Combining Your Wedding & Honeymoon Into One Amazing Event
Getting remarried is an opportunity for couples to do things differently with both the wedding and the honeymoon. In fact, combining those two events is quickly becoming the standard for many couples planning a second marriage or renewing wedding vows.
Getting remarried is an opportunity for couples to do things differently with both the wedding and the honeymoon. In fact, combining those two events is quickly becoming the standard for many couples planning a second marriage or renewing wedding vows. Destination weddings are on the rise with US and Canadian citizens, due largely to the costs of throwing a formal wedding and the reality that many couples doing it for the second time want to spend less time planning the event and more time enjoying themselves. Many couples are now planning to renew wedding vows at tropical island locations too. Additionally, more and more countries have relaxed their non-resident wedding restrictions making the process much easier for the average altar bound couples to plan their destination weddings and book their honeymoon packages.
The first step in planning a destination wedding is to find a travel agency specializing in honeymoons & destination weddings. The travel agent will be an invaluable resource and will help you begin the process of selecting a location for your remarriage. This is the first priority when planning a destination wedding because legal requirements vary by location and some countries have such restrictive marriage policies that it would be impractical to marry in those places. Furthermore, your own budgetary restrictions may prohibit certain destinations because of the costs involved in getting and staying there. Of course, if you are one of the growing number of couples planning on renewing wedding vows abroad then legal requirements do not affect you since you are already married. Click here for more information on renewing wedding vows.
The best destination wedding locations include Jamaica, Hawaii, Las Vegas, US Virgin Islands, Key West Florida, Bahamas, St. Lucia, Bermuda, Tahiti, Bora Bora and Lake Tahoe.
All the major travel sites like Travelocity, Kayak, Hotels.com and others have great deals on destination wedding and romantic honeymoon packages with airfare, travel and hotel accommodations. Planning tools, hotspots, trains, boats and planes! In addition to legal requirements, if you’re planning on having wedding guests join you for your nuptials, you’ll need to consider their budgetary needs in addition to your own.
Airfare varies greatly by destination and getting to some Caribbean islands may require several transfers. Not only does this add to the cost of the trip, but it also can be physically draining for any elderly or handicapped attendees. Even though your travel agent may be able to secure affordable air with a bulk purchase, the difficulty of getting to certain destinations should certainly be considered and discussed with those guests for whom it may be an issue.
Planning on taking the kiddies along for the wedding and/or honeymoon? Read about The Familymoon as seen in Newsweek Magazine and donl;t forget to download a Child Travel Consent Form to get the ex-souse’s permission to take the children on a trip.
Your destination wedding specialist will also be the administrative contact for all your wedding guests’ travel plans. This would include both the arrangement of their accommodations and airfare as well as the collection of travel funds. In addition to saving you time, you will be spared dealing with your guests’ personal financial information. It also makes for better synchronization of arrivals and departures. Chances are also good that the resort or hotel you selected will have an onsite wedding coordinator to take care of things that need to be done prior to your arrival. You will work with this person directly on details like getting your marriage license and other paperwork.
Common Legal Requirements
- Waiting period (varies by country)
- Certified copy of Birth Certificate
- Administrative and License Fees
- Proof of divorce
- Copy of birth certificate
- Copy of Tourist Card or Visa
- Health Certificate
- Blood Test
- Witnesses Authorization Letters
- Birth certificate for each spouse (issued within last 3 months)
- Pre-marriage medical certificate for each spouse (within 2 months)
- Certificate of residency (1 month of residency at least).
- Children’s birth certificate.
- Notarized marriage contract.
- Customary certificate.
- Certificate of celibacy.
- Birth certificate translated into French
The Caribbean has also grown very popular, with many island nations now offering shorter waiting periods of three days or less. For Mexico and the Caribbean Islands in particular, this growth is compounded by the surging popularity of the “all-inclusive resort” or couples resorts concept. In fact, the all inclusive concept that was pioneered by Club Med, improved upon by SuperClubs and made a household name by Sandals has become so popular that even traditional hotel companies have converted many of their Caribbean hotels to all-inclusive properties in order to compete.
Because they’re all-inclusive, you don’t pay extra for food and beverages and several of these offer free ceremonies, or ceremonies at reduced rates for couples that bring a certain number of guests. Many of these resorts as the Occidental Allegro and Grand properties (Mexico, Aruba, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Costa Rica), SuperClubs Breezes & Star Fish (Dominican Republic, Jamaica), Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (St. Lucia, Jamaica, Bahamas, Aruba, US Virgin Islands), or the Beaches Resorts (Jamaica) are great properties for family-style destination weddings because they have facilities and activities designed with children in mind. Of course, if you’re looking for an adults-only affair, the Grand Lidos, Couples and Sandals Resorts will take care of you.
Just south of Hawaii are the islands of Tahiti, which offer a different flavor of the Polynesian experience. Unlike Hawaii, which is larger, more populous and has all of the creature comforts of home, Tahiti is tranquil and at times appears cut off from the outside world.
In fact, it is sometimes difficult to imagine or remember there is an outside world from an overwater bungalow on Moorea or Bora Bora. Looking at the fish through your bungalow floor is truly a unique experience. You can’t beat the Tahitian Islands for an exotic yet relaxing honeymoon – you just can’t get married there.
At least, it isn’t practical for most foreigners (see box of requirements) You can, however, get married prior to arrival and then have a renewing wedding vows ceremony in a traditional Polynesian ceremony, which is a very popular activity for honeymooners and romantics alike.
So where are couples tying the knot these days? Hawaii has long been the world’s most popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, in part because it is a domestic destination. And with the unrest in various parts of the world, it has only solidified its position. In particular, Hawaii has long been popular for second marriage destination weddings because there are no adults-only resorts and, for the most part, kids are welcome in most hotels. Especially popular these days are the islands of Kauai and Maui, with many couples spending time on both of these enchanting islands.
Another popular option is a Hawaiian cruise on NCL’s Norwegian Star, which offers couples the opportunity to experience the islands of Hawaii from a completely different perspective. Since there are no all-inclusive resorts in Hawaii, it can get more expensive if a couple getting remarried is planning on bringing the kids. Hawaii is unparalleled in its beauty and will leave a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to experience her splendor.
Best Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Quick Tips
- Think ahead and plan early.
- Find a honeymoon destination wedding travel specialist.
- Decide on wedding size (who’s invited), including families and children?
- Purchase “save the date” magnet / cards for guest list.
- Establish a budget (determines the destination).
- Consult w/ wedding guests you expect to join you (re: destination, budget, accommodations).
- Settle on final location of wedding / honeymoon.
- Contact an onsite wedding coordinator to begin the wedding planning.
- Make a choice of honeymoon packages.
The popularity of honeymoon destinations may change, but the purpose of the honeymoon remains the same – a grand finale to complete the celebration of marriage and to begin your new life together creating memories that will last you a lifetime. And, choosing to combine the wedding and honeymoon can make those memories even sweeter.