DW is destination wedding for all you people that are not members of the Best Destination Wedding forum. Only the most helpful forum for weddings I’ve ever come across.
I want to start from the very beginning and explain why we decided to go the DW route. Everyone has a different reason so I wanted to share mine.
Growing up I wasn’t one of those girls that planned her wedding. I didn’t think abut looking like a princess in a big poofy dress, nor did I think about being the centre of attention for a whole day. Thinking about 200 people staring at me while reciting my vows was more likely to instill feelings of anxiety than joy. After attending a wedding or two in my teens, I knew I did not want to have a wedding in my hometown. Hell no. I thought it was an ugly place with ugly venues.
Somewhere down the line I learned abut destination weddings and from that point on everything clicked. Saying my vows with my toes buried in the sand? Sounds amazing. Only having my nearest and dearest there for such a highly personal moment? Sounds perfect. From that point on if anyone asked me what kind of wedding I wanted, I’d say destination.
My ideal wedding day shoes: none – Photo by Robert Evans Studio
Then I had the privilege of actually attending a destination wedding and that sealed the deal for me. We travelled to Aruba for the fiance’s brother’s wedding and it was by far the best wedding I’ve ever been to. There was a ceremony on the beach, dancing on the sand, some the most delicious food I’ve come across and it was all an intimate affair with only 30 people. Oh, and there were wild flamingos strutting around the site. Just saying.
Real wild flamingos from the private island wedding – Photo from Marriott.com
When P, my fiance, and I started discussing marriage, I explained my dream. But P, always the realist brought up some sad facts that I had neglected to really consider. Like the fact that my parents were in a poor financial situation at the time as would either not be able to attend, or we’d have to pay for then, thereby blowing our budget. Reality sting sometimes. We decided a DW was not really in the cards for us. We settled on a local wedding: an intimate ceremony followed by dinner with immediate family and bridal party, followed up by a cocktail party with everyone else we knew a couple days later.
We got engaged in a private moment overlooking the pacific ocean. There were whales. We returned from the trip happy to start this new adventure together, and after a few months of purely enjoying our newly engaged status, I started looking for venues.
Frustration set in as I set up appointments with venues, fell in love with them and then was slapped with a quote that was beyond our budget. Every venue that passed my quality test (because I would not get married somewhere ugly) wanted to charge us up the wazoo. Every venue that was ugly wanted to do the same. There were a lot of tears and unhappy discussions where venue possibilities were scratched off the list because we just couldn’t afford them. Once we scratched off all of them, we knew we were in trouble so we chose one of the cheaper venues and startin cutting things from our quote. Cut some food stations. Cut the open bar down to a toonie bar, much to our dismay. It was still too much which meant we would really have to cheap out on everything else: photography, my dress, etc. Even more frustrating was the fact that we couldn’t have the little wedding we wanted. The more we cut, the further we strayed from our vision.
The venue we tried so hard to make fit – Photo by Photography by Yvonne
One weekend shortly after the new year P’s brother was in town and we all went out to a bar for drinks. At one point the topic of our wedding came up and P explained the frustrations we were having. P’s brother turned to me and asked “What kind of wedding do you want?” I responded honestly with a DW. He said, “Then do that.” He sold us on the DW, talking us how amazing he thought his wedding was, how inexpensive it had been, and how great it was to spend a week with everyone that came. At the end of the night we parted ways with the promise that we would look into a DW, just to see it is was an option.
We never looked back.