Sunday, 15 September 2013
1. Choose your island destination because you like it, and not because it costs less. The place you get married in should be your top choice because its one you will enjoy and where you would definitely consider going again for your anniversary. Remember, a wedding is a keepsake moment and so the photos and the memories should be of somewhere special.
2. The type and size and staff in resort make all the difference to the enjoyment of your wedding. Most resorts in the Caribbean cater for weddings, but some are better at doing it than others. My view is that larger resorts lack the personal touch as many tend to treat weddings with a conveyor belt approach. Many of the large resorts also offer free weddings. If you choose this, remember that there is a limit to what they will do to make the occasion special. Tailoring will cost extra, but it’s worth it, as it gives you the opportunity to put a personal stamp of you on your wedding. I have found that in the larger resorts, you are more likely to feel less special as it is more unlikely that the co-ordinator will go over and above, to create any specialness for you. A wedding should be a unique occasion for each couple and their guests.
3. A wedding planner/co-ordinator is an essential person to have around. The idea that you can do it yourself, especially when you arrive on the resort, in reality demands a lot more time and effort than you think! In some circles, the chief bride’s maid takes on this role. But there is still the risk that her responsibilities towards the bride and remaining bridal party may be affected as her attention can get sabotaged by unexpected events which happen more than you think. It is best to engage someone other than the bride or groom to liaise with the wedding co-ordinator. It doesn’t mean you can’t join in but the planner will shoulder the burdens should any arise and leave you time to get ready to look your best.
4. The size of your wedding party will require more time and attention whilst on resort, than perhaps what you are able to afford, especially if you do not have the support of a wedding planner. You will need to take this into account as everyone will want to spend time with you and be acknowledged. This can be very demanding especially before the wedding.
5. Communicating with a large group will be a challenge. Dependent on the type of wedding package you have, the resort may not be willing to communicate with your guests on your behalf. The wedding planner can work around these sorts of limitations and so is then worth their weight in gold! The more planning done in advance the more time you will have to enjoy time with your family and friends.
6. Bringing a cake to the Caribbean is an occasional occurrence but can cause a great deal of stress. It is suggested that suitable travel packaging should be used as a cake can deteriorate quite quickly in warmer countries and after travelling. Resorts provide cakes for the wedding and they are reluctant to cut and serve cake other than that which is provided by them. It is therefore worth considering carefully the advantages of bringing wedding cake to the Caribbean as this often eats into the limited baggage allowance available these days. Is the cake an absolute necessity!
7. Wedding Photography across the world varies in style and preferences. If you use a photographer in the Caribbean, agree the composition of key photographs so you are not disappointed. Customs and tastes vary over time so expecting a photograph with all your guests in one photograph, may not be a common practice today.
8. The resorts are able to cater for a wide range of appetites and tastes. A good tip is to sample the agreed menu choice for the reception dinner a couple days ahead so adaptations can be made if necessary.
99 When thinking of the Caribbean we always assume it will be hot sunny weather. However, when planning a wedding it is always good to remember that the Caribbean has rainy seasons so depending on which island you choose check the forecast before deciding your date.
10. For those who cannot do without a good cup of English Tea in bed first thing in the morning, it is worth checking whether your hotel supplies kettles in the room as most Caribbean countries tend to provide coffee makers. One exception so far is Barbados which provides this as part of all inclusive and self-catering basis.