Preparation before the ceremony
The morning of our wedding ceremony, we decided to get ready separately my husband and I. We had a suite that my husband used to get ready with his groomsmen, his father and the ring bearer.
As for me, I booked hair & makeup services at the hotel spa💆🏽💇🏽. I once again read the comments of other brides to make sure I wouldn’t look like a zombie bride 🧟!
We were treated to a nice private & air-conditioned section with champagne 🍾 and food delivered directly to the spa.
We were 6 and we each chose the service we wanted. Some of us decided to take only the makeup and others only the hair. I don’t regret my decision at all, it gave us beautiful pictures and made the moment luxurious & special.
If you don’t want to pay for the spa, you can get ready in your room or a guest room! But make sure you choose a room that is :
- Large & well-equipped
- Beautiful: for photos and/or video
- Well located: not too far from the ceremony location
This applies to all weddings, but especially those in hot countries: hydrate well 🥤& eat something that will give you energy. You can afford a glass of champagne 🥂, but avoid drinking too much alcohol. The day is just beginning and with the heat you may have a energy drop !
Choose the dress 👰🏽 & suit 🤵🏽 according to the climate of the destination. If like us the weather is hot & humid, I recommend choosing clothes with light fabrics & avoiding too many layers. We each specified our destination & climate to the vendors and that eliminated several choices. Yes you should be in love with your dress and suit, but don’t forget your comfort!
Choice of the location 🏝
The first idea we often have for a destination wedding is a beachfront ceremony. That’s what we wanted at the very beginning.
However before you make your decision, I strongly advise you to see the location 👀 where the ceremony will take place. This is to validate if it is a private section well hidden from other tourists in bathing suits with their bellies out…
Avoid this location if it’s not a private section, as it’s not romantic, not great for photos & it makes the ceremony public!!! Also, if you & the majority of your guests plan to wear heels 👠 a beach ceremony is not a very good option!
Since our hotel did not offer a private section on the beach, we decided to take the Gazebo section!
It was the best decision! We were perched high in a private section with the view of the Caribbean Sea & a beautiful sunset 🌅 to dream about 😍!
Take the time to do the pros and cons of the different locations available for your ceremony.
Choose the location that fills the most boxes:
✔ Beauty of the location
✔ Comfort (yours & the guests) The ceremony can last 20 minutes as well as 1 hour! You don’t want to have guests waddling or standing up all the time.
✔ Covered by the sun. Depending on the time of the ceremony, it may still be sunny. It would be ideal to make sure the sun doesn’t melt your guests 😅
✔ Private section
In our wedding package, we had a basic decor included for the ceremony. Since the location itself was so beautiful, it didn’t take much more than that!
Here are the items we added & carried with us:
Whether it is a legal or symbolic ceremony, make sure you have at least one preparation meeting with the person celebrating your wedding. This is to explain what you wish for your ceremony. It is certain that you have more flexibility on the course of the symbolic ceremony than legal.
In our case, we had a preparation meeting and sent our officiant the course of the symbolic ceremony we wanted.
Here’s how our ceremony went (≈ 40 minutes):
❤ Arrival of the guests (Various music)
❤ Entry of the procession (Music 2)
❤ Entrance of the bride with her father (Music 3)
❤ Groom greets father of the bride and bride and groom proceed to the steps of the gazebo
❤ Welcoming speech by the officiant
❤ Exchange of vows
❤ Celebrant’s speech
❤ Exchange of rings
❤ I pronounce you husband and wife (Music 4)
❤ Official exit of the bride and groom followed by the witnesses
❤ Group photos in front of the Gazebo
To our surprise, we had a small bar with refreshments 🍹🥤 for our guests from the beginning to the end of the ceremony! This was very appreciated by our guests who had to be there 30 minutes before the ceremony started. There was also champagne for the toast at the end 🥂
Tips to save money 💸!
Validate if it’s cheaper for you to buy 💳🛍 and carry 📦💼 decor items instead of adding extras at destination. Depending on your currency and the currency at destination you could save money!
A bouquet of flowers 💐 can be expensive and the total can quickly add up if each bridesmaid carries one. In our case, I had two bridesmaids, one carried a bouquet of flowers and we decided that the second one could carry our vows book 📔. It’s a nice way to do different and of course save pennies 💸.