Destination Weddings Discussions


Is anyone concerned about Zika affecting their DW? We are not having a DW, but my sister is planning one for (an affected area). It's definitely within the current danger zone for Zika. I've read a lot of resort websites and travel accounts from other people who have said most resorts have been majorly spraying for mosquitoes and there aren't issues as long as you stay within the resort area. I'm mostly concerned because FI and I were wanting to start trying to get pregnant a few months after her wedding, and now it's got me all nervous. 

My sister for the most part has been completely oblivious to this concern and seems to think it won't affect anyone coming. Her FI basically told me "well you guys are screwed if you want to get pregnant I guess." I love my sister and don't want to miss her wedding but I also don't want to put my health at risk.

*edited to remove location to remain some semblance of anonymity* 

Re: Zika?

  • If you do choose to go, talk to your doctor about the possibility of getting tested for the virus when you return before trying to conceive.  We are going to Jamaica in a few weeks, and that is what I intend to do because we will likely start TTC next year.
  • I have talked with my doctor about it and she seems to feel the risk is minimal, if we wait the recommended 6 months after possible exposure. 

    I was more wondering if anyone else planning a DW had heard from their guests they maybe weren't going to attend due to Zika, and how you're handling it. Because it seems like my sister is going about things the wrong way lol.
  • This is not tied to Zika, but perhaps it can be somewhat relevant. 

    A few years back, a co-worker had planned her DW in Mexico. They invited a ton of people and had gotten a good number of yes RSVPs. About two weeks before their departure, a travel warning was issued for travel to Mexico because of the swine flu. Some people immediately started to back out. She was obviously upset and disappointed and considered canceling, but after thinking things through, she decided to keep her plans. She got in touch with everyone who had booked to attend to see if they planned on canceling. For those that did cancel (about half of her guests!), she told them she understood their reasoning and thanked them for their support. She then worked with the resort to revamp anything that needed to be changed because the number of attendees had changed. 

    I'm not sure where your sister is with planning, but Zika has been out there for awhile. So, if people RSVPed already, they are probably pretty firm on coming. If she just decided on Mexico and didn't really run it by anyone, then maybe you can suggest that she chat with the VIPs on both sides to see if anyone has any concerns.

    Of course, it could be that she really wants to get married in Mexico and doesn't care if people can't attend, including you. I'm sure that is super disappointing, but if that is what she prefers, then you have to be accepting of that and she has to understand and accept the consequences. 


  • Thanks @Jells2dot0, I think that is pretty relevant. She basically planned everything (resort is booked, etc) without even really checking with our immediate family. She basically told us "welp, clear this week to go to Mexico." Her goal was a beach wedding which...I'm not sure why she can't get that in the US.

    I think I'll probably end up planning to go and purchase some good travel insurance, in case the crap hits the fan in the months or weeks leading up to the trip. I'm not sure what her resort's policy would be if they decide to scrap the whole thing there, but that's not my issue to deal with I guess!
  • Thanks @Jells2dot0, I think that is pretty relevant. She basically planned everything (resort is booked, etc) without even really checking with our immediate family. She basically told us "welp, clear this week to go to Mexico." Her goal was a beach wedding which...I'm not sure why she can't get that in the US.

    I think I'll probably end up planning to go and purchase some good travel insurance, in case the crap hits the fan in the months or weeks leading up to the trip. I'm not sure what her resort's policy would be if they decide to scrap the whole thing there, but that's not my issue to deal with I guess!
    I'm sorry to hear that she didn't check with anyone prior to scheduling. She obviously didn't have to, but that means she now forgoes the right to be upset if people can't attend! 

    When purchasing insurance, be sure to purchase a cancel for any reason policy. Most insurances are no longer covering Zika cancellations because it's been a widely known issue for some time. Of course, all policies would not cover "my sister cancelled her wedding because she didn't talk to anyone". So, be sure to get that cancel for any reason coverage. 
    Good point, thank you! (Also yeah I'm willing to bet they don't have that as one of the check options lol)
  • DH and I honeymooned in Fiji this July. We were on a tiny island about a 45 minute boat ride from the main island. They sprayed daily for mosquitoes. I covered myself in bug spray with DEET multiple times a day. And by day 3 I had (no exaggeration) 60 mosquito bites. DH had around 10. They seem to like me as much as Short+sassy. 

    I did not have any Zika symptoms (even though Fiji has an active Zika outbreak). DH DID get sick our last day there, although none of his symptoms were Zika symptoms. I think his sickness was more related to diving with congestion. 

    When we returned I spoke with my doctor about TTC since I had no symptoms and DH was sick with, we assume, something else. She said the only way to test for it is a blood test, and unless you are showing symptoms (4 out of 5 people don't show symptoms), the insurance companies won't pay for it. She suggested we wait the CDC recommended 6 months (because DH got sick, even though it wasn't Zika symptoms, why risk your baby). So that's what we're doing. We will wait until February to start TTC.

    DH had even called a travel medicine doctor when we returned home and was still sick. With his symptoms, they wouldn't see him for two weeks. By that time he was better.

    Even if the resorts are spraying daily, they are not forming a mosquito safe dome around the resort. You are still susceptible to being bitten. If you go, go with the mindset that you are waiting another 6 months. 

    One tip I did read after my honeymoon and the 60 bites debacle, buy your bug spray once you get to your destination. Apparently bug sprays are formulated to deal with the mosquitoes regionally.

    I'll throw this out there, too, since we're talking about mosquito bites, don't forget to pack an anti-histamine. I am usually good about remembering it, but forgot for Fiji. The only thing on our island was our resort and a closed down Sheraton resort (cyclone damage). Our resort did not have any form of anti-histamine to purchase, and they were quite stingy with the cream they had at reception. I relied on the strangely soothing effect the ocean water had.
  • Zika is not a new virus, it has been around since 1952, at least that's when it was identified in humans; it was 1st identified in monkeys in 1947, so it has likely been around for even longer.

    Since it's discovery, there hasn't been a spike in birth defects in regions where Zika is prevalent until 2015, where we saw an increase in microcephaly solely in NE Brazil; We are not seeing an increase in birth defects in any other region so far. 

    In fact there was a study of 12,000 pregnant women in Columbia who had contracted Zika and there were zero reported cases of microcephaly:

    Researchers are now looking into the theory that other factors, and not just Zika alone, are contributing to microcephaly, such as co -infections of dengue, chikungunya, or  yellow fever:

    All this is to say that there is no known cause yet for the spike in micocephaly cases in Brazil.

    That being said, if I was TTC or pregnant, I'd avoid those tropical regions, period.  I  wouldn't go and then delay TTC for half a year- I just wouldn't go until we figure out wtf is going on or I'm no longer TTC/pregnant.

    It's obvious that the scientific community has no idea just yet what is causing the high rates of microcephaly in Brazil, and therefore I'm not sure how the CDC came up with this "wait 6 months" safety metric. 

    Also, whether it's Zika or not is irrelevant because you can still contract a host of other really nasty shit in those regions, including malaria, yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya, none of which I'd want to be exposed to while pregnant and expose my fetus to. 

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."

  • LinzreneLinzrene member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited October 2016
    TrixieJess, I addressed that in the next paragraph. I was aware that most actually do not have symptoms. My doctor wouldn't do a blood test. She said after 4 weeks it wouldn't show up in the blood anyway. I had asked about waiting and testing at the end of the six months window. She said it wouldn't do any good.
  • I just got back from my honeymoon in the Caribbean with the same concerns.  My doc told me that because I didn't have symptoms, the state regulations would not allow it to be covered.  She said that she would give me the test and that I could pay for it out of pocket.  The test was $525- so I called my insurance and it turns out they cover 80% of it.  Call your doctor and tell them you would like to get the test when you get back, make sure they will do it, and get the reference # for the test (forget what it's called, CP#?) and call your insurance.  This doesn't prevent you from getting it but might put your mind at ease.  Some tips to prevent getting bit: stay in air-conditioned areas as much as possible, use bug spray, and the #1 recommendation I found was wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.  Not ideal when traveling in warm climates, but every little bit helps. 
  • Well i am not sure about Mexico but I just had my destination wedding in South Beach on 9/17.....Zika hot zone! I know they were spraying on certain days & my Ceremony & Cocktail hour were both outside. We had everyone fly in for the long weekend & yes we did get some guests who pulled out at the last minute due to Zika concerns. They were either actively trying or already pregnant. We did get some flack for having a Miami wedding but we booked everything a year in advance & Zika was not a concern at that time. My planner told me the same thing happened to the wedding the week before & after mine. One bride had 17 guests pull out. I had 6 pull out but we understood. 

    If your sister hasn't booked anything yet I would suggest a Zika free zone. Even though we were in South Beach for a week & didn't see a single mosquito the concern & risk was still there. I am sure she will have guests pull out & personally if I knew that 6 weeks before my wedding Zika was going to be a major concern I would have picked a different place but still a DW. My wedding was still amazing but having our entire guest list text & call us about Zika in the weeks leading up to the wedding added so much stress on top of everything else. We took it stride though & did what we could to ease concerns. 

  • I would definitely avoid anywhere that they are spraying insecticides because of this Zika outbreak. The insecticides are straight poison!
  • Get some thermocells! They keep mosquitoes away like magic!  

    We just got back from our honeymoon in DR and brought thermocells with us so that we could turn them on our patio and not worry. Of course bring some high deet bug spray (not in an areosol can). Both can be bought at any sports store or probably even walmart in the hunting section. We just checked our bags and accepted the risk if they searched and took the thermocells, but we didnt have any problems. I would just bring a few thermocells to set up around the ceremony (under chairs or something) and you will be clear! Goodluck!! 

    When we got back I insisted on getting tested, with or without showing symptoms. We called the local DHEC here and they let us come into their EPI clinic and get tested for free. Huge relief to just KNOW. 
  • I wouldn't risk it. My aunt, grandmother, and I went on a cruise in February. Two of the ports were CDC Zika red zones. We reapplied repellant frequently, yet still were bitten. We all were sick after. I went to the doctor, because my symptoms were similar to Zika, however she suggested I not get tested for it, as the test is expensive and has to be sent to a special, designated lab. She was not concerned as I did not have plans to become pregnant in the two year span. I think I had Zika, but I'll never know for sure now. However, if I was trying to become pregnant at the time, I would not have gone on the cruise.
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  • We always wanted to get married in St. Maarten, my fiancè basically grew up there and it's special to us. Unfortunately, during our trip there this past December, we not only got engaged, but also both got Zika.  

    We felt it would be wrong of us to invite people to the place where we both contracted the virus.  It was a tough decision since everyone is still traveling to areas where you can get it, but we felt it was the right thing to do.
  • edited June 2017
    Thanks for sharing!
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