Destination I Do
After a successful wedding in the Caribbean, this newlywed dishes her destination wedding details. If you're planning your destination wedding, note her do's and don'ts and see her list of highly recommended sources that helped her plan her big day.
Q: How early did you start planning for your wedding?
A: I started planning in April of 2015 for our projection date of May 2017.
Q: What were your top location choices?
A: Our top choices were Majestic Elegance, Dreams Punta Cana, and Now Larimar.
Q:Why did you end up choosing Now Larimar?
A:Now Larimar was chosen because of the kindness of their staff, it was a newer facility, and how pretty the fountain location was. We went into it wanting a beach wedding but the fountain was too pretty to pass up and offered more privacy for a more intimate ceremony.
Q: How was your experience working with the wedding planner for Now Larimar?
A: We worked with 2 wedding planners. The first was a destination wedding planner, Rene, and the second was our resort wedding planner, Francina. Francina was very good at returning our emails and she worked hard to get what we wanted.
Q: Do you have an example of her going beyond your expectations?
A: My husband's cousin wanted arrange our wedding flowers herself. Francina not only let her arrange them, but she also offered to cut some of the property's greenery to add to the bouquets. She was very accommodating to our wants and needs.
Q: Did you feel like 2 years was enough time?
A: I felt like it was too much time. It wasn't constant planning so I procrastinated on actually doing things. I "planned" a lot during the 2 years but the actual doing didn't start until the last 11 months or so.
Q: Was more or less stressful planning a wedding away from home?
A: Less stressful!! Doing destination was so much easier because I didn't have to figure out vendors or where to get my decorations, I just showed the wedding planner pictures of what I liked and she told me if she can do it or not.
Q: What was your biggest fear?
A: My biggest fear was actually that not a lot of my loved ones would be able to make it because of the cost... that's why I was super happy when the majority was able to make it. I think it also helped that I told them it would be a destination wedding 2 years prior so that they could plan and save.
Q: Would you recommend your wedding planner?
A: Yes!! Rene had a lot of patience with us. I never felt like she rushed us and I didn't realize that she was coordinating so many things behind the scenes- booking our blocked rooms and transportation. Working with Rene helped reduce a lot of the work and stress.
Q: How did you find Rene?
A: We used desitnationweddings.com to contact Rene. from their she linked us to Francina at Now Larimar.
Quick Q&A Sesh
Recommendations from the Bride
* businesses are either Chicago based or online.
- Have constant communication with the wedding planner. A good wedding planner will be happy to help and always available.
- Ensure there is wifi if it's a destination outside the US.
- Be organized so that when you get to the island, you can just hand things over to the wedding planner and enjoy yourself.
-Arrive 2-3 days before your wedding so you can make sure all your ducks are in a row for your big day.
- Bring cheap sunglasses
- Have a good time! Those who made it to your wedding, came for you and your significant other. Just knowing that makes the day even more special.
-Stress the small details! Being in a tropical place makes up for a lot of decoration.
-Arrive too many days before your wedding. It's not as relaxing until after everything is over. Instead, I would have rather stayed a couple days after the wedding to relax.
- Forget to eat! Things can get hectic and you may not have an appetite, but an empty stomach in the tropical heat is not a good combination before your walk down the aisle.