As we look to the future of weddings with the reality of safety protocols and restrictions still hovering over us, brides and grooms can’t help but be concerned about what their wedding day will really be like.
With all the details to think about in order to make the guests feel comfortable in addition to the normal busyness of planning a wedding, stress levels are high and wedding professionals are working harder than ever before to help couples implement required restrictions to ensure a healthy and safe celebration.
While weddings today may look and feel a little different than what you originally envisioned, never fear because you can still have an amazing and memorable Caribbean wedding day in the midst of a pandemic!
Here are a few tips on how to safely host a COVID wedding:
Congratulations! As you embark on planning your Destination Wedding, oftentimes stress and overwhelm can creep in.
It can be a challenge to juggle everything that is on your plate, especially without a plan or hiring a Destination Wedding Specialist to keep you on track.
You’ve done everything you know to do; you downloaded a starter kit, you joined a Facebook Group, you’re following the wedding planning websites, but alas, you find yourself still awake at 2 am searching for answers and ideas.
Soon, you’re making a chiropractor appointment because you’re always looking down at your phone and you’re purchasing a wrist brace to provide support for your overworked scrolling thumb!
Well, that’s not going to get you the solution you’re looking for! So, here are four tips to simplify planning your wedding and even enjoy the process!
1.-Get clear on your vision
If you’ve been looking online for wedding inspiration, then you know that the choices are endless. Your Pinterest board may be a hodge-podge of different looks, colors, and themes, making it difficult to decide what you really want. Without having clarity on your vision for your wedding day, you will never have a direction to head in and could find yourself endlessly researching and never actually putting things in place.
Some people are clear on the vibe they are going for, but if you’re like me, everything looks pretty and everything is nice, so your Pin board looks like you’re throwing paint at a canvas! I like it all! Now what? Well, start by looking to see if you at least have a color or hue, like pastels, that is showing up the most in your saved inspirations, and get rid of everything that doesn’t match that. Then, look to see if you have a style or look that tends to have more saves like a whimsical theme and get rid of pins and images that aren’t whimsical. As you do this, you’ll narrow down your vision.
This will then allow you to be clearer on what you are searching for. So, instead of googling something generic like “wedding décor ideas” you’ll search for “whimsical wedding décor ideas” and thus avoid being overwhelmed.
2.-Quiet the voices
Let’s be real. Ladies love planning weddings and giving their opinions. One reason why it is difficult to make a decision is because of too many opinions on the options you’ve narrowed down. Decide who will be a voice in your destination wedding planning and stick with only those voices. I recommend keeping it at one or two “outside” voices of people you trust.
3.-Decide on your non-negotiables
The challenge in planning a dream destination wedding is also weighing every option against the “will this fit in the budget?” question. At this point in life, like me, you’ve realized that money does not grow on trees. Darn it.
As you scroll on Pinterest and Instagram, getting inundated with images of perfection and then falling to your knees when you find out the cost to pull that off, you once again feel like you’re running into a brick wall. The easiest way to avoid spiraling into depression is to sit down and write a list of everything you want. Then, take the items from that list that are “non-negotiables” and put them in a separate column and the items that are “wants, but you could live without” in another column. You and your fiancé should have your list and then collaborate to create a new list.
Let’s say that you both decide that photography was where you are willing to splurge more. This would be a non-negotiable item that you would then allot more of the budget to, and essentially you are saying that you are willing to let go of other things in order to have the best photographer. Make sense? This simple strategy will help you get clarity on what matters most to you and stay on budget and avoid disappointment.
4.- Hire a Destination Wedding Specialist
Hiring a professional a Destination Wedding Specialist will save you tons of time and money!
You don’t need to tire yourself of planning your wedding after your work hours, there are professionals in the market that will be your right hand and will do all the heavy lifting for you. They have great connections and are knowledgeable, they will guide you through all the processes and will make it easy and enjoyable for you!
Speaking of a Destination Wedding Specialist, that happens to be my specialty!
If you just got engaged, congratulations! You are in for an adventure of your lifetime - marriage. If you are still thinking about where to say your I dos - think no more. A destination wedding could be a perfect choice to celebrate the love between you and your sweetheart. My mission is to help you find the perfect destination for your dream wedding. Therefore, here's a list of the most romantic places to get married around the globe. Enjoy!
Why choose a destination wedding?
When it comes to your wedding, you can always go for a standard reception and host a great party for your friends and family somewhere in your hometown. However, there is something truly magical and romantic about destination weddings. Why? Here are just some of the reasons that will make you at least consider:
● Although it sounds expensive, a destination wedding can actually cost you less or the same as a wedding in the US.
● You can choose a location that uniquely represents your love and have it shared with your favorite people.
● Your guest will have a perfect opportunity to have a vacation at an incredible place while attending your wedding.
● Not only will you enjoy stunning views, but there are also plenty of romantic activities for both you and your guests.
● When you remember your wedding or look at your wedding photos after years of marriage, you will get goosebumps. It also makes a great story to tell your future kids.
If you choose a destination wedding, I strongly advise doing only a symbolic wedding and getting legally married here in the US. This way, you'll avoid potential complications and ensure you have the time of your life!
Now let me begin sharing the most romantic places to get married around the globe!
Peru is the perfect wedding destination. You and your guests can enjoy stunning beaches, views of breathtaking mountains, spectacular deserts, gorgeous forests and jungles, and so much more!
What really makes Peru perfect is that you can find a fantastic location for all tastes! If you are looking for a dreamy ocean view, Paracas is your place to go. Or, you can choose one of the beautiful beaches in Lima and have the time of your life.
Mancora is perfect if you want a beach wedding in January. As it's summer all year round in northern Peru, you can choose any date without having to worry about bad weather. If you are looking for something truly magical, Sacred Valley is truly something to experience and see!
In all these places and many more around Peru, you find luxurious resorts to host a stunning reception, or you can have a private ceremony and reception in nature - the choice is yours.
This Caribbean jewel can be a perfect place to have your wedding and honeymoon! If you enjoy endless sandy beaches and gorgeous sunsets, you don't have to search anymore - Jamaica's got you covered!
If you are looking for a great all-inclusive resort, you can find it almost anywhere in Jamaica. Whitehouse, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril, and there are plenty more to choose from. Also, there are many fun and romantic activities for everyone to enjoy. From spending a day at the organic spa to ziplining through a rainforest, you could never be bored.
Some places truly leave you speechless and make you wish to never come back home. In fact, there are couples that fall in love with their wedding destination that they decide to move there. And who can blame them - nowadays, you can transport your stuff to any destination pretty easily with the help of international movers. And with internet connection being available everywhere, you can keep in touch with your family on a daily basis.
Regardless if you are looking for impressive beaches or glorious cities, you can find them in Greece. You will instantly fall in love with delicious food, be amazed by the cultural heritage, and be left speechless by stunning views.
If you are looking for a great, modern venue but also experience a traditional Greek vibe, Mykonos should be your choice. You've probably already seen some amazing photos on Instagram! Another beautiful place is Santorini which is framed by the sea and mountains and filled with whitewashed, cubiform houses. Greece's capital, Athens, is excellent if you are looking for a city wedding with some incredible historical sites all around you.
When you think of Mexico, you think of immaculate beaches and an abundance of all-inclusive resorts, which makes it an ideal destination for you to tie the knot. Not only that, but you'll enjoy perfect weather, historic architecture, and plenty of adventure activities.
If you want to say "I do" on a mesmerizing beach, Puerto Vallarta might be a place you're looking for. It's also full of greenery, and it will make you feel so serene! On the other hand, if you are looking for a lively atmosphere, choose the tourist hotspot Cancun. It offers many fun and exciting activities for everyone to enjoy.
You’ll agree that nothing says romance like Italy! Whether you want a view at sea, lake, vineyards or be in the city - there is something for everyone in this ancient country.
Choose one of the places at Almafi Coast if you want to have a beach wedding and enjoy the view of the Mediterranean Sea. My personal favorite is Ravello - its beauty inspired Wagner to write his famous opera ‘Parsifal’.
For history and architecture lovers, there is no place like Rome where you can even tie the knot in a castle! Take a look at Castello di Tor Crescenza. You can say yes in a gondola in Venice or next to the world's most beautiful lake - Lake Como. And don't forget stunning green Tuscany and those amazing vineyards!
So, which destination will you choose?
I hope you like our selection of the world's most romantic places to get married. Let us know which one you've selected by leaving a comment below. If you already had your dream wedding at a destination that's not on our list, do share. I'm always searching for unique places to help couples have the wedding they've always imagined!
This article was written in collaboration by Sophia Perry.
Sophia Perry has been engaged in creating content for Transparent International and other moving companies for the last 8 years. In her spare time, Sophia enjoys running, reading books and spending time with her dogs Loo and Sill. As a great lover of life, she finds something practical and useful in every experience, which contributes to her portfolio as well.
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After more than a year without traveling abroad, I finally went on a vacation to Jamaica, to be precise to Beaches Ocho Rios.
This was a family vacation that my son waited so long for and we have to say that we enjoyed our time there even though there were some struggles.
Our flight going to Jamaica was delayed for more than 2 hours due to a tropical storm; another tropical storm that became a Hurricane in Cancun (Grace) hit the island in the middle of our vacation and our flight back home was delayed again and we lost our connecting flight.
Airlines are struggling like everybody else in the travel industry, we need to carry a gigantic dose of patience with ourselves because there will be hiccups no matter how well we have planned our trip.
Jamaica has very specific regulations for travelers, when you choose to travel there make sure that you understand and follow their requirements.
At the time that we traveled, August 2021, we had to be tested for Covid 72 hours before our trip, I admit that is nerve-racking because the best test would be the PCR test but due to the high raise in Covid cases is hard to receive the results in the next 72 hours.
Another test that is approved is the Antigen test but must be done at one of the approved labs, have the CLIA or ISO certification number and that can be tricky.
To avoid problems, I did the PCR test that always comes with the laboratory information and CLIA certification, my results turned around in 48 hours.
I have to say that you need to be prepared with extra doses of grace and kindness because things are not like they use to be before the pandemic.
Everywhere you look or go is understaffed and you might find long lines at airports. None if you are wise and purchase Club Mobay Vip Arrival and Departure. They will wait for you and take you to the fast-track line where a customs agent is waiting for you; in few minutes you are at your lounge or transportation to your hotel.
Beaches Ocho Rios is a nice small hotel with a lovely beach but it does need a facelift, several areas of the hotel look worn out and old; rooms are comfortable and have several activities for families with kids of all ages. The Sesame characters brought real smiles to my son that never cared for them before.
We sat one evening watching families dancing around the main pool in a silent party. The neon headphones were awesome!
During the day we enjoyed the beach and water activities that the resort offers, definitely we want to do a private snorkeling trip again, that was an unforgettable experience for both of us!
We will never forget Sonia who was the companion of our captain; she took pictures and videos for us while we were snorkeling. Our captain, sadly I can’t remember his name was super kind, brought drinks for us and took us on an island tour, showing is the fishing villas, the area where sea turtles are released, the place where one of the James Bond movies was filmed and more!
We went to two different places to snorkel, is sad that in both places the coral reefs are dying but we still got to see and experience the marine life! Is fascinating to be able to see anemones, colorful fish, urchins, corals, etc.! Our captain allowed us to touch female sea urchins, told us never to touch the black ones (males), captured for us a lobster, and the cherry on the top was that he allowed my son to drive the boat on the way back to the resort!
I am a foodie and I love good food and like to try local dishes. In the past I never had any dish at Sandals or Beaches properties that I didn’t love; this time the food was not at the same level of variety and not as flavorful as before the pandemic, but I could notice that they were struggling with a lack of personnel.
We tried the Italian restaurant called The Venetian and I was not impressed, to me the food was just okay and my son that is a pizza lover was not happy with their pizza either. The ambiance is super romantic with candle lights, and I love the area where you can get different types of bread, cheeses, olives, prosciutto, and similar. The service was good!
La Parisienne is a small restaurant, you need to go there really early, at 5 pm to get you a table or make a reservation in the morning hours with your concierge. I enjoyed the Ragout aux champignons, an appetizer with wild mushrooms, garlic cream, and puff pastry that was tasty and looked great! We had to wait for our food for at least one hour, but we could see that they were very busy and with just two servers that were completely overwhelmed so we decided to enjoy our drinks and the nice ambiance while we waited instead of complaining, sometimes we need to show grace to people, understand that we are in the middle of a pandemic and everybody is doing the best that they can.
What we did to keep us safe and not catch the covid-19
We avoid crowds whenever was possible.
At the airport, we stay away 6 feet from the person in front of us while making the TSA lines, sat down at the empty area before boarding our plane, paid for the Club Mobay VIP at our arrival and departure and we wear our N95 mask all the time from the moment we arrive at the airport to the moment we arrive at our room at the hotel.
We choose outdoor activities
We stay on the beach in the empty area or just one more family with us and keep a distance of at least 12 feet.
The water park was more crowded but we found an area in the shade where nobody else was and my son waited for the water slides to be empty before he use them.
We choose outdoor breakfast and lunch
We ate breakfast every day at Josephine’s Creperie, very few guests were there around 9 am
We ate lunch at Bar. B.Q where we tried the jerk chicken or at the Bayside restaurant that offered buffet lunch that was served by the staff only so guests didn’t touch utensils.
In all the restaurants they have a host that makes sure to give you hand sanitizer before you are seated.
Dinners were indoors but the hotel makes sure that occupancy was limited and there were more than 6 feet between tables, we feel safe eating indoors at night. We wore our masks all the time unless we were eating.
We constantly sanitize our hands
I had a hand sanitizer with me all the time and it gave me peace of mind that we disinfect our hands every time that we touched a high traffic area or before we eat anything
Build up our immunity
A month before our trip we started taking vitamins that promote immunity like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, and Elderberry.
We wore our masks all the time
No matter what outdoors or indoors we wore our masks when we were around a crowded area.
Is a different way of travel but the beauty of the destination and the time bonding with my son was priceless and completely worth it, it shows us that is possible to travel and be safe while you are doing it.
A Micro Wedding has become a buzz word over the last year as couples had to pivot their wedding plans in order to safely host their big day.
Technically, a micro wedding is a small wedding, where there are 50 or fewer guests in attendance. While many couples have dreamed of a large gala affair to celebrate their nuptials, the allure of an intimate affair is captivating, especially since there are some great benefits to hosting a micro wedding in the Caribbean islands or Mexico.
Here are my top 3 benefits of hosting a small wedding in the Caribbean islands or Mexico that I think you’ll find rather enticing.
1.Quality experience and interaction with guests
Imagine that magical moment where you are introduced for the first time and you look out to your guests and you see the people who matter most to you smiling, clapping and cheering.
You’re able to connect with and talk with each of your guests and truly enjoy celebrating with each of them at your reception.
Everything you have at your destination wedding is the best because you didn’t have to cut corners in order to host a huge event. You could have all the bells and whistles that you wanted and experience the wedding of your dreams plus wow your guests!
It’s like a mini version of crazy rich Asians!
2. More venue options and availability
With all the rescheduled 2020 weddings, finding a wedding venue in 2021 can be a challenge. The beauty of hosting a micro wedding is that you will have more venue options available because you won’t have as many capacity restrictions.
As you know, several venues out there in the Caribbean Resorts are idyllic, but then you discover that they can only host up to 75 people and normally that would crush your dreams, but not anymore!
With a smaller group, you could consider having a weekday wedding rather than only have weekend options to choose from, which will open up availability for you to get married when you prefer.
And finally, beach weddings are so much easier to pull off for a micro wedding, giving you even more selections for your small wedding venue in the Caribbean islands or Mexico
3. Save money
Even with all the extra bells and whistles you selected to create an unforgettable wedding celebration, at the end of it all, you still saved money. The less is best theory came to pass, not because you skimped and simplified but because you didn’t have a huge head count to worry about.
Now that you’ve saved thousands of dollars, you can dream about how you want to use that money. Whether it be to pay off some debt, go toward a new home or splurge on your honeymoon…you do you!
While this may not be what you’ve always envisioned, in the end you still have the result you want. A beautiful wedding day with a few lavish touches, a fun party with the best guests, and your happily ever after. Cheers!
As a travel advisor, I receive countless emails from different hotel chains in the Caribbean and I have been to many of their properties, but the chain that blew me away was Sandals and Beaches properties and that is why I have chosen to become a Certified Sandals Specialist.
I like to work with properties that deliver what they promise and that excel in their service to my clients.
What I love the most is that they have brought the all-inclusive concept to islands like Grenada, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia; islands that are out of the beaten path offering an array of unique experiences.
Sandals Resorts even went a step further when they brought the over the water bungalows to their properties in Jamaica and St. Lucia. Now you don’t need to fly extra hours to Tahiti to have an experience like that!
When you are planning your destination wedding you want a place that satisfies your dreams but will also wow your friends and family that will join you.
You want them to feel that their effort to come to your wedding is appreciated and that you took them into account when you choose your property and the destination. At Sandals and Beaches Resorts they won’t be disappointed! They are the leading company in romance and luxury vacations!
I have been in their properties back in February 2019 and I can’t wait to take my family there!
I love the fact that they have a wedding department, yes as all the other hotels do, but the difference is that you don’t have to buy a package already created, you design your package, you select all the details of your wedding and customize it in any way that you want, you make it unique as you are!
Their team is experienced, and they offer a FREE WEDDING when you book your stay of a minimum of 3 nights or longer; this saves you money and you no longer need a wedding planner!
All their destination wedding packages include:
Did you know that you can test-drive your wedding? Yes! you can go to the resort that you have chosen at a minimum price starting at $250 per night per couple for a maximum of 3 nights, try the food that you plan to serve, and choose your wedding location. The best part is that your expenses will be credited back to you if you book 5 or more rooms for your wedding.
My favorite Sandals in Jamaica is Sandals South Coast which has been newly renovated and added Rondoval Swim-up suites. The Dutch Villa has received a facelift and is looking prettier than ever!
They have so many restaurants that a 7 night’s stay won’t be enough to try them all. The quality of the food they serve is above and beyond what a regular all-inclusive hotel offers, they will wow your senses from the way they present the dishes to the aromas and flavors!
Sushi on the Sand is one of my favorite stops, right there on the beach, you can be in your swimsuit eating there, super casual!
For a more sophisticated place and romantic night, my favorite is Bayside restaurant very close to the shore, you can enjoy the colors of the ocean and beautiful sunsets while you are dining, they serve French cuisine!
To close the night head to Latitudes Bar located on a pier in the middle of the ocean!
There are plenty of areas through all their properties that are great for couples to spend time by themselves, either in the ocean, in the gardens, or on the shores.
Of course, in times of Covid-19, they have Protocols of cleanliness, 18 touch points and social distancing measures that guarantee a safe stay for you and your guests.
When you start planning your destination wedding, I will love to assist you, let’s talk to see if we are a good match!
Many couples today that are looking into Destination Weddings have to choose between a legal or civil wedding at the destination versus a symbolic wedding.
Legal or Civil wedding:
Is a wedding ceremony that is performed by a government official and is recognized by the government.
In Texas, United States you have to obtain a License to get married and to do it you and your love one just need to go to your city Courthouse and request the forms to get married. This license is valid for 90 days.
When you are in front of the clerk you need to provide:
The following people are authorized to conduct your Texas wedding ceremony:
All your officiant will need to do is fill out his portion of your marriage license.
In fact, you can get married right there at the Courthouse where you are filling out documents to obtain your license and leave the place already legally married, all in one day!
Is a ceremony where two people in love exchange vows, exchange rings and have the proper wedding with an officiant but it doesn’t have any legal benefits for the couple.
Many couples choose to get married in their origin country and do their symbolic ceremony at a Destination Wedding just to avoid all the legal requirements that each country has. In Mexico for example the weddings have to be performed in Spanish and translated by the hotel personnel and requires blood test and many more requisites that makes more complicated something that is so simple here at the United States
My advice to you, don’t waste time and money doing a legal wedding in the destination of your preference, do your legal marriage license in your origin country and just do your symbolic wedding at the destination, it will save you a lot of time and headaches!
Reference: The Knot Magazine
You finally have chosen your dream hotel and destination and now you need to choose the best option for you and your friends, let’s take a look!
Flexible group benefits:
Contracted group benefits:
When you are planning a wedding the best way to secure and lock the price for you and your guests is Contracted group; this gives you a flexible payment plan and secures the rooms for all your guests.
When you choose flexible group, you do not lock the price, and do not secure the room inventory that your group needs. This means that if uncle Julio waits until 2 months before your wedding to book his room, is very likely that he will end up paying a higher rate and have the risk that the room category that he is looking for is not available.
From experience I say that weddings have a lot to win booking contracted groups!
Reference: VaxVacations Groups
If you want to look beautiful in your wedding day, you have to take care of the beauty of the dress, but most importantly is that the dress fits you very well. Your wedding dress should enhance your beauty and be according to your complexion and your personality.
Your ideal wedding dress has to feel beautiful and unique. There are a lot of weddings attires from princess dresses to trouser suits. There are also combinations with hats, veils, feathers, headdresses, and shoes, and each element adds up.
To help you to chose correctly, we give you some tips:
The goal is to create a hourglass figure.
When your body is shaped as pear or diamond, you need to enhance your shoulders with necklines like buttonhole collars also known as boat neck, drop shoulders and asymmetric lines. These kind of necklines are good for brides with a small breast too.
The Queen Anne neckline enhances shoulders too, but requires a long neck and stylized face.
Bodies shaped as rectangle have to enhance both the shoulders and the lower body to create the hourglass figure.
In the other hand, inverted triangle bodies should use V necklines; it can stylize the upper body and it is fine for big brides and for brides with short or wide neck.
A round neckline is good for this as well, especially if the bride has a big bust. Additionally, there is the heart neckline which should be worn with a wide skirt.
In same way, skirts must help creating an hourglass figure as well. Brides with hourglass bodies can wear skirts with the following cuts: mermaid, trumpet or straight, but brides with pear and diamond bodies should wear a straight or A cut that have to be loose on hips.
Brides with triangle and inverted rectangle shaped bodies should wear A cuts or pleated skirts to delineate their waist and give volume to their hips.
Take these tips and look radiant in your wedding day.!
Book Colour Me Beautiful, 1984 by Carole Jackson
Bilingual English -Spanish Travel Agent