Top Reasons to Plan a Destination Wedding
Destination Weddings are on the rise…and for good reason. One out of every 4 couples are choosing to celebrate their marriage with a destination wedding. Below are five reasons to start planning a destination wedding:
Start planning your epic destination wedding today. Complete our simple questionnaire and tell us more about your destination wedding to get started today: DESTINATION WEDDING FORM.
U.S. Virgin Islands: Best Places to have a Destination Wedding
The United States Virgin Islands are an ideal location to plan a destination wedding. Made up of three unique, and equally amazing, islands the U.S. Virgin Islands have something for everyone. Boasting clear turquoise waters, white powdery sand and year round 80 degree temperatures, the Virgin Islands are tough to beat for a destination wedding location. St. John is the smallest of the three islands – and its natural, preserved landscape is sure to please nature lovers. St. Thomas is the most developed island with world class local restaurants, renowned beaches, a short ferry ride to St. John, Water Island and the British Virgin Islands, you can do as little or as much as you want on St. Thomas. Finally, St. Croix is the largest of the three islands and hosts a lush tropical side and a desert side.
Destination Wedding Venues in St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix: There are numerous venues eager to host your destination wedding. From beautiful, historical sugar mill ruins to beach front venues overlooking the Caribbean Sea to botanical gardens in the mountains or a private million dollar villa, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix have some of the best venues for a destination wedding. Best of all, it is a United States territory, so no need to worry about passports, currency exchange or language barriers, making it one of the most convenient and best locations for a destination wedding for you and your guests.
Destination Wedding Accommodations in St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix: Here, you won’t find large high rises of hotels along a strip of beach like in the U.S. The charm and local character of the islands remain preserved with local run establishments and only a few chain hotels to choose, with the preferable guest accommodations being private condo rentals which really allows you to experience all the islands have to offer. A great place to find condo rentals would be a private vacation owner. Check out www.vrbo.com/614096. Even though it’s a U.S. territory with the conveniences of home, you will feel like you have escaped to a tropical paradise like no other.
Destination Wedding Activities: There are so many things to see and do, your destination wedding guests are sure to have a trip of a lifetime! Zip line in the treetops over lush vegetation and amazing views of Magen’s Bay, voted one of the top 10 beach of the world; get “lei’d” at Duffy’s Love Shack in Red Hook; Try the best filet at Havana Blue; Watch the sunset at Sunset Grille; rent jet ski’s at Sapphire Beach; island hop on a private charter; swim with the sea turtles; shop for duty-free jewelry in downtown Charlotte Amalie; drink a world famous banana daiquiri at Mountain Top; Take a tram ride on the Paradise Point tram for a breathtaking view of the island; experience under the sea with snorkel, scuba or snuba; feed the sharks at Coral World; snorkel an underwater trail at Trunk Bay, hike on St. John, and so much more! Your destination wedding is sure to be a unique and memorable experience for all when plan your wedding on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.
Now you have an idea of why the Virgin Islands are one of the best places to plan a destination wedding. We can help share our expertise with you and create your dream destination wedding on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. Feel free to reach out with any questions, we are happy to help!
Start planning your epic destination wedding in St. Thomas and St. John, today. Complete our simple questionnaire and tell us more about your destination wedding to get started today: DESTINATION WEDDING FORM.
Another beautiful destination wedding at the El Dorado Royale, A Gourmet All-Inclusive, in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The bride and groom are blissfully enjoying their honeymoon as husband and wife and their guests are returning from an epic vacation filled with love, sun and tequila. A successful destination wedding, from their perspective….
Travel Agent Perspective:
The Good: El Dorado Royale is a beautiful resort located in Riviera Maya, between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, approximately 30 minutes from the Cancun Airport. As you arrive, Starbucks coffee provides a familiar welcome. The lobby is grand and you are greeted with champagne and smiles. The staff is eager to assist and very accommodating. The grounds are meticulously maintained, and although there were many guests, it never felt crowded and you could always your own piece of paradise. Lounge chairs a plenty and hardly any lines at the bar. Also, this is an adults only resort, but right next door is a sister property, Generations Riviera Maya, which is family friendly and have exchange privileges so families travelling in a group can easily be accommodated.
The Rooms: *** The rooms at El Dorado Royale vary from your typical double bed with Jacuzzi suite to the Casitas on the other end of the resort which are individual palapas or suites with a swim up pool right outside your door. They are extremely clean and comfortable. A stocked mini bar is also included as well as fresh fruit.
The Food: *** Labeling a resort as “Gourmet All-Inclusive”, sets the gastronomic bar pretty high, however in my opinion El Dorado Royale may have fell slightly short. Although the food was good - high quality and decent variety - it was in no way memorable in taste or presentation, at least compared to other all-inclusive resorts in Mexico.
The Beach: ** El Dorado Royale is located directly on the beach. Beautiful sand and turquoise waters. There are plenty of lounge chairs and palapas for shade and relaxation. There are also several pools to relax and unwind. However, to break the waves there are large cement blocks which line nearly the entire beach and is honestly an awkward eye sore. But once you see beyond that, it is an beautiful beach in Mexico.
The Location: ** El Dorado Royale is about 30 minutes from Cancun and 30 minutes from Playa Del Carmen. A taxi to either area is about $40 one way, not the easiest location if you want to go into town for shopping, etc. The resort does provide a shuttle, but there is limited availability and only departs and arrives on certain day/time of the week, so you must plan it right. Be sure to set up a ride with your personal concierge.
Destination Wedding Planner Perspective:
El Dorado Royale is beautiful. The staff is great and there are many areas to escape for an intimate walk on the beach or a romantic dinner for two overlooking the ocean. The bridal suites that can be rented at the Casita Salon are beautiful and the salon professionals are amazing. The waiters and servers are rockstars and are right there with anything you need. El Dorado Royale provides several beautiful venues, on the beach or under a beautiful palapa, for your destination wedding ceremony and reception.
However, there are definitely issues with communication with the wedding department. We became involved after the couple reserved the rooms for all 97 guests (through another travel agent) and nearly 3 months before the wedding, they realized that they had nothing confirmed or discussed for their wedding day. They panicked and were considering cancelling the wedding, until we stepped in to make their dream destination wedding come true. The wedding department works extremely hard, too hard, but they are overworked and have many destination weddings to deal with. They also have a bifurcated system in which you do not meet or speak with the onsite coordinator until the couple arrives in Mexico. To be honest, there were a lot of potential issues which could have happened on the day of the wedding if we were not there. Fortunately, we knew all the details, drafted a detailed timeline and were onsite from beginning to end, to ensure the details were perfect for the wedding day, and the wedding couple has no idea what could have been!
The only other complaint I have is the shuttle system and the layout of the property. El Dorado is very large with many areas, taking over 15 minutes to walk from one end to the other, in the hot Mexico sun. Although they have shuttles, they are sporadic, especially the days with several events. The bridal party, bride and groom’s room, guest rooms, ceremony location and reception location were all spread out throughout the entire property, which made for difficult communication and frustrations with timing. It really was not conducive for a destination wedding of 97 guests, perhaps a smaller wedding would have been just fine.
My advice would be to dedicate one shuttle driver specifically for the bride/groom and parents for the entire day of the event. Also, if you are working with a different travel agent than us, be sure to request that the guests be located in a central area, close to the Bride and Groom and close to the ceremony site. A few extra moments dealing with logistics beforehand could save a lot of time and frustrations on the wedding day.
Overall, El Dorado Royale is an amazing resort to plan your destination wedding, but it is important to understand some of the logistical and communication issues beforehand and to ensure all goes as planned, be prepared to call several times per day and to check everything thoroughly and designate a “point” person to ensure your destination wedding is just as you envision it….OR you could always hire a wedding planner and travel agent to deal with the logistics, so you and your family simply don’t have to J
Planning a destination wedding? As travel agents AND destination wedding planners, we are with you every step of the way. Contact us to find the perfect venue for your destination wedding.