For the most part, I am more into experiences than stuff. When I was younger, my dad told me that when it was time to get married, I should spend more on my honeymoon than on my wedding. His suggestion to focus on the marriage instead of the wedding was the best advice I ever got.
Other than photos and memories, you do not really take much away from an expensive wedding. We wanted a nice wedding, but more than anything we wanted to have an adventure with each other and our family and friends. So, we decided on a destination wedding so we could have the expertise of a wedding planner for the details like flowers, cake, and dinner without giving up the flexibility to make our own choices.
As we researched where we wanted to get married, we realized that what we were planning was a large group trip. It made sense to look at expert travel providers who could help us plan an entire trip full of exciting opportunities.
Traveling with a large group
Our travel expert told us that when traveling with a large group, it can be helpful to stay in the country. It is less stressful for a large group to travel together without having to worry about passports and going through customs.
There are exotic US locations to visit where you do not need a passport like Hawaii and Puerto Rico. You can still have an adventure, beautiful scenery, and outstanding cuisine at a place like Koloa Landing Resort on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. For us, it was important to find a full-service resort where they are accustomed to planning weddings and also have the local expertise to make the trip fantastic for our entire party. We found all this and more by looking through their website: KoloaLandingResort.com.
Flexibility for activities and cost
Not only is it hard to arrange transportation and activities for a large group of people, not everyone will want to do the same things. Large groups traveling together take a bit more planning than just two people who can sneak into a museum or restaurant without pre-arranging it.
Our travel consultant recommended we include some hop-on hop-off tour options. These types of full-service tours offer choices and flexibility with just enough structure that no one is left wondering where to go or what to do. It is like you get all the benefits of group travel experts without feeling locked into an itinerary. Another helpful suggestion was to look for a location that offered inexpensive activities like hiking, swimming, or sightseeing that would not price our friends out of the trip.
Best of both worlds
We love to travel, but we are accustomed to just winging it. We still wanted a freestyle travel schedule even with a larger group. We found an exotic location without dealing with the hassles of international travel and long lines in customs.
Other than the advice my dad gave me about valuing experiences more than objects, the best advice I can share for planning a destination wedding is to find a travel consultant. We learned that you could leave some things to chance without sacrificing your adventure.