6 Things to Know About Planning a Destination Wedding
I'm thrilled to have Megan Velez, the Vice President of Product at DestinationWeddings.com. Destination Wedding is the world's leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company, and they are also one of our Red Book Vendor Members. They can help you plan your wedding and ease the stress of long distance chaos.
Megan shares six things to know about when planning an Indian destination wedding.
The destination wedding market is on the rise and receiving a lot of attention worldwide these days. Traditional South Asian weddings may seem like a tough fit due to their size, complexity, cultural and ceremonial requirements - but don’t let nerves overrule your wanderlust! Rest assured that there are solutions available today for many of the most common South Asian destination wedding concerns.
Catering, Catering, Catering
Menu is a top challenge when catering South Asian weddings; oftentimes, upwards of 80% of your guests may be vegetarian. The good news is that some resorts are starting to recognize this roadblock and have invested in the personnel necessary to assist.
When planning, communicate your needs in advance to your on-site caterer. Ask that all dishes be labeled clearly. Resorts in Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico now regularly have outside Indian restaurants cater their events and are popular beach wedding spot.
But what about our older guests?
With weddings being multi-generational celebrations, it causes problems for the welfare of older or disabled guests. Some venues are wheelchair friendly, some not. And some venues maybe wheelchair friendly, but not when it comes to accessing the beach. The latter is especially important if the wedding ceremony is on the beach! With ample notice, you can secure wheelchairs and golf carts for your guests. Our general rule of thumb is to secure these arrangements at least 30 days out from your big day.
Don't forget the young ones
And what about the children? What kind of activities can you arrange to keep kids and adolescents content during your wedding week? Fun group activities and excursions are just one of the unique benefits to destination weddings.
You might set up a volleyball tournament pitting one family against another. Or, arrange for water sports, bocce ball, historical tours, or parasailing to pass the time.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Resorts in popular areas have embraced these affairs and now offer customizable packages for multi-day weddings. Destination weddings are, in fact, perfect for such celebrations as your guests often stay on-site together and have easy access to each event. You may even have the option of giving your traditional ritual a destination twist. Consider a sunset sail in place of a standard welcome party for example. Incorporate local culture as you simultaneously honor your own.
Honor your religion
There are a number of religious requirements specific to culture and couples are relieved to discover that properties are starting to accommodate them. For example, a fire pit is traditional in Hindu ceremonies, and mandaps are frequently included. These can be rented and installed on request. Some rituals require specific spices or leaves. When they can’t be sourced locally, there may be substitutes available and some may be easy to bring with you.
Group Travel: don't make it a headache
Understandably, many couples are hesitant to coordinate group travel for all of their guests to exotic locations. Request access to the rooming list so you can add flight details and let the property know when people will arrive and leave.
Make information regarding airport transfers and local transportation easy for your guests to access, and consider pairing images with your transfer arrangements so guests who aren’t familiar with local language and customs are able to easily identify the staff and vehicles they need.
Also, keep in mind that guests of different ages will prefer different modes of communication. Email will work for younger generations, while phone calls and in-person sessions with older guests could be necessary.
South Asian destination weddings may seem like a headache, but with expert guidance from professional specialists, a little creativity, and a leap of faith, you can enjoy a wonderful wedding away!