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All Aboard, Destination Wedding!

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Whether your destination wedding is a trip for you, your guests or both, logistics go sky high when travel is added to the itinerary.  Forget gifts and outfits.  Guests attending a destination wedding need to account for travel, stay, transportation and (for women especially) a where-to for pre-wedding pampering.  Arizona is a state with bucco transplants.  This means that many guests attending a wedding even for our locals have “destination” written all over their invites.

Destination weddings should be an adventure, not a headache.

To provide you with the best destination wedding advice, we reached out to our been-there-done-that brides and the biggest “destination wedding” hub of them all, Vegas.   There are a ton of great wedding planning tips at Vegas.com.  One idea that hit home was the holiday booking work-around.  Having a Valentines Day or Christmas wedding sounds incredibly romantic, but comes with it’s fair share of challenges.

“The idea of a holiday wedding is hard to ignore, [..b]ut remember that you’re not […] the only ones getting married […] that day. Dates like Valentine’s Day book up fast. […] Even holidays like New Year’s Eve can be complicated. [During the winter months, places like Phoenix and Vegas are] flooded with tourists, making booking hotel rooms for your guests a chore.  And […] restaurants and clubs will be crowded as well.”

We don’t mean to discourage you, but rather to encourage you to do your research. A) book your destination wedding early.  B) research local events that may congest the area.  And c) enlist the experience and guidance of a wedding planner.  At the Ashley Castle, we provide couples with an information packet to help navigate the party planning process.   From suggestions on rehearsal dinner restaurants, to activities for out of towners, local transportation companies, hotels and more – there is always someone to lend a hand.

All inclusive venues pack a loaded suitcase of perks for destination weddings.

All-inclusive wedding venues allow couples to leave most of the planning to the experts.  The benefits to this are bountiful.  Most importantly, it takes the guess work out of finding the right vendor.  It also means out-of-town brides can condense their meetings to one visit rather than booking around numerous company schedules.

Vegas.com/weddings agrees.  According to their seasoned staff, all-inclusive “locations have packages that include caterers, flowers, music, photography and more.  And it’s all in-house, so you don’t have to go searching for different vendors. They even have wedding coordinators to help you with all the arrangements.” We also hold meetings with brides remotely if needed.

Get to know a local, and package your way to a deal!

When planning from afar, BTDT brides suggest enlisting the help of a local that has your best interests in mind.  Vegas.com suggests packaging your booking to make the most of your stay.  We suggest both.  Wedding planning is stressful, let alone destination wedding planning.  On our preferred vendors page, we include links to our in house vendors, and trusted outside vendors.  It helps to get to know who you will be working with, and who you can rely on for those more optional add ons.

Go big or go home with your destination wedding, politely.

Whether your wedding takes you to the magnificent deserts of Arizona, the ocean peaks of Malibu, or the pizazz of the Vegas Strip, be conscientious of your guests.  It is your big day, but in many cases it is their big commitment.  Many people plan a vacation around a wedding and make a week of it.  Provide your guests with local attractions and entertainment ideas.  Make sure your pre-wedding festivities are easy and convenient to get to from guests’ hotels.  And be sensitive to those with accompanying kiddos.

Lastly, get everything you want and more.

You’ve chosen a city, you’ve picked your theme, you’ve accepted the realities of your headcount.  Lastly, make sure you’ve found a venue that really speaks to you.  If you’re going to truck yourselves and your family across the country, make sure the venue has all the features you want.  Our brides fall in love with the Castle because it is exclusive, has a mixture of indoor and outdoor space, speaks of elegance and grandeur, and it is what they have always dreamed of.

No matter where in the world you end up, remember one thing…  you will never truly know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.  Our only wish is that you look back on this destination with a smile, a laugh and a whole lot of love.

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