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New here and so excited! Destination help please.

We just picked our date this last week and it is 7 months away. We are planning a destination wedding to somewhere tropical. We have Hawaii and Bora Bora on our list but does anyone have any recommendations on places and/or venues? We are paying for everyone to attend (50-150 people) and having a reception (300+ people) at home after we return from our honeymoon. We have 14 people in the party not including my daughter, flower girls, and ring bearers. Our honeymoon as of now consist of a week in the Maldives and a week in another country so anywhere tropical is open to be put on the list. Any tips on planning a destination wedding? I work ft as a wedding photographer and my FI works 60 hour weeks so I need help, lol. I think I need to find a good planner. I started looking at dresses and hope to go next week to look at a salon here locally for ideas. I have to plan a trip to NY soon to actually have my dress made though as I want a certain dress style and doubt I will find it here. Thanks, Beth

Re: New here and so excited! Destination help please.

  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Welcome and Congrats!

    Having a DW in Hawaii will not only be much cheaper, but a lot less red tape will be involved (legal requirements). Also, depending on when you are planning on marrying, you may have issues finding a resort that can accommodate that many guests in Bora Bora, unless you book way in advance or book out the entire resort. There is also the concern with choice in vendors. Hawaii will have many more to choose from.

    If you can share (if you even know yet!) budget, time of year, etc, I may be able to assist more. I have been to Hawaii 4 times and Bora Bora 6 times and looked at both for my wedding. We ultimately chose Australia.


  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Just saw the honeymoon part! Do you know where you are staying in the Maldives yet? We're thinking of going next year and doing a London/Maldives trip. We're looking at splitting our time between the W and either Cocoa Island or maybe Velaa. However, my DH is leaning toward us just staying in Europe the whole time and saving the Maldives for our 5th anniversary. An idea for you- we talked about a Seychelles-Abu Dhabi-Maldives itinerary for that trip. We've been to the Seychelles before and want to go back.


  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    So, I saw your post on the DW board. It looks like you have $100K to cover both the DW (flights, accommodations, meals) and the at home reception. Based on the little you have divulged, you have expensive taste. Nothing wrong with that! But, based on that, I recommend you set aside AT LEAST $100pp for your at home reception. Probably more depending on your vision. That leaves $70K. Average airfare to Hawaii is $800-$1000 from the East Coast. So, 50 people x $900 = $45K in just airfare. Tahiti is even worse- $1200 from LA to Tahiti, $500 from Tahiti to Bora Bora- $85K. Well, just the airfare alone to Tahiti is over your remaining budget. 

    Your local board will be able to help you find a venue in your area and assist in gauging costs. A travel agent will be able to assist you with finding something in your budget. However, I think you need to decide how you will split your costs first. Maybe your at home reception is only a backyard BBQ, so $30,000 is more than enough. My initial thought is that you may be best to focus on the Caribbean and an all inclusive. Many of them offer free wedding packages when you book a certain number of rooms and since the room rates already include food and drink, your add on costs should be minimal!


  • Jells gives good advice, and she is the travel maven so I will defer to her on all that.  My suggestion to you is to hire a wedding planner for your wedding and/or AHR, as you seem to have a whole lot of moving parts here.  Also, she just set out the costs for airfare--are you planning to pay for hotel for everyone too?  That will eat up your whole budget.  
  • Hi all I would like to get married aboard and thinking where wAs a good place to? I heard Tenerife a nice place. Any advice? Thanks
  • @knottie01967484 I recommend getting some ideas on the destination weddings board. You will first need to figure out if you want any guests, legal requirements for the wedding, how much you'd like to spend, and what you think is reasonable for your guests to spend. Tenerife is a very expensive destination to travel to, at least for US citizens, because of the airfare and exchange rate. So, you really need to figure out the guest part of the equation first.



    I personally got married in Australia, but we eloped, so we only had to think about planning for two people.


  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Hi all I would like to get married aboard and thinking where wAs a good place to? I heard Tenerife a nice place. Any advice? Thanks

    Are you or your Fi an EU citizen? It is a long and complicated process to marry in the EU and most counties, including Spain, require a certain amount of residency before they will legally be allowed to wed.
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