fit. We can make suggestions, or take care of any reservations that you need.
Visit Your Venue
If your budget allows it, we definitely recommend taking a trip ahead of your wedding. This allows you to see firsthand the venue you have chosen for your wedding in the Caribbean, and also gives you the opportunity to meet your wedding planner and other parties, such as the wedding officer, photographer and DJ.
Your Wedding In The Caribbean – Don’t:
We know, it’s easier said than done, but we’ve been doing this for a long time, and your wedding in the Caribbean is in safe hands with Awesome Caribbean Weddings! We recommend taking the time to browse our Featured Weddings and Testimonials to get a sense of how we work and what sort of experiences we have delivered for past guests. Every wedding is different, but all Awesome weddings feature a number of constants: calmness, confidence and communication. In the years that we’ve been planning weddings in St Lucia we’ve seen it all, and we’ve been able to overcome any challenge that has come our way.
Forget The Kids
According to a recent Special Events magazine article, up to 92% of destination weddings involve children in attendance, up from 88% a year earlier. When planning your wedding in the Caribbean it’s worth remembering that several St Lucia accommodation options, such as Sandals, Rendezvous and Calabash Cove, are adults-only, so if children are part of your group let us know early on so that we can help you choose appropriate accommodation and venues.
Play The Numbers Game
One thing we’ve seen time and time again, is couples setting a budget, and then inviting twice as many people, assuming that only half will show up. This may be true of local weddings, where advance planning on the part of guests is less important, but typically we always advise our guests to assume that if you invite somebody to a wedding in the Caribbean, they WILL come!
Bankrupt Your Guests
Whilst it’s lovely to have everyone staying in the same resort, especially if the ceremony is taking place on property, keep in mind that not everyone has the same budget. We strongly recommend offering guests a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. St Lucia is a relatively small island, and many resorts are located within the Rodney Bay area, so your guests needn’t be far away. We can help you organise tours, welcome parties, and farewell events that bring people together so that you still get to see everyone throughout the trip, and not only on the wedding day.
Leave Everything To The Last Minute
Organising a wedding in the Caribbean is a lot different to putting together a local wedding, and advance planning is especially important. For example, the size of the island means that the availability of marriage officers, DJs and photographers is more limited than in larger destinations. Planning ahead ensures that you secure the best available options, and that you have more time to relax with your guests once you arrive on island. You can rest assured that your wedding planner will work closely with you from day one, to guide you as to what needs doing when.
Be Tied To Fashion & Trends
It’s important to keep in mind that your wedding in the Caribbean may not encompass everything that you dream of, and that certain trade-offs may be required. For example, if you’re set on a destination beach wedding, a flowing Vera Wang dress and Jimmy Choo stilettos just aren’t going to work. Your dress needs to be appropriate for the climate, for the venue that you’ve selected, and for taking on an international flight! Forget about what’s on trend back home, and think about the big day. For inspiration, check out the photo galleries for your wedding venue, to see what other brides selected for their wedding.
Of course, these are just some of the more common lessons that we’ve learned over the years of planning weddings in the Caribbean, and every wedding is different. During our initial email and phone conversations these are some of the key topics that we’ll discuss, to help make your Awesome Caribbean Wedding a reality. Contact us today for a no-obligation discussion on what’s right for you, and how we can help.