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Island Wedding Planning

By: William Jackson

Relationship What could be more beautiful than the sand and surf as the backdrop to your wedding? An island wedding is a way to do something different, and to visit an exotic locale. People choose to have an island wedding if they want to avoid a lot of the stress of organizing a formal wedding, or simply to plan a more intimate ceremony for their closest friends and family.

The Bahamas, the Caribbean Islands, and Hawaii are all popular destinations for couples who want a beautiful setting for their ceremony and reception. There are numerous resorts in these areas that will take care of beach wedding planning details, so you won't be trying to book a caterer or florist from thousands of miles away. These resorts and hotels often offer package deals or discounts for wedding parties and guests, so look into ways you can trim your budget when you're shopping for a locale.

Before you commit to an island wedding, make sure that the ceremony will be considered legal in your home country. You'll also need to look into getting blood tests or special licenses, and plan your trip accordingly so you're not faced with an unpleasant surprise when you travel to your wedding destination.

Although most larger resorts can take care of most of your island wedding planning, know what you want and make sure that the wedding planner knows the style of ceremony you are looking for. Email photos of floral arrangements and decor rather than leaving it up to someone else. Try to incorporate local flavor into your wedding as much as possible: fresh flower leis for a Hawaiian wedding, or a well known traditional dish from the area.

Get confirmations from your island wedding planner before you send out invitations, so you won't be faced with having to send out changes to the venue or accommodations at the last minute. Allow your guests up to a year to prepare for travel arrangements, and don't be offended if close friends or family can't make it to your special day. Also, if the resort or hotel offers sightseeing tours or activities such as snorkeling or hula dance lessons, make arrangements for you and your guests to experience what the island has to offer during their stay. Do something special for guests by creating welcome baskets or beach wedding welcome bags filled with some fun items like personalized water bottles, sand dollar cookies, beach buckets, tourist guide, or other items they’ll enjoy when they arrive.

Kimberly Bean is the Founder & President of BeachThemeWeddingShop.com, an online store specializing in beach theme wedding favors, decorations, gifts and accessories. She is also the founder of the BeachBrideWeddingGuide.com, an online beach wedding planning website to help brides that are planning a beach, oceanfront, island or tropical destination wedding.
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