Talk the Talk—Know the Terminology
Resorts offer the most comprehensive meal packages, but the destination wedding specialists should know the terminology associated with hotel rates:
AP—American Plan: Three meals a day are included in the room rate.
EP—European Plan: Lodging only is quoted and no meals are included.
MAP—Modified American Plan: Two meals a day are included in the room rate.
CP—Continental Plan: Continental breakfast only is included in the room rate.
All-inclusive—All drinks, meals, and activities are included in the room rate.
Hot Tips Make Destination Planning a Breeze
• Budget right—develop an overall budget, keeping in mind added expenses you may incur, such as travel, hotel, meals, transfers. Buffer in any exchange rate for weddings that occur in Europe, Asia, or Mexico.
• Hire a translator—to help you become familiar with the location.
• Find a destination friendly locale—in Europe there are many hotels that do not welcome weddings.
• Block out airfare for guests with the preferred carrier—keep in mind origination points and connections. Take a test run of the transfer time and transfer type required to get the guests from point A to point B.
• Keep your rental contracts handy—shipping items ahead may cause a problem if they get stuck at customs. If you take things with you, like linens, pack them separately and include your rental contract inside. Keep an extra copy with you. If you get stopped at customs, you can show that these are a rental and the items will come back with you and are not being sold.
• Learn the marriage license requirements for the destination you are recommending—for instance, in France, the couple must live in that country for 60 days to be eligible to get married there.
• Watch the weather for the dates of the wedding—don’t plan a Caribbean wedding during hurricane season.
• Get a website and plan ahead—available through The Knot or consider www.weddingwindow.com. Allow six months mailing for destination wedding Save the Dates. Consider an online version.
• Remember the gown—when traveling with your gown, don’t let the bride check her gown as luggage, she may never see it again. This applies to all members of the bridal party. For brides, Wedding Gown Specialists offers a destination gown travel kit that fits in most airplace overhead compartments (www.weddinggownspecialists.com).
• Prepare for windy conditions—make sure the veil is weighted for weddings on a beach or it will whip around, obscuring the bride and hitting guests as the bride walks down the aisle. Weighted magnetic veil clips are available through www.savetheveil.com.
• Passports—remind guests that valid passports are required for any travel outside the United States.
• Keep an emergency kit—carry stain sticks with you at all times and a steamer, along with adaptors in case you cannot plug into the power strips at the hotel.
• Have your couple buy insurance—require clients to purchase wedding insurance through vendors like www.travelers.com or www.wedsafe.com along with travel insurance.
• Travel has become safer, but one never knows what can or will disrupt a destination wedding—weather conditions, illness, government issued warnings, etc.
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