Trying to decide when and where to have your wedding are two overwhelming decisions to make in what could be the start of a lengthy wedding planning process. And if you’re a couple that hails from two different hometowns – like Caroline (Upper Marlboro, MD) and Gordon (Miami, FL) – that just makes the process even more difficult. Do you have the wedding ceremony in the bride’s hometown, alienating the groom’s family? It’s a decision that’s sure to heighten the bride and groom’s anxiety.
And that’s part of the reason why this young couple decided to work with a travel agent who could advise them and answer their questions about how to plan an unforgettable destination wedding. In this Real Destination Wedding Q&A, Vacation chats with the couple about why they decided to have a destination wedding, and how consulting with a travel agent helped make their wedding an unforgettable experience.
Why did you decide to have a destination wedding versus a local wedding?
We wanted a destination wedding so I [Caroline] didn’t have to wear heals and Gordon didn’t have to wear a tie! Honestly, it just seemed easier. The whole wedding planning process seemed daunting. And after looking at venues in the Washington, DC area, we were even more sure based on price.
Where was your destination wedding?
Montego Bay, Jamaica at the Royalton White Sands
Did you enjoy your stay at the resort? What was your favorite part it? Would you recommend it to other couples?
We loved it! It was close enough to the airport, but not right next to all the other resorts. The wedding staff had it down, and everything went so smoothly. The restaurants were all incredible, especially the authentic Jerk chicken hut on the beach. Everything about it was amazing, we’d recommend it to anyone.
How many people attended your wedding? 85
What time of day did your wedding occur, and at what location?
The wedding ceremony was held in a beach gazebo at 4:30 p.m.
Why did you choose this location for a ceremony?
We wanted to get married on the beach. The other locations were poolside or indoors. We didn’t go all the way to Jamaica for an indoor wedding.
What was the favorite part of your wedding?
The ceremony because my best friend officiated it and we both wrote our own vows, so it was very special.
What was your most memorable moment?
Walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time that day.
Did using a travel agent make your wedding better? If so, how?
Using a travel agent helped a lot as far as narrowing down the options. We knew we wanted to go to the Caribbean, but we had trouble narrowing it down past that. Sue (our travel agent) has a lot of experience planning weddings in the Caribbean and had helpful advice not only about which island would fit our situation well, but also which resorts we should consider.
Would you recommend family and or friends use a travel agent to plan their destination wedding?
Yes, we would highly recommend using a travel agent to plan a destination wedding. We can’t really imagine planning it all without one.
Would you do anything different?
We would have paid for more photos. I didn’t add the extra photo package, and now that our wedding is over, I wish I had.
What advice would you give to other brides?
Come early and stay late. We were at the resort three days before and three days after the wedding. It helped us relax before our guests arrived and gave us plenty of alone time after they left.
Inspired by this article and want to speak with a Vacation travel agent about how you can plan your destination wedding? Let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts connect you with a destination wedding specialist to plan the most unforgettable event of your life.