Destination Weddings Discussions
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Destination Wedding in the US?

Hi everyone! I'm new to The Knot and the DW board. Nice to meet you. I am at the early stage of wedding planning, and really would appreciate any suggestions and advice from other members.Because I currently reside overseas, and my family and friends are all over the map, I thought it would be easiest if I take the approach of a destination wedding. I am currently thinking about a destination wedding in the US, as I believe it will be relatively convenient for my guests to travel to. Can anyone provide suggestions on some great locations in the US for a destination wedding? I am thinking of a late spring / summer wedding, preferrably somewhere scenic, romantic, with nice venues for the wedding, and fun activities for the guests before and after the wedding.Also, what do you think about hiring a wedding coordinator? Do most people hire one when planning a destination wedding? My challenge is that because I live overseas, and have a relatively busy work schedule, I believe I can only make 2 - 3 trips to check out the venue, meet with vendors, etc.Thanks, and I'm looking forward to the suggestions!

Re: Destination Wedding in the US?

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    Hello and welcome to the board!!  My FI and I are getting married on 6/12/10 in Key Largo, FL.  I hired a wedding coordiantor for my ceremony but she has been very helpful in reccomending reception sites as well.  If you have any questions, let me know!
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    Welcome and good luck with your planning.  FI and I are gettng married on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks of NC in May 2010.  We arn't hiring a wedding coordinator as the planning for me is pretty straight forward, however I will be having a friends brother be my day of coordinator so I don't have to worry about it.  I've done a lot of legwork online and we only made one site visit.  If you have any questions, we are here to help!!
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    Hi! Welcome!! My FI and I are getting married in Maui - perfect mix of being far away, and still in America! We don't have an outside "wedding coordinator" - but we do have our coordinator through the hotel. She has been FANTASTIC to work with. We are doing most everything through our hotel though (The Grand Wailea) so it has made it easier. GL planning and welcome to the boards!
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    Hi and welcome!Our initial DW was planned for Savannah, Ga.  It is VERY scenic and romantic and is a place we love very much.  Your best bet would be April or early May - after that, it gets VERY warm and almost unbearably humid.  Savannah is only a 45 minute drive from Hilton Head Island, but it also has a lot of local things to do - carriage rides, a beach, antique shops, ghost tours, walking tours, River Street, etc.  We're still considering going for our honeymoon even though we're not doing a DW anymore.If you go to SavannahVisit.com, they will mail you a HUGE booklet with tons of vendor info.  I can also email you my reviews from our vendor meetings this past April.  I also had a HORRIBLE experience with 1 venue - which is the reason we ultimately cancelled the DW.  If you search through my posts on this board, you'll get most of the details.  Email me at chosen175 at aol dot com if you want the other vendor reviews.
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    Hi and welcome!  We're getting married in April and we're doing a Mon thru Fri cruise wedding aboard the Carnival Elation.  We plan on getting married on the beach in one of the ports although they have wedding packages available thru Carnival.  We did not have  WC as it wasn't a justifiable expense for us since I'm an event planner myself!  :)  We did look at a couple but their fees were astronomical due to the location of the ceremony.  I figured we could do it ourselves and spend the money on our guests! ;)  Good luck with your planning and can't wait to follow your planning process!
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    Thanks so much for the warm and great suggestions!This board is definitely a great place to get wedding planning advice. :) All the suggested destinations sound wonderful, and I will definitely check them out.In terms of hiring a wedding coordinator, would it be best to first decide on the location of the wedding, then hire a local coordinator or the coordinator from the hotel / venue? Again, additional suggestions and advice are much appreciated!
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    I'd say choose your location first!!!
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    Yes - this board is the greatest place on the internet! Hands down!! I think it really depends on what type of wedding you are going to have when getting a WC... because almost [i]everything[/i] associated with our wedding is at our resort - it made sense for us to use the WC at the resort. If we were doing a ceremony one place, reception in another place, etc... we probably would have picked an outside coordinator. Hope this helps!
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    LadyBird9 -It does help, thanks! Btw, I really like the line in your signature, "we're getting MAUI'ed". It's very smart and cute! I also visited your website, and I'm very impressed! I hope I can find time to create similar similar to share with other Knotties. :)
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    Just to keep track of the various suggestions, so far they include:- Key Largo, FL- Outer Banks, NC- Maui, HI- Savannah, GA- Carnival CruiseAre there other places I should also look into?
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    Since I live on the east cost, I'm just going to make a few random suggestions from places I have been:Key West, FL (very beautiful and tropical, think Jimmy Buffet)Charleston, SC ( romantic, southern charm, carriage rides)Anywhere in the Western N.C. mountain area is beautiful and scenic.I love NYC! Lots to do for your guest and so chic! Love Colorado if you want nature and scenic beauty. There is lots to do there too.And of course someone mentioned the Outer Banks in N.C. I have friends out that way so if you need any help there let me know. Hope this helps!
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    Hi I'm kinda late on this one... I am getting married in Southern California, in Orange County. I did most of my planning from Mexico while I was living there, however my parents live in OC so it was pretty easy for me. Most of my family lives in the UK or on the east coast, so no matter where I get married its a DW for them. SoCal has a lot of advantages. Its very easy to do a cruise out of Los Angeles (the largest harbor in the world) or San Diego. So Cal is good for OOT guests because there is so much to do. There are a few of us on the board that live here, let us know if you are interested or would like some more information. Off the top of my head myself, ericandcindy, and Sarlah are the current engaged girls in SoCal and Jaye is a former DW and now an ND. I'll speak for everyone and say we'd all be happy to help you. GL
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    K+S 9.18.9 | DD #1 age 2 | PG # 5 EDD 9.17.12

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    Thanks Tiff!!! I really like updating my bio, I hope you have fun putting yours together!! :-)
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    Hi and welcome! I'm getting married next May in Key West.I did hire a WC. I originally wasn't going to, but I found it way to hard to try to plan everything from a distance without help. Plus, she'll be there on the wedding day to put out any "fires." I would say pick a location first, then pick a WC.
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    We are getting married in NE FL, just south of St. Augustine. The beaches are beautiful, and the rates and airfares are very reasonable. Feel free to email me if you would like more info. SheRidesAVStar@aol.com We also looked in the Daytona area, so I have some info from there too.
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    A few locations suggestions: 1.  An apple orchard in Asheville, NC.  Apple season is Sept-Oct.  If you do it in Oct you will also get Fall folliage. 2.  Winery in CA or WA. 3.  Eurike Springs, AR.  They have the largest concentration of B&Bs in the US...very romantic. 4.  Charleston, SC or Savannah, GA both cute Southern towns.  Charleston has a beach and Savannah has Tybee Island 30 minutes away.  If you want total seclusion then Little Tybee Island is uninhabited. 5.  San Antonio, TX.  A great historical town.
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    We got married in Islamorada, FL - The Islander Resort. Beautiful location, easy to get to, restaurant/catering onsite, room for all guests onsite, reasonable dining options nearby (for nights other than the wedding) Overall great wedding spot! They have a wedding coordinator onsite that can help you. I only made 2 trips down beforehand and all was fine! Email me if you want more info holly2460 at gmail.
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    Thanks for all the suggestions! I think I'm going to start exploring places in Florida and California, and work my way down the list.Is it possible / common to contact some wedding coordinators to have some initial conversations with them about wedding ideas before officially hiring them? If so, how much time are they willing to spend with potential customers? Also, how far in advance do I need to secure the venue?Again - welcome additional destination suggestions!
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    Congratulations and happy planning:) My fiance and I are getting married in the Cayman Islands; however, I was in a wedding last fall in Geneva, NY which is beautful, scenic wine-country of NY.  If you like wine, Napa Valley is always a beautiful spot too with a lot to do for out-of-towners!Good luck! I agree w/the others too, re: a WC. I would pick your spot first and then decide what your needs will be. We have one at the resort and she has been excellent.  
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    I don't think many WC's would be willing to give out "free" advice.  My suggestion would be to pick a few areas and see if the chamber of commerce has any wedding info they can send you.  If it's a popular vacation spot, it's probably a popular wedding spot too.  I was floored to find a Savannah wedding brochure, and just about had to pick my chin up off the ground when it arrived and I realized it was 65 pages long and had over 400 vendors listed in it! 
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