Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Wedding Tips - Six Tips for a Heavenly Honeymoon!

Today's tips come from Brides a la mode member, Brooklyn Fell of All About Honeymoons & Destination Weddings:

{Zoetry al Paraiso Resort & Spa~ 5-star adult-only resort in Riviera Maya and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. VERY nice! These are some of the beach bed palapas on their private beach. All rooms are decorated completely different from the owner's travels all over the world...also draws many celebrities to these properties. Very intimate and secluded, amazing food and wine cellar. Very upscale. }

1.   Plan early and plan ahead for your honeymoon!
One of the worst pieces of advice I read in modern bridal magazines is the proposed time-line for planning your honeymoon...most say to begin planning your trip of a lifetime 4-6 months out from your wedding date. WRONG!!!
Think about it. If you need to plan your wedding day and all the details involved at least a year or more out (which is just one day and a few hours of your life!), then why in the world would you not begin planning your honeymoon and all the details involved with travel...which averages 6 nights and 7 days!?!? It makes no logical sense. By the time you start thinking about your honeymoon, your budget has been eaten up by deposits to wedding vendors, and you don't have much left over.
My advice is to begin planning your honeymoon one year in advance, 9 months in advance at the latest. Flights are released approximately 11 months prior to a departure date, and waiting until the last minute does not gaurantee a good deal, but rather the bottom-of-the-barrel flight times, basically, what is left over from all the other travelers who beat you to the punch.

Resorts, coveted room categories, and excursions also sell do not delay!
Your honeymoon is the first adventure you will embark on together as husband and wife, and making it everything you've always dreamed of is possible with ample planning time.

{One of the lovely garden gazebo's at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios Resort in Jamaica. Soooo pretty! Huge property, adult-only. Sandals is a great value!}

2) Make sure you set aside enough money out of your wedding budget for a spectacular honeymoon!
Travel is not cheap. The misleading advertisements you see on tv and the internet are not what the bottom line is. A good, realistic budget for an entire week in the Caribbean or Mexico (the two biggest hot-spots for honeymooners), at a quality all-inclusive resort, round-trip flights from the Midwest, a good room category, 1-2 excursions to fully experience the destination, taxes, gratuities, transfers, and trip insurance will cost you approximately $3,000-4,000. Depending on what matters most to you, this price will fluctuate. Set this money aside and promise yourselves you will not spend it on anything except your honeymoon! Your wedding day will fly by, filled with wonderful memories for sure, but your honeymoon will last for days and days...and the memories you make on your trip of a lifetime will be exceptional and worth every penny you invested. No one ever regrets spending a couple hundred dollars more to receive something of real value...but they do regret not spending it if their trip was below par in expectation!

{One of the wedding gazebos offered at the El Dorado Royale Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Just a gorgeous, romantic, breathtaking location! Adult-only property that we send couple to all the time....amazing place. Love it. Top notch.}

3) Get your!
You can get a passport photo taken at any CVS Pharmacy for less than $10. Then grab your fiance's hand, your photos, and your birth certificates and journey into the downtown post office together, where you'll find a passport office. You'll also need your social security number. Applications for passports cost approximately $100 each, and are valid for 10 years. Make sure, brides-to-be, that you apply for your passport in your maiden name. This name must match exactly what is on your valid driver's license, and since you most likely will be whisked away to a tropical paradise right after becoming a brand new "Mrs.", you won't have time to change your name and all your travel bookings will be in your maiden name. Passport, booking names, and all spellings must match exactly...or you aren't going anywhere! Do not delay in applying as passports take a few weeks up to a few months to process, depending on the season.

{This is the Garden Wedding Gazebo, at night, set up for a real wedding we witnessed in December at the Melia Caribe Tropical Resort & Spa in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Had a couple elope in this very gazebo this January. Just gorgeous!}

 4) Go somewhere neither of you have ever been before!
Nowadays, many couples live together and also have taken vacations together. There are many times when clients tell us, "We want to go here because we've been there and had so much fun and just loved it!" That's wonderful, and we are so happy that you found a fantastic destination together...but this is your honeymoon, not an annual vacation. It's completely different. Let us recommend some amazing destinations you've never been to and open your minds to experiencing somewhere new. The memories you will create together in a new locale on this trip of a lifetime will never compare to anywhere you've ever been together before. The feeling of a honeymoon is entirely different than any other's all about the two of you, beginning your lives together, romance, adventure, being alone, exploring a new destination and culture, and just letting it soak in that you are now your own family unit...a brand new husband and wife team!

5) Consider the All-Inclusive Resort experience, especially Adult-Only!

If you've never been to a quality, high-end, adult-only all-inclusive resort in an exotic international destination....your honeymoon is the perfect trip to do this. You will be blown away by the choices we give you, and your options are endless. There is nothing quite like being pampered and waited on by your private Butler or Concierge, eating as much you want anytime you want at your choice of several restaurants, drinking to your hearts content at the swim-up bar, enjoying daily and nightly entertainment, having many water-sport activities to choose from and more....and all the while your wallet was locked up in your suite safe! There are many benefits from not having to deal with any families, crying babies, screaming toddlers, and teenagers requesting blaring hip-hop music at the pool all day as well. At an adult-only property, it's all about romance, intimacy, and quality service with staff members who understand that you are there to escape the reality of everyday life.

{Stunning, lovely wedding gazebo at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Once you step inside the gazebo, you are overlooking a cliff and nothing but's really awesome. I have a large destination wedding group getting married in this very gazebo this December! So pretty and romantic.}

6) If planning a wedding in your hometown is stressing you out....ELOPE!
About half of our clients come to us, stressed out to the max once they realize what wedding planning is all about. So many brides have broken down and cried with us as they tell us their horror stories and how they just wish they could have "scrapped the entire thing, gotten away and done something else!"


It seems that our society today puts so much emphasis on planning the wedding day, that we have lost our way in remembering what the heck the day is all about in the end.

It's about YOU and YOUR MAN, period.

It's about the amazing moment when you say your vows and commit to loving, cherishing, and taking care of each other for the rest of your lives. It's about all the years that follow where you learn how to fight, resolves your issues, start a family, and grow together, while continuing to love and cherish each other for better or for worse.

Unfortunately, it seems that too many details tend to get in the way of this simple fact, and the "wedding day" starts to become about impressing and pleasing everyone else but you!

This amazing commitment is just as legal, and perhaps even more meaningful when the bride and groom get back to basics, scrap their plans to please everyone else, and book a wedding far far away! Eloping is by far the most romantic and wonderful thing you could ever do, and you can still invite family and friends so as not to offend anyone. However, the feeling of a destination wedding is far less about "the wedding day details", and way more about "love and loved ones".

Every single wedding we've helped plan has been incredibly special, filled with love and de-stressed brides. I've yet to meet a mother or father of the betrothed couple who didn't approve once the idea was laid out on the table. In fact, quite the opposite occurred. Every single parent was overjoyed and very supportive (much to the relief of the bride and groom). Making this announcement to your parents is the first step to de-stressing! Don't be afraid to do'll never regret it.

And, it always helps when they understand it will cost them thousands less to host a destination wedding! ;-)
We are All About Honeymoons &  Destination Weddings, a full service travel agency located in South Bend, Indiana. We specialize in creating the ultimate luxury travel package for you, and go to great lengths to make sure every last detail is taken care of for you! We do not charge service fees, and will be there for you from the beginning planning stages to when you return home from your honeymoon or wedding. We will help you with any guests you may wish to invite for your destination wedding, and will set you up with your on-site wedding coordinator. We are here if anything goes wrong on your trip and will do whatever we can to make it right.

We are the only experts in romance based travel you will ever need to call!

...may the honeymoon never end!

Brooklyn Fell

President & Romance Travel Planner
All About Honeymoons & Destination Weddings ~ South Bend, IN

1 comment:

  1. Truly amazing wedding tips and hope these tips will help me to arrange my cousin’s wedding perfectly. It’s scheduled next month and have already booked one of exemplary Chicago wedding venues. Hope to have a pleasant and smooth wedding.