Destination Weddings

On Idyllic Islands:

It’s All In The Planning

(BNN) Whether it’s a gentle tropical breeze and the swaying of palm trees that provide the allure or just jetting away to somewhere exotic, destination weddings have become the marriage celebration of choice for many couples. Today, almost two in 10 weddings are destination events—with Caribbean islands leading the list.

And it’s no surprise why. Tropical destinations have increasingly attracted celebrity couples—golf icon Tiger Woods and his bride Elin Nordegren and Hollywood’s Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have made Caribbean islands their wedding destinations. But island nuptials are no longer just the domain of the rich and famous.

In fact, thanks to package deals and seasoned wedding planners, destination weddings are not only becoming more attainable for many, they’re easier than ever to achieve.

To ensure a perfect outcome with the desired personal touch, it is important to find an experienced wedding guru who can, with an excellent support staff, watch every detail and relieve the pressure, so that the bride and groom can totally enjoy their dream wedding ceremony.

Beverly King, of Jolly Beach Resort on the Caribbean island of Antigua (An-TEE-ga), has been planning island weddings for almost 20 years. She offers these suggestions: “Do your homework; it’s important to remember that marriage requirements vary among destinations. And if you have your heart set on a particular date, make arrangements well in advance if possible, as certain times of the year tend to book quickly. For instance, we find that the peak months for weddings are February, April, May, June, and November.”

“Couples who decide on a destination wedding might also want to break free from traditional wedding attire,” adds King. “I tell my brides and grooms to consider the climate and look for pieces that not only look great but travel well, like a cocktail dress in a light fabric and color. And while an island breeze helps set the tropical mood, it makes a veil difficult to control. As an alternative, I suggest wearing a small tiara or using fresh flowers as accents. Grooms should also dress with comfort in mind, say a light linen suit, or dress pants paired with a shirt and vest or a classic guayabera for a true island feel.”

Brides and grooms desiring a sun-kissed destination wedding shouldn’t have trouble finding a wedding package to fit any budget. For instance, Jolly Beach Resort’s Dream Wedding Package (www.jollybeachresort.com) offers amenities and choices ranging from cake and champagne to photos and bouquets, to fulfilling the legal requirements. Moreover, engaged couples can choose to have their ceremony at any location on the 40-acre property; which includes two wedding gazebos—one located on the resort’s dazzling half-mile-long beach.

With the aid of an experienced wedding planning team, an altar-bound couple can rest assured that their wedding day will be hassle-free. Ms. King, for example, not only handles the details of the wedding ceremony and reception, but she even personally schedules the appointment to apply for the marriage license and she, or a member of her team, escorts the couple to ensure that everything goes smoothly. “There is no residency requirement to be married in Antigua, but we need couples to be here one working day prior to the ceremony to process the necessary documents.”

With all of the preparations completed and the license obtained, couples can simply relax and be absolutely certain that they have chosen a stunning backdrop for their celebration, guaranteeing a wedding album full of joyous memories.

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