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Destination Weddings and Family Vacations, Really?Kissimmee Florida Destinaiton Wedding Spot  What do the two have in common?  Well, sometimes they happen at the same time and place with family members planning vacation time to attend or be part of the wedding.
 
Here’s the scoop. According to data compiled by the Association of Bridal Consultants the number of destination weddings has increased dramatically in the last decade. It seems that destination weddings have the potential to offer more for less money and often lower the stress of not just the planning but the wedding event as well.

No longer do friends and families live in one location or even in the same time zone. So, when a wedding is on the horizon the distances usually spanned by Facebook and Skype in seem even greater. The solution is a “weddingmoon” - the event preceding the honeymoon or in lay terms a destination wedding.
 
It’s a celebration. A destination wedding is ideal for any couple who wishes to  spend a few days with friends and family, share time together, celebrate and create memories. Selecting a neutral location is the perfect solution when neither hometown will work. Plus destination weddings are well-suited to a smaller guest list.  Less is more. It is the opportunity to invite only those who count without offending. Puerto Vallarts Destination Wedding Spot

Where on Earth? Most brides have an expectation for the special day – spring or summer, fall or winter, large or small, formal or informal, day or evening.  But where is a little trickier. One place does not fit all. However there are several popular locations that consistently deliver to expectations. Kissimmee, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and the Poconos in Pennsylvania, top the list. In Mexico and the Caribbean RIU Resorts, Gran Velas and Pueblo Bonito Resorts make the grade.

The location needs to be right for the bride and groom after that the considerations are fairly simple – wedding budget, date, place, planned activities, guest list and honeymoon.  Right? Well maybe simple is not the correct descriptive perhaps  predictable is the right term.
 
Destination Wedding Checklist. To eliminate stress it is desirable for a location meet certain criteria.
1.    Fit the personality of the couple and family.  
2.    Offer planning assistance.
3.    Provide event coordinating assistance.
4.    Include wedding or honeymoon benefits and incentives.
5.    Have transportation easily accessible and affordable.
6.    Offer things to do for guests before and after the ceremony.
7.    Save the date a year in advance.
8.    Meet or exceed expectations within a budget.

Make a site visit. What a terrific excuse to getaway and look romantic places, sample love food, listen to lovely music, right? It is helpful to make at least one trip to the destination prior to the big day. The reasons are obvious. Even the best planning services and event coordinators cannot meet expectations without coaching.

Let go. At least one visit will make all of the difference in how smoothly the rest of the long distance planning goes. It’s a chance to do a wedding walk-about and checkout the resort, property or location. It is the best way to meet the planning staff and ask questions; sample the food choices and perhaps taste the cake; meet the photographer and florist; listen to the band and absorb the atmosphere. But beyond that, it is a terrific excuse to getaway and let go.
 
We have assembled destination suggestions from readers’ feedback and staff research. Checkout Weddings Away.  
 
Researched and written by Nancy Nelson-Duac Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Copyright updated 2017.


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