Destination weddings require careful planning

The key is planning with an experienced specialist who understands the intricacies.
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- No longer do you have to be Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to afford a wedding in an exotic location. Today, the bride and groom can pay less for a destination wedding than a traditional wedding, according to destination wedding expert Quentin Carmichael, president of
Currently one in six couples across the U.S. has a destination wedding, and that number is only increasing. Savvy brides initially tap the Internet to understand what a destination wedding entails. With so many companies claiming to be the ultimate resource, it's often difficult to recognize the impostor from the professional until it's too late.
"For many couples their wedding day is the most important life-changing event to date," says Carmichael. "The key to having a successful destination wedding is planning with an experienced specialist who understands the intricacies of arranging a wedding in a foreign country. A truly skilled professional should not only answer your questions, but also the questions that you never thought to ask."
Carmichael recommends these planning tips:
Don't just rely on the Internet. Work with a real person, a certified destination wedding specialist, who will understand and cater to your preferences.
Take the time. The best resorts book far out. Anticipate at least nine months of planning.
Benefit from insider knowledge. Specialists with prior experience in your location can reveal the best and worst local vendors.
Know the locale's marriage requirements. Some countries require one month residency.
Minimize travel stress and risk. Tap a planning provider with air/hotel package negotiation leverage and a 24-hour emergency service.
Join an online bridal forum. Gain insight from other brides about their experiences.
Make it easy for guests to attend. Choose a coordinator with a payment plan option.
Stay in touch. Create, update and share with guests a custom wedding Web site.
Know plan B. Ask about ceremony locations for both perfect and inclement weather conditions.
Maximize the experience. Couples can have a combined wedding/honeymoon. Guests can extend for a vacation.
For more destination wedding planning tips and advice visit

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