Top Reasons to Plan a Destination Wedding

Destination Weddings
Reasons to Plan a Destination Wedding

Reasons to Plan a Destination Wedding

Top Reasons to Plan a Destination Wedding

Destination Weddings are on the rise…and for good reason.  One out of every 4 couples are choosing to celebrate their marriage with a destination wedding.  Below are five reasons to start planning a destination wedding:

  1. 1. A destination wedding is more than just one day…it is a memorable event that can last up to several days
  2. 2. With amazing scenery, a destination wedding provides a free, natural back drop for amazing photos
  3. 3. Compared to a stateside wedding, a destination wedding can be more affordable and a better value for the money. Many resorts offer amazing deals so you can plan an affordable destination wedding within your budget
  4. 4. A marriage is the uniting of families and friends together, what better way to begin the culmination of unity than a destination wedding where families and friends can share in an amazing experience and fun times together
  5. 5. A destination wedding is more than one night, it is a unique experience that is sure to create lasting memories for everyone for the rest of their lives. A destination wedding has a greater impact and forever moments on all the guests and will be talked about for years to come.

Start planning your destination wedding today. Contact our destination wedding travel agents and wedding planners today!

Destination Weddings

Advice for Planning a Destination Wedding: Hire a Travel Agent and Wedding Planner ASAP

Destination Weddings in Mexico

Destination Wedding Planners and Travel Agents

Destination Wedding Planners and Travel Agents

Advice for Planning a Destination Wedding: Hire a Travel Agent and Wedding Planner ASAP

Planning a destination wedding can be challenging. There are more considerations and logistics with planning a destination wedding. For instance, you and your guests will need flights to the destination and accommodations at a hotel room block. The last thing you want to do is act as the travel agent for all your guests. Also, there can be communication and cultural differences that can make for a frustrating destination wedding planning process. However, despites these challenges, the result can be more than ever imagined by having a destination wedding of your dreams filled with amazing memories for all.  The best advice would be to hire a destination wedding planner and travel agent who can help you with all the challenges, so you can truly enjoy planning your dream destination wedding.

At Extraordinary Destination Weddings, we are destination wedding travel agents and wedding planners, so you won’t need to look any further to start planning your destination wedding. Contact us today and see how we can help plan your destination wedding to make your dream wedding day come true!

A True Dance Party Destination Wedding on Aruba

Beach weddings

Do you, your family and friends love to dance and feel the music? Is that the one thing that would really take your wedding reception to the next level? Here’s one idea for the bride and groom-to-be to consider.

In 2012 we had the pleasure to oversee a Destination Wedding on Aruba that was truly extraordinary. The bride and groom got, in addition to the DJ and Steelpan Band, a 5-man live band to spice things up. And lighting was arranged to create the best mood for an awesome party, like you can only have on Aruba. Though there were some small changes that needed to be made to fully accommodate this celebration, we have to say, it was a complete and total success!

After the lead vocalist introduced the couple and they had their first dance and the father-daughter and the mother-son dance, virtually every guest got off their chairs and onto the dance floor. Under the starry night sky, dancing in the salty air, were the laughs of everyone present. A truly lovely way to start their new life together filled with so much joy.

This wedding reception was held off-site to enable the party to go on a bit longer than it would be allowed on any local resort. If you are looking to host an open-air wedding reception with a late curfew, it’s important to have these details down.

If you are considering a resort, don’t forget to ask whether they have a cut-off time for live bands. In my experience some Aruba resorts have a 10 PM curfew for open-air functions, meaning the wedding reception might have to be shortened or moved inside. And the truth is, if you are coming down to Aruba you want to dance under the stars, feel the wind in your hair and make it an unforgettable night. Not spend the night indoors in a ballroom.

If that’s you, and you want to delight your guests with a true dance party on your destination wedding, then we’ve got the solution for you! We facilitate the process of arranging your off-site wedding on Aruba, help you hire the right vendors and get it all ready so you don’t have to worry about anything — just don’t forget your bathing suit for your stay here!

A unique and tailored wedding that’s is “so you!” is waiting on Aruba, get started right away with your initial consult!



Wedded Bliss on the Appalachian Trail

Over the next few months, you will be hearing from our planners about extraordinary wedding opportunities in each of our locales. Our New England wedding planner Terri Altergott chose to interview Randy “Windtalker” Motz and Georgia “Mom” Harris, authors of the award winning book Solemates Lessons on Life, Love, & Marriage from the Appalachian Trail about their experiences and lessons learned as they thru hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.  We will be talking initially about their experiences on the Appalachian Trail (AT) and finish with some phenomenal wedding locations for you to consider further if this sounds like the perfect wedding scenario for you.

This is the first in a 3 part series of interviews with this fascinating couple.

Terri – By your own admission, thru hiking the Appalachian Trail was not on your bucket list. What made you decide to take off on this adventure and what did you learn about yourselves, each other, and marriage in general over the ensuing six months on the trail together?

Randy and Georgia – The idea to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail was actually Georgia’s idea. Her family has a history of diabetes and she decided that she wanted to stave it off as long as possible, or entirely, by eating right and getting plenty of exercise. Almost every day after work, we walked around the lake near our home. But after three or four months of doing that, it got pretty boring. One day she came home from work and just blurted out, “Why don’t we thru-hike the Appalachian Trail?” She evidently had been considering this for some time before she posed the question to me, because like me, she is a Type “A” personality. Coming up with this idea on a whim was just not her style. Once we had made the decision to take on this challenge, we spent five years training, trying out different equipment, doing research, taking progressively longer training hikes, and accumulating enough leave to be able to be gone for up to six months. Though we were aware how grueling this hike would be, we looked forward to the freedom and lack of stress that being away from the chaos and technological shackles of real life would give us.

Despite training for five years for this journey, it was still the toughest challenge we had ever faced in our lives. Not only were we tested physically, we were also tested emotionally. It is said that thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is 20% physical and 80% mental. We would agree with that assumption, though we like this one better; hiking the Appalachian Trail is 80% mental and 80% physical. Hiking up a 4,000 foot-high mountain in the fog and freezing rain bears out that hypothesis.

It is truly amazing what manifests in our personalities when we are confronted with a 4,000 ft. climb, in the pouring rain, and with temperatures hovering just above freezing. Situations like these had us learning what our individual physical, mental and emotional weaknesses were and coming to accept them. If we did not accept them and make the appropriate adjustments to our attitudes, we would have given up within the first few weeks. More importantly, the same challenges that brought our weaknesses to the surface, things like the oftentimes harsh and unforgiving weather or the incessant mosquitoes, helped us discover just how strong we really were.

However, the ultimate test was to our relationship. Before we ever stepping foot on the A.T., we had accepted a motto for our odyssey, “Quitting is not an option!” This is much the same motto we use in our daily lives. But, now we would be together seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, for at least six months, and we were not entirely sure if our motto would be a blessing or a curse.

Randy and Georgia on their Trek.

Terri – I would imagine you learned a lot about each other while on the A.T.

Randy and Georgia – As it turned out, our thru-hike offered more than its share of opportunities to learn about our relationship, as well as the relationships of others. The most important lesson we learned on the trail was to be open and honest with each other, to communicate everything we were feeling. This was how we were able to accept each other’s individual weaknesses and overcome them with our individual strengths. We discovered that being honest with each other when we were discouraged, tired, hungry, or in physical pain, brought us so much closer together. Attempting to be a martyr did neither of us any good. It was the acceptance of each other for exactly who we were, that made all the difference. From this came new levels of understanding, compassion and appreciation for each other. When you have hiked twenty miles, in intense heat, through a thunderstorm and then drag into camp just before dark, the simple act of rubbing your spouse’s feet before climbing into your sleeping bags says more about how much you care for her/him than you could ever communicate in words. And, a sincere “Thank You” for something as simple as your spouse sharing his/her last bit of trail mix with you, when it will be two days before you get to town to re-stock, brings you closer than you can ever imagine.

Randy and Georgia towards the end of their trek.

Terri – Were you able to bring some of what you learned, back home again with you?

Randy and Georgia – We brought the honesty and transparency that had served us so well on the trail home with us and it has made a huge difference in how we interact. Yes, we still have our moments, but when those moments rear their ugly heads, we also know where we got off track and how to successfully change course. We also know, after completing our 2,175-mile journey that we can face, endure and overcome any other challenge that life throws at us.

On a lighter note, we subconsciously forced ourselves to resolve any disagreements that did arise on the trail using a very practical method. We divided up all of our equipment so we were carrying an equal amount of weight. For instance, Georgia carried the tent and I carried the tent poles, stakes and ground cloth. She carried our dinners and I carried the stove and cooking equipment. You can probably see where I am going with this. Since we split the gear, neither of us could survive the night without the other. We had to resolve conflicts, the few times they did arise, before we reached camp at night.

End of part 1. Part 2 will appear next week.



From the Bride’s Perspective..

Today we interview Yuli and Erskine from Houston, TX about their recent wedding in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.

How did you decide on Mexico as the perfect location for your destination wedding?

Some of our friends had recommended Mexico, but we weren’t sure exactly where in Mexico we wanted to have the wedding.  Our Wedding Planner Terri helped us narrow down the choices and we finally settled on Now Jade Resort in Puerto Morelos.







What was your favorite part of the wedding?

My favorite part of the wedding was the ceremony because it was the perfect setting, beach side with the ocean as our backdrop.

Besides the wedding of course, what was the next most memorable experience you had while in Mexico?

The fact that I had my entire family there and I didn’t have to worry about anything because Terri had all the arrangements under control. {Yuli and Erskine flew Terri our EDW New England planner, in to personally oversee the wedding}

Yuli and Erskine enjoy an authentic dance from Burundi where Yuli is from.

One of their groomsmen sharing a dance with their darling flower girl.


How did your wedding planner Terri help?make?the wedding planning?easier?

As we began to plan the wedding, Terri gave me lots of good ideas and I actually trusted her enough to put my wedding together for me.Terri was on top of everything. She handled any problems before they ever came to my attention.










If you were to give one piece of advice to another bride planning a destination wedding, what would it be?

To make sure you hire your own wedding planner.

If money wasn’t an option, would you choose another location for your wedding and if so, where would you go?

No, because we got more than we expected and the location was paradise.


Photos courtesy of Jose Luis Hernandez

Planning for Wedding Guests: Ideas to Entertain at Your Destination Wedding

Planning a destination wedding is a wonderful adventure, which includes more than typical wedding activities – it’s a chance to express your personality and sense of fun by orchestrating activities that your entire group can enjoy beyond the wedding day.  Show your closest friends and family how much you appreciate them by organizing activities that will entertain and create great memories.

Here are a few tips to have your guests returning home with memories not only of how remarkable your ceremony was, but how much fun they had with you on the trip:

Be creative. It is tempting to rely on the typical tourist activities – this does not require much imagination!  But this isn’t just another family trip – this is your wedding! Think outside the box! For instance, take the “ordinary” out of the visit to the Wax Museum in Hollywood by arranging for a photographer to snap fun shots of your guests with the wax images of celebrities and create a CD for each guest.  An unforgettable activity for me was a private dinner at the kelp forest inside the Monterey Bay Aquarium. How often will your guests get to do something like that?

Talk to the locals. Whether it’s club-hopping on Hollywood Boulevard or sharing a dim sum feast with loved ones in Chinatown, the locals can be a rich fountain of information and resources when it comes to planning for wedding activities that may be off the beaten path — wedding planners are expert at it!  We love the look on people’s faces when we bring them to the supperclub in Hollywood for a welcome reception or a night on the town.   With the experience that dazzles every sense, guests never forget their dinner in bed and the night full of surprises.

Take advantage of your destination. You chose your destination for a reason. Did you decide on a beach location? Have a beach party, complete with bon fires and smores! How about an idyllic countryside location with views of vineyards and rolling meadows? Try a hot air balloon ride! These activities are sure to wow your guests. Another concept – a day of pure fun at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier – what a “photo opportunity” to have all your guests on the Ferris Wheel overlooking the Pacific Ocean.



Personalize the experience for your guests. Create an environment that your guests wouldn’t ordinarily participate in.  Rather than trying to please all of your guests, go with the things you enjoy.  Do you love art and architecture? The Getty Villa is the perfect place for art lovers   A music fan?  A jazz club or a chamber music performance at a historic estate would be incredible.  In the summer, there is no better way to enjoy music in the Hollywood Hills than by visiting the Hollywood Bowl.  Explain to your contact at the venue that you are entertaining a very special group of guests as part of your wedding weekend and ask them how they could personalize the experience for your group. Possibly a back stage tour or a “shout out” from the stage.  Create personalized memories – take lots of pictures and video that you can share later.  Check out for “fast, free and shockingly easy” stunning video slideshows.

The options for creating a remarkable experience for your destination wedding guests are endless! The important thing is to remember why you, and your guests, are there – to celebrate your love!

For great ideas on the “local hidden gems” and creative ways to personalize your destination wedding activities, contact the experts at Extraordinary Destination Weddings – we handle everything from the “what” to the “how”, so you don’t have to think about anything other than having the time of your life.



Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony in Eco-Friendly Tuscany

Couples celebrating their wedding vow renewals in an eco-friendly farmhouse in Tuscany. Saying “ I do ” once again to your spouse is pure romance, whether you choose a field of Tuscan sunflowers, a terrace overlooking the sea, or a fairytale castle in Chianti, a Wedding Vow Renewal in Tuscany can be an intimate  “Tête à Tête“ for the two of you or a grand party for all. Our celebrant will help you personalize  your vows and the wedding planner will take care of other details such as menus, flowers, table settings, music and photography.

That is just what Larry and Ronde Salerno and Tom and Eileen Schwike did when they chose to renew their vows at “Podere Scopicciolo“, an Eco-friendly  property in Tuscany. Larry contacted me asking about the possibility of  celebrating a dual Renewal Vow ceremony for he and his wife Ronde and their friends Tom and Eileen Schwike. They had already booked a farmhouse in Tuscany and would be on holiday with their families. They wished to celebrate the ceremony at Sunset alongside the pool with the Tuscan landscape backdrop. As Diane and Guiseppe Rossi, celebrants of Blessings in Italy say: “A Renewal Blessing is a beautiful reminder of your feelings for one another and of your present and future commitment. You can choose to have an intimate ceremony for two or include children and other family members.”

Wedding Vow Renewal ideas eco-friendly pitoresque private Tuscany farmhouse

Accompanied by their son on the guitar and after the celebrants recital and respective wedding vows , both the couples dedicated their own personal feelings between husband and wife, a moment of intense emotion for all present. Gabriele Donati captured admirably the essence of this ceremony and the beauty of the location whilst providing the whole family with an invaluable selection of family portraits. The blessing ceremony was followed by cocktail and dinner, served on the evocative terrace of Podere Scopicciolo a property with a “green heart“.

The property was bought by Mario and Cecilia Durantini in 2003 and lovingly restored in 2011. The explain,”Thanks to the hard work of loyal and faithful old fashioned artisans, we were able to rebuild it stone by stone, and went beyond the case of duty to accomplish a marvelous work of Art.”

There is no property in Tuscany that has so much technology and still looks like a 200 hundred year old farmhouse. The property is certified by Legambiente Turismo which is the green organization that promotes Tourism and respect for the environment. Therefore any bridal couple visiting this property will have a chance to grow a green heart and spend the vacation in full respect of  nature.

“This article was submitted by EDW Tuscany Wedding planner Danielle Wiskow Bandini. Danielle is an English Wedding Planner and Event Coordinator who is also a member of the National Association of Professional Wedding Services (NAPWS), chose to settle in Tuscany in 1982 after obtaining an Arts degree in London.

Did you enjoy this article? Feel free to share or repost, just remember to add and Danielle Wiskow Bandini as the authors.

Start planning your unique destination wedding, email us at! Still looking for more information? Feel free to subscribe to our blog or connect with us on

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China Destination Wedding – Exotic, Unique, Sophisticated and Cultured

Marriage is one of life’s biggest moments. All couples want a memorable wedding experience not only for them, but also for their guests. Recently wedding trends, especially destination wedding trends has been away from the beaches to even more exotic destinations such as China.  Here are a few things you should know about having a wedding in China.

Comparable to India, China has a massive wedding related industry. There are approximately 10 million weddings and the industry is a multimillion dollar business annually in China.  It is no surprise that wedding services are sophisticated and comprehensive.  If it can be dreamt, it can be found and done in China.  China is a great place to get reasonably priced and high quality customized items such as monogrammed decors or personalized wedding favours.  This not only drives down the cost, but also can give a wedding that elegant touch and sensibility.

The majority of wedding ceremonies in China are civil ceremonies typically performed by an older and influential family member or close friend. They act as both a witness to the union and Master of Ceremonies. A religious wedding ceremony is uncommon in China, especially ones performed by figures such as a Christian priest or minister. Additionally, there is no such thing as a Buddhist wedding. Weddings in China are tied more to the culture than to any particular religion.

China has over 5000 years of history. Therefore, it is no surprise its tradition of thousands of years of vast imperial bureaucracies carry through to today! While having a wedding in China will certainly be the romantic experience of your lifetime, the process of obtaining a marriage license is no Vegas drive-thru Chapel experience (maybe that’s a really good thing!). It is time consuming and expensive. There is a lot of paperwork with embassies and/or consulates involved and everything will need to be translated into Chinese.  So it is highly recommended for couples who both hold foreign passports to legally marry in their home country or in Hong Kong, and hold a symbolic wedding ceremony in China only.  For the couple yearning to be unique though, China is an excellent choice!

“This article was submitted by EDW Wedding Designer Faye Xuan. Faye is a highly creative and passionate Wedding Designer catering to the bride looking for a China or Canada Destination Wedding. Start planning your unique destination wedding, email us at! Still looking for more information? Feel free to subscribe to our blog or connect with us on


Clare & Adrian’s Extraordinary Dubrovnik Wedding – A medieval Palace in the heart of the Old Town, Sponza

Clare and Adrian first got in touch with us in December last year for an early June wedding, which is in the world of weddings abroad and destination weddings sort of a last minute booking. Their vision was clear and beautiful- wedding in the medieval Sponza Palace followed by a seaside reception venue. We added a bit more local touch by some of our bits and pieces but all in all it was their true magical wedding story, and we too enjoyed every minute of it- planning, organizing and coordinate.

I loved a lot of things about their wedding and one of them surely was the feel of their families and some members in particular: Clare’s father Kevin whom I absolutely loved talking to and who was there for his, as he called Clare- Daddy’s little girl, every second of the wedding planning, even at our pre-wedding meeting; and Adrian’s almost 90 years old Grandpa who travelled all the way from Jamaica for the special day and thought I was kidnapping him when I took him to walk the easier path to the restaurant apart from all other guests. I had to mention them as they surely added a lot of emotional weight on this special day.

Adrian was getting ready at a hotel in Lapad bay where the whole wedding party was staying, and his best man was the above greatly mentioned Grandpa. They were getting ready together and I thought this was amazing and surely one of the most special moments of the whole day….

Clare was getting ready with the girls at the reception venue hotel and atmosphere was fabulous. Laid back, relaxed and beautiful. So relaxed that Clare was writing thank you cards to put in the Bridesmaids present boxes about an hour before ceremony in the hotel hallway so girls don’t see her. I borrowed her my favorite fountain pen to write them and we laughed how people don’t know how to write with fountain pens anymore as she struggled with shaking hands to finalize the text. She had a perfect practice as next time she would use one was very soon from then- at her wedding ceremony….

Adrian waiting for his bride as she walks down the aisle with her father.

Soon enough it was time for these two to bond their lives in marriage of unity. The ceremony took place in medieval Palace in the heart of the Old Town, Sponza, in front of 30 of their closest friends and family.

After the ceremony the guests had a cocktail in Sponza Palace and then a panoramic boat cruise with a champagne and canapes reception aboard. Everyone absolutely loved it! Upon return from the panoramic boat cruise around the islands and Old Town the coach took the wedding party to Grand Villa Argentina Hotel – one of Dubrovnik’s, even Croatia’s finest, Victoria restaurant and lounge bar where cocktail was first held with the sun setting over the city walls of Dubrovnik’s Old town.

As it was getting darker we slowly moved to the top floor for dinner. Set up was beautiful, people were fantastic and ambiance was amazing. The jazz band played well known tunes and surprised the Jamaican crowd with a few jazzy performances of Bob Marley – Clare and Adrian truly were such a beautiful, relaxed and happy couple.

Thanks so much Clare and Adrian for your trust from the very beginning to today. It has been a privilege and a true pleasure and I look forward to seeing you here for every anniversary, as agreed.
Wishing you to be as happy every day as you were on this special day….

Our Family’s Big, Fat Destination Wedding

I am the Mother of two sons and as many Moms will tell you, my boys are as different as two human beings can possibly be. So different in fact, that at times my husband has asked me if I needed to confess to an affair roughly nine months before each child was born. The answer is a resounding no and his gene pool as surprising as that may be to my husband, has contributed 50% of what we see before us today. My oldest is a fly by the seat of your pants kind of guy and my youngest can’t survive without a five year plan in front of him. It’s this uniqueness though that makes each so endearing and special to me and as one would expect, each preferred a very different wedding experience when it came time for them to get married.

My youngest was the first to tie the knot, and a long engagement period followed the happy announcement. It had nothing to do with making sure they were right for each other, it had to do with the housing market. Mr. Five Year Plan had determined that home prices in his area were going to be substantially more expensive if they waited another year to purchase a home, so they opted to buy the house first and have the wedding a year later (actually a very smart move in retrospect). Always with an eye on the budget, my youngest came to the conclusion that a destination wedding was definitely the way to go especially since many of us were going to need to travel a long distance to attend the wedding anyway. So rather than get on a plane bound for Minnesota, we all got on a plane and headed to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was a good decision.

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