Half a million couples will celebrate a destination wedding this year while 55 percent of couples have considered eloping because wedding plans have gotten out of hand! Brit says a four-day wedding weekend can cost less than a meal and reception for 150-200 people at a luxury hotel in New York.
Some of the leading destinations for weddings are:
- Las Vegas, 100,000 weddings performed annually
- Hawaii, 20,000 weddings performed annually
- U.S. Virgin Islands, 5,100 weddings performed annually
- Jamaica, 5,000 weddings performed annually
- Bahamas, 4,000 weddings performed annually
The etiquette of a destination wedding generally calls for invited guests to pay their own airfare, while the bride and groom pick up the tab for the lodging, food, and beverages at an all-inclusive resort – but couples can now find alternatives to offer their guests discounts on hotels and flights.
Below are some tips and resources that are sure to help couples plan a great destination wedding:
- Remember to ask for hotel discounts for you and your guests – many times hotels will give discounts when you reserve a block of rooms at a time.
- Look for generous wedding packages – American Airlines Vacations has developed a unique wedding travel package that offers up to 10 percent off published air fares, plus complimentary wedding invitations inserts to inform out-of-town guests of the discount. These special discounts are available when 10 or more out-of-town guests travel to a wedding. For more information try the Web site www.AAvacations.com.
- For Brides Only: American Airlines offers a special wedding service desk (800) 545-8193.
- American Airline’s Web site, AA.com, offers special wedding packages to Vegas.
- American Airline’s Vacation Web site, www.AAvacations.com offers special packages for traveling couples for example:
- Aruba: Atlantis Submarine Tour, excursion begins at Seaport Village Marina and once on the sub, the vessel submerges to 100-150 feet below the ocean to the Barcadera Reefs. Island Sightseeing Tour, full morning excursion by deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach where you’ll visit the St. Anna Church, Natural Bridge, shop for souvenirs and more.
- Cayman Islands: Stingray Snorkel Trip, an exciting three-hour tour includes Stingray Sandbar to interact (feed and play) with stingrays in their natural environment, Coral Gardens Reef and the Aquarium. Island Highlights Tour, includes a tour to Capital, an art gallery, Conch Shell House, Tortuga Rum Factory, along seven mile beach and the Cayman Turtle Farm.
General travel tips for couples prepping for a honeymoon or destination wedding:
- Busy brides can check-in up to 30 hours before a flight on American Airlines’ Web site, AA.com. Couples can check in the night before a flight, print boarding passes and go directly to security in the morning.
- Use flight status notification via voice or text messaging so loved ones have an easier time picking you up from the airport.
- Make sure you know the legalities if you are planning a destination, especially if it out of the country.
- If you plan on having a destination wedding, try to visit the destination once to finalize any details and to help you anticipate any potential problems.