Category Archives: Destination Weddings

The Ultimate Planning Guide: 6 Destination Wedding Essentials You Need to Know

Congratulations on your engagement! This will be one of the happiest times of your
life, as you start planning your destination wedding! But, thinking of everything that you
need to pull together to host a destination wedding can be overwhelming. There are
so many different things that you will have to manage for everything to run smoothly.
How do you make the choice of location, venue, transportation, and all the other
destination wedding essentials that you need to concern yourself with?

This destination wedding guide will help you navigate the 6 most important details of planning a destination wedding that will truly be fabulous! It can be an arduous journey, but this will ensure that both you and your partner come out not just surviving, but actually thriving during the destination wedding planning process!

Ok, so let’s jump into these six destination wedding essentials!

Get Started Right Away

In today’s post-COVID environment, dates & availability are booking up faster
than ever before! Many couples are eager to finally say “I DO!” in an amazing
location, just as they had hoped before the pandemic! Now dates are booking
up fast, so don’t procrastinate, start researching resort wedding venues &
availability now!

2. You Don’t Have to Know it All

You may think you have to know everything about planning a destination
wedding before you begin, but that’s simply not true! You don’t need to have it
all figured out to get started. The two most important things you need to start
working on is making a list of potential destinations you would like to get
married, and then, a list of potential resort wedding venues to hold your
wedding & wedding group at.

3. Consider Doing a Pre-Wedding Planning Trip

Hey, Who doesn’t like the samples at Costco, before you buy a 12-pack of hot
chocolate bombs? Right?

Once you have a destination wedding location chosen, then it’s time to figure
out which wedding venue & resort to have your ceremony and host your group.
One of the most effective ways to choose a wedding resort & venue is to visit it
first before you decide. In fact, many resorts offer special “wedding visit”
packages to encourage you to visit their resort, hoping you will choose them for
your destination wedding.

Get a New Email Exclusively for Wedding Related Conversations

In order to have a successful destination wedding, you have to be organized. I
always suggest that you create a special email address exclusively for your
wedding & honeymoon. This way all of your wedding correspondence &
conversations will be in one spot! Believe me, this will save you so much time
and probably money in the end. The last thing you want is a confirmation email
requesting you to verify your wedding date & time at the resort, and you miss it
in a crowded inbox sandwiched between emails from Peloton & your uncle’s
gallbladder surgery!

Consider Getting a New Credit Card that Earns Miles

As long as you are going to be charging your wedding expenses, you might as
well earn some reward miles to help you pay for your travel. This is a great time
to open a new credit card that will earn you miles or points for future or even
current travel. You could actually get your airfare paid for if you play your credit
cards right!

Consider Working with a Destination Wedding Specialist

If you want to ensure that your destination wedding will be planned correctly,
and reduce the stress and frustration you may feel when trying to plan this all
on your own, it may be worth it to invest in a destination wedding designer or
planner. A destination wedding planner or designer knows the ins and outs of a
destination wedding and has plenty of experience setting up wedding groups,
negotiating contracts, and managing all of the logistics for you and your guests.
They will also make sure that you receive ALL the amenities & perks you will
qualify for as well. Things that many resorts won’t tell you unless you ask.

I hope this destination wedding survival guide helps make your wedding planning a little less stressful and more fun. At the end of the day, you want your destination wedding to be a celebration that everyone will remember! (In a good way) By knowing these destination wedding essentials, you can ensure that your destination wedding experience will be everything you hoped for, as well as one of your fondest memories as a couple.

And, by the way, If you feel like you need a little help planning your destination wedding, or you’re ready to have all of this lifted off of your shoulders, then I encourage you to schedule a free 15-minute strategy session with me!

I would be honored to help you figure out everything you need for your dream wedding to come true!

5 Steps to Planning the Most Magical Destination Wedding on ANY Budget

The 7 Most Popular Destination Wedding Trends of 2023

Planning an amazing destination wedding could wind up being a stressful
endeavor. There are literally thousands of options you’ll have to consider when putting
all the pieces together. From creating a memorable guest list, and deciding on the perfect resort, to figuring out your ceremony theme & decor, the journey to the destination aisle promises to be a special one!

I’ve researched 7 destination wedding trends taking place in 2023 to give you some fresh inspiration & ideas, even if your wedding isn’t until 2024 or beyond. Take note of these destination wedding trends because one of them might be the perfect fit for you.


Top 7 Destination Wedding Trends for 2023

Before the pandemic, it was customary for a couple to reserve their wedding resort venue and room block around 12 months out, but as the world has opened up again, many couples are finding resort and venue space filled up for the dates they originally want. In 2023 and beyond, expect higher demand and lower inventory, which also drive up prices. Couples are now looking at approximately 15 months in advance in order to secure the room inventory and pricing that they would like.

BOTTOM LINE: The sooner you can discover the destination, wedding venue, & resort
you want for your destination wedding, and reserve your date, the better!

2. Toes NOT in The Sand

Top 7 Destination Wedding Trends for 2023
Image: Sandals Resorts

In 2023, brides are looking to get married in an Instagram-worthy location, with a
breathtaking backdrop, but they DON’T want their feet in the sand. Many destination
wedding venues now are putting in beautiful above-the-sand platforms, sky weddings,
garden gazebos, and over-the-water gazebos which are growing in popularity.

3. Exclusive Private Experiences:

Top 7 Destination Wedding Trends for 2023
Image: Beaches Resorts

In 2023, couples are looking to do private, exclusive experiences with their wedding
groups, such as private receptions to welcome their guests complete with a mixologist
who creates a special cocktail for just your group. Couples are also scheduling their own
private events such as fire shows, beach parties, tequila or rum tasting, and even a
private tour or excursion for just your wedding group.

4. Over The Water Ceremonies!

Top 7 Destination Wedding Trends for 2023
Image: Sandals Resorts

As I previously mentioned, more and more wedding couples don’t want their feet in the
sand, but they still want the breathtaking backdrop. One way to achieve this is to have
an over-the-water ceremony. Many resorts now contain wedding venues that are built
over the water. This not only gives the normal amazing view but also adds a
3-dimensional beauty to the ceremony.

5. Focus on Incorporating Cultural Traditions:

Top 7 Destination Wedding Trends for 2023

Many couples will be incorporating both local and cultural traditions into their destination wedding experience for both them and their guests! Today’s couples want to do more than just have a “wed-cation.” They want to give their entire wedding group an authentic experience with the location they have chosen for their destination wedding!

6. Including Local Cuisine & Cocktails:

Top 7 Destination Wedding Trends for 2023

Along with my previous trend of including cultural traditions in their wedding, many couples also include local cuisine and even cocktails in their wedding events. For example, in Mexico, there is a special liquor called Mezcal. Couples will hire a mixologist to use a liquor like that in creating a cocktail native to the location they are getting married in. In addition to a cocktail, they may also include some type of authentic delicacy on their menu.

7. Consulting with a Destination Wedding Expert

Top 7 Destination Wedding Trends for 2023

In 2023, couples are choosing to consult with a destination wedding specialist to help them make sure they are getting everything they want and the maximum value out of their destination wedding. One of the reasons being that wedding couples are busier than ever as they work, finish school, start their family, and possibly move to a new home, all while trying to find some time for each other. Today’s couples believe that it is well worth the investment to spend a little extra to get their destination wedding planned right as well as take the stress & frustration of planning their destination wedding off of their plate!

As you plan your own destination wedding, you might want to consider some of these
trends. It’s not just about having a unique, memorable day for you and your guests. It’s
also about looking for some extra inspiration as you continue to plan your destination
wedding so that your wedding will be everything you dream it will be.

So… What will these destination wedding trends mean for you?

Well, I hope they will help you to plan the Destination Wedding of your dreams today.
These 7 trends are only going to gain more popularity, as couples continue to push the
envelope for a more unique experience for both themselves and their guests. And hopefully, it will at least give you a few ideas that you didn’t even know you wanted!

If you are in the midst of planning your destination wedding and feel like you’re stuck
and not getting very far, I encourage you to use this link, to schedule a free 30-minute
strategy session with me! I would be honored to help your figure out everything
you need for an amazing & magical destination wedding!

5 Steps to Planning the Most Magical Destination Wedding on ANY Budget

Top 7 Destination Wedding Trends for 2023

Plan Your Destination Wedding at Hard Rock Hotels with Colin Cowie Weddings


When you plan your destination wedding at one of the Hard Rock hotels, you will enjoy a wedding designed by Colin Cowie, exclusively for the all inclusive Hard Rock Hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. These beautiful weddings are available in Cancun, Mexico; Vallarta, Mexico; Riviera Maya, Mexico; or Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

When planning your destination wedding at Hard Rock Hotels, you will have nine different collections to choose from, depending on the color and vision that you have for your wedding.

The complimentary collection includes

  • Wedding ceremony location
  • White ceremony structure
  • White ceremony podium with a golden manzanita branch and a gold mirrored vase filled with white roses
  • 30 white avant-garde chairs
  • Themed one-tier wedding cake for 30 persons
  • Bridal bouquet
  • Groom’s boutonniere
  • Justice of the Peace or minister to perform legal, symbolic, or vow renewal ceremonies
  • Sparkling wine for 30 persons during ceremony
  • Honeymoon Wishes wedding website and wedding registry
  • CD system available during the ceremony
  • Wedding planner
  • Witnesses, if required
  • Complimentary Honeymoon Package

However, there are optional enhancements available to add to your collection as well. You can add some color or change the decor to design the wedding of your dreams. If you have family and friends join you and stay at the resort, you may be eligible for a cocktail reception and/or dinner.

Plus, you can take advantage of the $1,800 limitless resort credit to indulge in spa treatments and more.

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations to Explore. She would love to help you plan the destination wedding of your dreams at no cost to you. Email for more information. 

Plan Your Tropical Vow Renewal at Sandals Resort

retie the knot

Did you know that you can enjoy a beautiful vow renewal at a gorgeous tropical property for just $300?

When you plan to “ReTie the Knot” at one of the beautiful Sandals Resorts, you can purchase the following package for just $300:

  • Personal pre-travel ReTie the Knot planner
  • Personal resort ReTie the Knot planner and dedicated ReTie The Knot team
  • Musical accompaniment (pre-recorded)
  • Bouquet and Boutonniere
  • Celebration Cake
  • 30 minute Charming reception with sparkling wine & cold hors d’oeuvres for ReTie the Knot couple and up to six guests
  • Commemorative certificate
  • Keepsake gift
  • One (1) 5×7 Honeymoon Photograph
  • Honeymoon dinner for ReTie the Knot couple at a resort specialty restaurant with white-glove service and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine
  • Decorated honeymoon room
  • Mimosa breakfast-in-bed a morning of your choice

If you are dreaming of a bigger affair than just you and your spouse, you can enjoy a bigger celebration with those closest to you. Plus, if your party books five rooms or more, your ReTie the Knot package is complimentary and you can also qualify for the following:

Celebrations for 5 – 9 rooms also receive:

  • 30 minute Charming reception with sparkling wine & cold hors d’oeuvres for the Group
  • Keepsake Gift from Sandals Resorts for Each Member of the Group
  • Complimentary One (1) Room Category Upgrade for the ReTie the Knot Couple

Celebrations for 10 – 19 rooms also receive:

  • Private Pre-ReTie the Knot Celebration Dinner for the Group
  • 1 Hour Premier Reception with sparkling wine and hot & cold and hors d’ouevres for the Group
  • Complimentary One (1) Person Credit for First (12) Paid Double Occupancy Rooms
  • Group Pre-Registration and Check-in Upon Arrival
  • Manicure and Pedicure for the Wife
  • 35 Minute Massage for the Husband
  • Keepsake Gift from Sandals Resorts for Each Member of the Group

Celebrations for 20 or more rooms also receive:

  • 1 Hour Classic reception with sparkling wine, hot & cold hors d’ouevres, open bar, and signature cocktail for the
    ReTie the Knot group
  • 2 Hour Splendid Dinner

Siera is a charter member of the Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist and would love to help you plan your vow renewal at Sandals Resorts. Email for more information. 

Top 20 Honeymoon Destinations

 abd italy gondola ride

Brides magazine recently published a list of the top 20 honeymoon destinations. Check out the list:

  • Italy- romantic ruins, palatial hotels, heart-stopping canals, and vineyards
  • French Polynesia- overwater bungalows that offer panoramic blue-water views
  • Maui- black-sand beaches, romantic waterfalls, and countless waterfront resorts
  • St. Lucia- all-inclusive resorts, endless beaches, rain forests, gardens, national parks, and a drive-in volcano
  • Turks and Caicos- coral reefs ideal for scuba diving, clear blue waters, and a bustling restaurant scene
  • Kauai- 50 miles of beaches, charming small towns, and cliffside golf courses
  • France- wineries, beaches, the history, and, of course, the romance of Paris
  • Greece- historical attractions, delicious cuisine, picture-perfect beaches, and thermal spas
  • Fiji- high-end, midrange, and budget resorts, as well as coral reefs, white-sand beaches, and scuba diving
  • Bali-  five-star resorts, panoramic ocean views, mountains with gorgeous waterfalls, and world-class cuisine
  • Mexico- ancient ruins, pristine beaches, and fabulous resorts
  • Thailand- tropical islands with a balmy climate, culturally rich cities, famous massages, and colorful markets
  • St. Barts- high-end boutique hotels or private villa with “a healthy shopping district”
  • Jamaica- beaches, all-inclusive resorts, and “that famous music and food”
  • South Africa- try a wildlife safari, cage diving with great white sharks, or visit wineries in the countryside
  • Costa Rica- tropical rainforest getaway with remote beaches, volcanoes, waterfalls, national parks, rafting, and surfing
  • Anguilla- blue waters, white-sand beaches, andgorgeous waterfront resorts with infinity pools
  • Antigua- perfect for snorkeling, scuba diving, or sailing
  • Dominican Republic- beautiful all inclusive resorts with  golf courses, palm-tree-lined beaches, and waterfalls
  • British Virgin Islands- great if you want to surf, sail, yacht or sea kayak near a luxury resort

Where did you honeymoon? Where would your dream honeymoon be?

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations to Explore and a charter member of the Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist Association. She would love to help you plan your next honeymoon or vacation at no cost to you. Email for more information. 

AMResorts Offers Ready to Wed Promotion for Couples Marrying by January 31

AMResorts is offering a new “Ready to Wed” promotion for couples who are planning to get married by January 31, 2014. Couples can choose from one of 17 participating luxury resorts across six brands throughout Mexico and the Caribbean.

In addition to the standard destination wedding perks that are arranged by expert in-resort wedding coordinators, the bride and groom will enjoy other incentives such as:

  • $500 resort credit to use toward special touches to customize their special day
  • Free stay for the wedding couple when a minimum of 10 rooms staying for at least three nights each are booked

There are both adult-only and family-friendly resort options where everything is included. Resorts under the Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, and Secrets, Breathless, Dreams, Now and Sunscape Resorts & Spas brands that offer “Ready to Wed” include:

Dominican Republic

  • Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana (blackout dates:11/1/13 – 11/30/13)
  • Secrets Royal Beach Punta Cana
  • Breathless Punta Cana
  • Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana
  • Dreams Punta Cana


  • Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta (blackout dates: 12/23/13 – 12/25/13)
  • Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun
  • Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun (blackout dates: 10/23/13 – 10/26/13)
  • Secrets Aura Cozumel (blackout dates: 11/25/13 – 12/2/13 and 12/25/13 – 1/3/14)
  • Secrets The Vine Cancun (blackout dates: 11/28/13 – 12/1/13 and 12/26/13 -1/3/14)
  • Secrets Puerto Los Cabos
  • Dreams Puerto Aventuras
  • Dreams Cancun (blackout dates: 12/23/13 – 1/5/14)
  • Dreams Los Cabos (blackout dates: 9/1/13 – 11/14/13 and 1/1/14 – 1/31/14)
  • Now Amber Puerto Vallarta (blackout dates: 11/1/13 – 11/30/13 and 12/23/13-12/31/13)
  • Sunscape Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa


  • Sunscape Curaçao (blackout dates: 9/1/13 – 9/23/13 and 12/22/13 – 1/5/13)
This is a limited time offer that must be booked by October 31, 2013. This offer is valid for travel now through January 31, 2014

Siera is a charter member of the Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist Association and would love to help you plan your upcoming destination wedding or honeymoon. Request your free, no obligation quote or learn more at! 

Great Deals Available at Paradissus Resorts for an All-Inclusive Vacation

Whether it’s a luxurious getaway or an action-packed family vacation, Melia Hotels International offers several distinct vacation brands custom-tailored to meet the needs of your client’s ideal getaway. Paradisus Resorts are part of the Melia Hotels family and are currently offering resort credits, free golf, free weddings and vow renewals, and even kids stay free discounts! Paradisus Resorts feature all-inclusive luxury vacation resorts designed to blend in with their natural surroundings in very exotic locations for a truly unique experience.

Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda – Riviera Maya
$1000 Pure Freedom Bonus!
This elegant resort has a Mayan ecological feeling, and an oceanfront location surrounded by a lush tropical mangrove preserve and with views of Cozumel Island.

  • 11 remarkable restaurants serving delicious cuisine from all around the world
  • Tango dance classes, sushi-making, and sensorial experiences
  • State of the art meeting spaces
  • Spa services

Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla – Riviera Maya
$1000 Pure Freedom Bonus!
Located in a stunning little bay, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla is the superior luxury resort in the Riviera Maya.

  • Adults-only resort
  • Tango dance classes, sushi-making, and sensorial experiences
  • State of the art meeting spaces

Paradisus Punta Cana Resort – Punta Cana
FREE Golf, Wedding & Vow Renewal!
Whether you seek relaxation or excitement, there is something for everyone at this upscale resort.

  • Sporting activities such as sailing, horseback riding, windsurfing and water biking
  • Luxurious golf and spa services

Paradisus Palma Real Resort – Punta Cana
FREE Golf & Kids Stay FREE!
Combining world-class facilities and modern amenities with indulgent golf and spa services, this polished resort transports guests into a world of sparkling pools and manicured gardens.

  • Casino, spa, and fitness center
  • 3 pools and 7 outdoor hot tubs
  • “Le Cirque” dinner and show, “Party Animals” dinner and show

Siera is a travel agent with Destinations to Explore. She would love to help you plan your next all-inclusive vacation and you can take advantage of one of these great offers. Email for more information.

Norwegian Cruise Line Weddings Now Available

Norwegian Cruise Line weddings are now available. Norwegian Cruise Line has recently launched new wedding packages that include the option for a ceremony at sea performed by a ship office (for show only). Legal vows performed at sea by a ship’s captain are not very common, with just a few major cruise lines offering that option.

Norwegian Cruise Line weddings have partnered with Royal Ocean Events to feature three package options. The cost of these weddings start at $1,600, plus the cruise fare.

  • The “Symbolic” package includes a ceremony at sea
  • The “Harborside” package includes a ceremony performed by an officiant on board the ship while it’s docked
  • The “Destination” package gives couples the option of a wedding on shore

These packages are available at any of Norwegian’s domestic home ports (including New York, Miami and Seattle), as well as at select ports in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.

All of these packages include the services of a wedding coordinator, a private ceremony location, the bride’s bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, pre-recorded ceremony music, a bottle of sparkling wine, a keepsake wedding certificate, suggested vows, and a wedding cake.

Couples can choose to further customize their big day by adding live music, photography and videography, a wedding reception or multi-course meal, and/or spa and beauty treatments.

The cruise line also offers a “Vow Renewal” ceremony for married couples. This package starts at $299 and includes a group ceremony, wedding cake, sparking wine, and dinner for two at the Le Bistro specialty restaurant.

If you are looking for the perfect way to pop the question, there’s also an “Engagement” package available, priced from $399.

Siera is a member of the Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist Association and would love to help you plan the destination wedding and/or honeymoon of your dreams! Email for more information! 

Tying the knot in Las Vegas

Are you thinking about tying the knot in Las Vegas? You can learn more about a stress-free Las Vegas wedding here.

It’s cliche to run away to Las Vegas or elope there with just your sweetheart. However, Las Vegas offers romantic, elegant weddings as well for those who want to celebrate with their family and friends, too. Tying the knot in Las Vegas offers options for every couple, whether you want to be married by Elvis, enjoy a classy, elegant affair, or something in between. The city even advertises, “Your ceremony in Vegas is only limited by your imagination. We’re a town that likes to please.”

Although you do need a license to be married in Las Vegas, you could get married without months and months of stressful planning. That’s one of the biggest benefits that draw couples to Las Vegas- the simplicity of a romantic ceremony.

Las Vegas does offer the drive-through chapels, but on the other hand, their most elegant hotels host first-class weddings, too. You could have velvet runners, imported roses, Chilean sea bass and string quartets. Las Vegas weddings can be custom-fit for any budget, any style, and any couple.

A wedding in Las Vegas is sure to leave any couple with unforgettable memories. Just think about the photo opportunities, the reception venues, and the available hotel rooms for all those friends and family who want to help celebrate your big day. Plus, after tying the knot in Las Vegas, you won’t have to rush to the airport because you’ll already be in one of the top honeymoon destinations.

You could take your sweetheart on a gondola ride, take pictures at the Bellagio fountains, or enjoy a meal by Wolfgang Puck. There are endless possibilities.

Are you thinking about a low-stress Las Vegas wedding or honeymoon? Email Siera at for more information! 

Brides and Grooms Stay Free This Fall at Palladium Hotels and Resorts

Karen Bussen, one of Manhattan’s most exciting wedding designers, now has an exclusive collection for Grand Palladium Resorts in Mexico, Jamaica, and Dominican Republic. There is a series of five new simple stunning wedding packages that will allow you to customize your celebration to reflect your own unique style.

Imagine saying your vows at one of the world’s most romantic beachfront destinations that also features outstanding service and facilities found at the All-Inclusive 5-Star Palladium Resorts. You can experience one of these beautiful, custom designed packages at one of four Palladium Hotels and Resorts in Mexico, Jamaica, and Dominican Republic.

There is a special offer to promote these simple stunning wedding packages where brides and grooms stay free at Palladium Hotels and Resorts. This offer is applicable at the Palladium Resorts in Riviera Maya, Mexico; Riviera Nayarit, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. This offer is valid for weddings booked in September or October 2013 with at least 10 rooms.

Would you like more information on celebrating your destination wedding at Palladium Hotels and Resorts? Do you have any questions about a destination wedding? Contact Siera at for all your destination wedding and honeymoon needs. As a member of the Destination Wedding and Honeymoon Specialist Association, Siera can help you plan the destination wedding and/or honeymoon of your dreams!