10 Things To Know Before Having A Destination Wedding In The Cayman Islands
By Michael Brito
Below are a few tips to help you plan accordingly for your destination wedding.
I. Wedding Size
Destination Weddings are the new & exciting trend for couples seeking a non-traditional way to exchange vows. Do you want the ceremony to be just for you and your fiancée? Do you want to only invite close family and friends and keep it small? Or do you want to make it a grand celebration inviting everyone? These are some initial things to think about when planning a destination wedding. In most cases your wedding will be a small and intimate gathering because not everyone you invite will be able to attend.
II. Marriage Licenses & Applications
In order to get married in the Cayman Islands, a license is needed. It is recommended that you take care of the application process way before the plans for the wedding begin to avoid any delays. The application fee for the License, including postal, is $200 U.S. (or CI$160 in Cayman Islands Dollars). For the actual Marriage license, you and your fiancée will have to provide The Cayman Islands international embarkation and disembarkation card showing proof of entry. A valid passport or certified copies of your birth certificate along with photo identification is needed as well.
III. Budget & Costs
Because the wedding may be smaller then the traditional, celebrating it in a far off destination is a great idea to consider for the couple that does not want to spend the traditional price of a wedding. The cost will be less for the number of people that you have to pay for and with the natural magnificence of the Cayman Islands, you can simplify your décor which can also help you to save money in your budget. There will already be a lot for the eyes of your guests to take in. You will not have to go overboard with "dressing" up the place and can afford to rely on your beautiful background.
Do as much as you possibly can at home before you head to your island destination for your dream wedding. It will be easier to finish some details ahead of time in order to have less to worry about when you get there. For instance, plan your hairstyle and makeup in advance and bring everything that you will need with you just in case you won't be able to find it there. Taking care of more at home leaves you with more time to relax and be stress free.
Make preparations for the type of packaging you will have to do to keep your bridal gown and fiancée's tuxedo in great condition. It is difficult to pack for a wedding and a honeymoon especially if you have to bring any additional decorations or wedding apparel. Delegate some important things to close family members who can bring it for you. If you do decide to ship things instead, give yourself lots of extra time.
VI. Wedding & Event Planner
You can always go ahead and begin planning your wedding yourself especially if you are a very detailed oriented person. However, it will be less stressful to go with a reliable source that not only has local contacts, but is experienced with working with couples from "out-of-town" and will go out of their way to make your special day a dream come true.
VII. Save the Date
Keep in mind when planning this celebration, that distance and even cost of travel and board will affect who ends up attending. It is important to send out a save the date card or reminder to let people know at least 6 months in advance of your destination wedding in paradise. It is more likely for them to attend if they have notice and can take the time off from work.
VIII. Guest Accommodations
When sending out invitations, use a travel agent to include discounted group fares and rates for travel and board for your guests. It is important to also work out travel accommodations for guests to and from all the wedding events like the rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception. Make your guests' job easier by taking care of all the research and logistics for them.
Do not "jam pack" the itinerary for your guests either with so many wedding related events. This is as much of a vacation for them as it is for you and your fiancée. Let them have the freedom to explore the island and find fun and exciting things that they want to do.
XI. Venue Selection
There are so many choices for the actual ceremony and reception afterwards depending on the kind of feel you are going for. You can take advantage of the beautiful scenery and background of a paradise island by using the beach for the ceremony or even a unique natural wonder. Either one of those options will not be difficult to find in the Cayman Islands! For the reception, there are many hotels with stylish banquet halls and court yard gardens that will only add to the uniqueness of the celebration.
Take advantage of the fact that you are in the islands. There will be lots of reggae, calypso, and steel pan bands that would add a wonderful touch to your reception and maximize the "island" experience. This is something that your wedding coordinator can definitely help you with because of their local contacts and connections. Make your wedding an amazing experience for not only you and your partner, but also your guests.
Follow these simple steps and you will be walking down the aisle in the Cayman Islands with no worries at all. Please click here if you should need assistance your destination wedding planning in the beautiful Cayman Islands.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.