Destination Weddings Tips

When it comes to Destination Weddings, we've been there, done that, now serving 211 tips in 18 categories ranging from Adventure Weddings to Popular Wedding Destinations.

What are my options for destination wedding cameras?

Destination Wedding Cameras

Giving your guests disposable cameras for them to take pictures of your wedding ceremony and reception is a great way to get a variety of candid photos of the well as get your guests involved in the festivities. Some wedding couples give a camera to each guest when they arrive; others leave a camera on every table at the reception.

There are a variety of designs and types of disposable wedding cameras from which to choose. Below are just a few. Expect to pay between $10 and $15 for cameras decorated to match your wedding theme. Most companies have a minimum number of cameras you must order for the cameras to be customized. Exposures vary from 10 to 27.

1. Island Wedding-Themed Cameras. These cameras are encased in a festive tropical-themed paper sleeve.

2. Wedding-Themed Cameras. Cameras decorated with a silver or white heart design, bells, and other wedding motifs.

3. Personalized Cameras. These have a wedding-themed design with the names of the bride and groom on the paper sleeve.

Many destination wedding firms, including Destination, offer a full selection of disposable cameras and other wedding favors. Many companies will ship these items ahead to your destination.

What can I get my groomsmen for my destination wedding?

Groomsmen Gifts for a Destination Wedding

Your best man and groomsmen took time off work and spent their hard-earned dollars to be a part of your destination wedding. You'll want to give them a gift or token of your appreciation at their effort. But what to get them? Girls are easy to buy for--a little makeup, a spa treatment, a picture frame and you're all set. But guys? What do you buy for them?

To reward your groomsmen, consider an activity rather than a present. If you're getting married in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, or St. Thomas, consider creating a "guys only" golf outing at a scenic, championship course. In other destinations, consider a wind-surfing or para-sailing adventure. And, don't discount the spa so quickly. Who doesn't love a massage by the beach?

If you prefer a physical gift, consider a bottle of Caribbean rum or Mexican tequila or Kahlua. Leather goods are popular (and affordable) on many Caribbean Islands. Consider a wallet, belt, or organizer.

Keep in mind whatever you give your groomsmen, there are going to have to carry the item back in their luggage. Make sure to keep your gift small, lightweight, and manageable.

What are some ideas for bridesmaid gifts for a destination wedding?

Bridesmaid Gifts for a Destination Wedding

Whether you have one or twenty bridesmaids, it's nice to recognize their participation in your wedding with a small gift. If your wedding takes place on an island or other tropical destination, it's nice to reflect that in your bridesmaid gifts, so that your friends will have something to remember your special day.

Traditional bridesmaid gifts include purses, makeup in a stylish makeup bag, picture frames, jewelry, and shoes. Since you are all staying together at the resort prior to the wedding, it might be fun to treat your wedding party to a "girls-only" spa day or a special luncheon in town.

Dozens of companies specialize in bridesmaid gifts, or you can select items yourself before you depart for your wedding trip. Another idea is to enlist the aid of the resort's boutique or gift shop for some ideas on site-specific bridesmaid gifts.

If you are using the services of a destination wedding specialist, such as those at Destination, ask if they offer a selection of bridesmaid gifts. Many such companies sell gift items.

Why should I worry about table decor for my destination wedding reception?

Table Decor for a Destination Wedding

If you're planning a medium to large-size reception in conjunction with your destination wedding, you'll want to consider how to make your table decor reflect the island and tropical theme. Sure, you can leave it to the resort's catering department to decorate the tables, but where's the fun in that? Just a few items can transform a "ho-hum" table centerpiece into a "wow."

Flowers are essential to any good table decor. Make use of island favorites, such as gardenias, hibiscus, and bougainvillea for your centerpieces. In addition, consider adding a beach-themed candle, a sand and shell candle, or other tropical-themed item.

Many destination wedding companies offer table decor as well as party favors and bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts as part of their services. There are several advantages to working with your destination wedding company. First of all, it's a company you already know and trust and secondly, they can arrange to have your table decorating items shipped directly to the resort or hotel.

Expect to pay between $5 and $20 per item plus shipping. Most companies have a minimum required per order and many offer a discount for ordering larger quantities.

What can I give as destination wedding party favors?

Destination Wedding Party Gifts

Giving your destination wedding guests a little something to take home, with which to remember your nuptials is a nice and thoughtful idea. Remember, in most cases, your guests have taken considerable time and expense to be a part of your big day.

Gift bags are a nice way to reward your guests. You don't have to be Eva Longoria and Tony Parker or Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. Even a modest gift will be appreciated. Try to match your party gifts to your destination. For instance, if you are getting married on the beach beneath the palm trees, consider giving your guests candy contained in a paper palm tree. Or, give them a picture frame with a beach or shell motif. Other choices include seed packets in the shape of a heart or shell with a note inside that says "Love grows where this seed is planted."

Small gifts are preferable to large ones, unless you have a contract with the local UPS outlet. Your guests will have to carry your gift in their luggage. Make sure your gift items are manageable, light-weight, and things that won't upset the folks at US customs.

What are some ideas for wedding party favors?

Ideas for Wedding Party Favors

From the traditional to the fanciful, here are some ideas for destination wedding party favors:

  • Disposable cameras and destination-themed picture frames. Let your wedding party help document your special day, and then make sure they get a picture (perhaps including them) as a keepsake.
  • Shared activities. Give your wedding party a day or evening to remember. Plan a spa day for your bridesmaids, a day of snorkeling or para-sailing for the party, or a special dinner for the wedding party at one of your destination's finest restaurants.
  • Local crafts. Consider giving something that your destination is known for making, whether that's silver from Mexico, coffee from Hawaii or Jamaica, or rum from Puerto Rico or Barbados.
  • Personalized items. With a little advanced planning, you can give something with the date and your names engraved on it as a remembrance of your wedding day.

Helping you to find the perfect wedding favors is just one of the many things with which a good destination wedding specialist, such as those at Destination, can assist you. Working with a destination specialist is, in most cases, free to the wedding couple, and can go a long way to easing the stress of planning a destination wedding.

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Jerry Mayo