The ONE YEAR countdown has begun! Planning is in full force over here, and this Saturday Joe, Corinne, and I head to Azul Beach for our very FIRST ever site visit! Cheers for our destination wedding! So today as part of my Bride Guide, I wanted to share with you some things I learned about destination weddings, site visits, and one of the destinations we decided on!
Ever since we decided on a destination wedding, we knew it would require travel for our guests and lots of planning. We wanted to give our loved ones a year to plan and prep, so accommodations, flights, food, and transportation were all on our “lets try and make this a doable thing for people”. I’m also keeping in mind that this is our dream wedding and a ‘tour’ wedding- so there will be two ceremonies, both very small and intimate.
Some things to do and ask when looking for your perfect destination:
- what time of year do you want your wedding and what’s your dream destination
- schedule site visits in that location with various hotels and venues so that you can actually see what that property looks like and have options. They can do a lot of things with a fish eye lens and photoshop!
- do you have a guest list? If not, create one so you have a general idea of how many people are coming and how many rooms/accommodations you will require and what dinner plans will be
- how’s the weather in the location at the time you plan on having your wedding there? Research other people’s experiences and do lots of fact checking on your venue from people who’ve been there. This is huge.
- do you have a budget? This can be a deciding factor when it comes to destinations, you’ll know right away what’s realistic and what isn’t. Oh you mean I CAN’T get married in Iceland?! mkkayy
- ask for wedding packages and rates before making a decision so you know what’s included in said price and what you’ll be paying extra for
Having gone through the list of questions to ask venues, doing a ton of location dreaming, and hours of researching, we decided that we want to get married in Mexico! Near Tulum in a breathtaking, beachy, dreamy kind of intimate ceremony!
Wowzer, I did a lot of googling, emailing, and phone conversations to narrow our search down. Joe and I went over timing, budget, guest list, and what we want, and we finally locked in a potential location! We’re all set to site visit this weekend at … drum roll please … Azul Beach by Karisma Hotels and Resorts! And THIS will be the view from our room!!!
I have to tell ya, this was NOT an easy decision, literally every property in Tulum and Playa Del Carmen is stunning and we wanted to be able to visit them all! But after getting all of the answers we needed in terms of wedding packages, what’s included, AND that this is an all-inclusive hotel, we were all in.
We actually get to see one of the beautiful ceremonial package in person this weekend which includes our wedding colors (earth tones, blushy pastels, and pops of color) <— sounds like every color imaginable right? lol but it also comes with a bouquet, welcoming drinks, dinner reception, and dancing among other things! I’m sure we’ll have more questions once we get there and sit down with our coordinator, but I’m just so excited to see it!
Karisma offers a bridal dress rehearsal where you get to see your wedding package choice and try the food that will be served at your wedding! Ummm can we say cake?!?!?! That’s another thing, when you ask for your package pricing, see what extras (though a wedding cake to me is a must) it comes with and what it doesn’t. You don’t want to get there and realize there is no DJ and no cake.
Literally all I want my guests to remember is the drinks, the dancing, and the love <333 The food and the location will be amazing but really, who remembers how pretty the napkins were or how extravagant the centerpieces were? No, people will be so happy to be celebrating your special day with you that it won’t matter to them if they have metallic gold-flaked napkins or paper mache ones!
Even though this is a trip for us to see the venue in person, experience the food and service before our big day, and see our set up come to life . . . it’s also a VACATION! I cannot wait to be horse bike riding and swimming in a cenote at El Dorado Royale! It’s a property also by Karisma and a location close to where we’ll be staying. So you can expect a full vlog video up on my channel when we get back because, ‘go-pro footage or it didn’t happen’ 😀 Follow us along on Instagram with #KarismaExperience and #LomasTravel!!!
Wedding planning can be overwhelming, I know I’m overwhelmed by every detail that comes with it. There are things I didn’t even think about before, I mean there should be a book about it! But also I have to remember that this isn’t stressful- I’m planning the best day ever with the love of my life, so why stress. I hope this helps you if you’re planning a destination wedding any time soon or know someone who is!
Do you have any other tips for me or other brides to be?! Please share <333