You've already heard from Liz and Colin's guests about how wonderful their Sandals Emerald Bay wedding was, so now it's time to check in with the new Mr. and Mrs. Here, a few tips on planning a memorable wedding away from home.
And after you read through Liz and Colin's advice, please tell us: What are your best tips for planning a destination wedding?
MSW: What is the best tip you can give couples out there about planning a destination wedding?
Liz and Colin: There are so many reasons why everyone close to you won't be able to join you for your destination wedding, so take it as an opportunity to focus on you and your husband-to-be! And focus on the special memories you are creating with your future spouse and the guests who can attend. We could remember and cherish every moment of our special day because it was so small and easygoing!
MSW: What was your favorite part about having a destination wedding?
Liz and Colin: You're literally on VACATION, so you can really relax! I got to sleep in and didn’t have to worry about getting across town in traffic or anything. Getting to the salon to get my hair and makeup done was as easy as a stroll across the gorgeous property. Everything you need for your wedding -- your dress, your guests, your caterer, etc. -- are already at the venue on your wedding day, so the logistics couldn't have been easier.
What are the pros and cons of having a destination wedding?
Liz and Colin: One of the biggest cons of having a destination wedding is not having hundreds of your closest friends and family around you. However, one of the biggest pros is having a small, intimate affair without tons of wedding guests keeping you running around all night!
MSW: What was your favorite thing to do at the Sandals resort?
Liz and Colin: There were so many fun activities to participate in when we weren’t planning for the wedding! One of our favorites was the game room. We just loved hanging out in there and meeting other couples celebrating and vacationing just like us! We met some really fun people who were like old friends by the time we checked out. We also took an amazing kayaking tour of the beautiful island. It was such a fun way for our families to bond!
MSW: What is the best piece of advice anyone gave you before your destination wedding?
Liz and Colin: Darcy said, “You had better get a strapless bikini!” And she was right. Watch out for the sun! Its easy to forget to cover up before your wedding, especially if you arrive at your destination a few days earlier. Not only do you not want burn before the big day, but both the bride and groom should be careful of notorious tan lines -- like bikini lines sticking out of a strapless wedding gown, or a killer sunglasses tan! And maybe avoid one day at the pool pre-wedding, to save yourself from embarrassing wedding photos!
MSW: What should brides bring with them for a destination wedding?
Liz and Colin: Try to bring your own sunscreen, since its usually super expensive at resorts. And bring normal size things like shampoo, conditioner, and makeup since you’ll probably use more than you would on a normal vacation as you try to look as glam as possible for the photos of a lifetime! I also swore by SoleMates High Heelers. They're plastic covers that you slip onto your heels, that way they won't sink into the grass or get caught in cobblestone cracks.
Thanks for the great advice, Liz and Colin. And don't forget to check out Liz and Colin's wedding in our destination weddings and honeymoons special issue, hitting newsstands on October 4th!