Many girls spend years dreaming of their perfect wedding. Some envision it in a big cathedral, others in a rose garden, and others still on a secluded beach. For those considering a destination wedding, there are many factors to take into consideration. In our many years of planning destination weddings at Laluna, we’ve seen every type of bride – from princess to barefoot – and we’ve been able to create a magical day to each. After all our years of experience, we’ve come up with a list of our top five destination wedding planning tips.
1. The Destination
It may seem silly to even mention, but choosing the location should be your top priority when beginning to plan a destination wedding. When first engaged, it can be fun to spend time flipping through bridal magazines and looking at dresses, but first and foremost, a destination should be selected before any planning is done.
Call us biased, but we find that Grenada is an ideal destination wedding location; in all seriousness, it really is, because it fill so many different needs. The small island nation is composed of sandy beaches, lushly forested mountains, and beautiful waterfalls, all perfect for saying “I do”. Adventure-seeking visitors to the island have even gotten married under the sea while scuba diving! While Laluna’s wedding package is designed for an on-resort ceremony, we allow for flexibility, and our helpful staff will work hard to make your dream a reality. For instance, if you’ve always dreamed of getting married next to a lake, we can arrange for the ceremony to take place at Crater Lake. Maybe you’ve got a future spouse that loves to sail; a chartered yacht could be a fantastic location to marry or enjoy a post-ceremony cocktail sunset cruise! The options are limited only by your imagination.
2. Know Before You Go
Whether you have two years to plan or two months, it’s important to start reaching out to potential locations as soon as possible. If time is an issue, you may need to be flexible with the day of the week you choose to get married. It is important to familiarize yourself with the travel requirements to enter your location of choice; for instance, are travel visas required, or does a passport suffice; are there any immunizations needed; will they take your national currency or will an exchange need to take place? To enter Grenada, guests entering from the United States, Canada, and Mexico need only a passport and return ticket. Be sure you (and your guests) have time to prepare everything needed for travel. While the Eastern Caribbean Dollar (ECD) is the standard currency of Grenada, the American dollar is happily accepted at Laluna and around the island.
Also, be aware of the local laws of your destination; some governments require couples to spend a set amount of time on-location before allowing them to legally wed. Know what kind of documentation is required for you to get married; some locations require blood work, signatures from witnesses, or marriage license applications. When marrying in Grenada, the betrothed couple must be on the island for at least three days before getting married, and must bring with them valid passports, birth certificates, and a notarized lawyer’s note certifying their status as a single, marry-able person. For a full list of Grenada’s marriage requirements, the Laluna website has information on the legal requirements to marry in Grenada, as well as what is needed to travel to the island. Of course, should you have any further questions, our helpful staff will be available throughout the planning process to ensure you arrive with everything you need.
3. Guest Travel and Accommodations
Unless you’ve always dreamed of an intimate one-on-one ceremony, convenient travel and accommodations are a must. It’s important to consider whether your guests can easily travel to your dream location, especially if they will only be taking a long weekend to do so. Luckily, with regular flights from New York, Miami, Toronto, and London, Grenada is easily accessible to guests from around the globe; however, depending on the season, flights may book early, so you’ll especially want to give guests advanced notice if you are planning to wed during that time.
When it comes to accommodations, many couples decide to have their wedding guests stay on-site with them, allowing for easy mingling and group activities. Of course, some privacy is also desired, making resort’s such as Laluna an ideal location. With 16 private cottages to choose from, couples can enjoy one-on-one time enjoying romantic view from their private veranda, then meet up for a group dinner in the Laluna restaurant. We often have wedding parties buy out the entire resort, creating a big, inclusive atmosphere for the duration of their guest’s stay. Group cocktail hours, pool parties, and yoga sessions can turn the wedding weekend into an unforgettable memory. For larger wedding parties, our resort staff will be happy to assist in arranging nearby off-site accommodations for overflow guests, typically within walking distance.
4. Leave it up to the Experts
The best resorts, including Laluna, have destination wedding planning experts on staff to help guide you through the planning process. In our case, our experts have put together a special package of wedding must-haves, and allow them to be customized to suit the bride’s (and groom’s!) desires. At Laluna, we build upon the wedding package to create a truly personalized experience. We become your middleman; whether it is a special cake design, or specific song to walk down the aisle to, or special flower for your centerpieces, we will personally work with our list of trusted vendors to ensure that every detail is in place.
5. Reboot with some Vitamin D, Take a Breath & Relax
Whether your wedding is in your own backyard or thousands of miles from home, something unpredictable is sure to happen. Don’t let it ruin your big day. Be sure to put on some sunscreen and get out in the warm Grenada sun. The boost of Vitamin D will instantly improve your mood, and there is nothing more beautiful than a healthy sun-kissed glow. Take a yoga class, have a massage, and be blissed out and ready to walk down the aisle. And hey, if you need the extra boost of liquid courage, our bartender will happily pour you one last drink before you head down the aisle!