Nikki
Beginner November 2022

Destination Wedding (florida Keys)

Nikki, on December 15, 2020 at 9:23 AM Posted in Wedding Attire 0 44
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Hey, so I’m recently engaged and I was wondering if anyone has any tips or advice on destination weddings that aren’t out of the country. My fiancé doesn’t want to get a wedding planner because we’re paying for our wedding ourselves. TIA!

44 Comments

Latest activity by Alyssa, on January 20, 2021 at 11:20 AM
  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
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    Definitely watch some youtube videos on this
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  • Nikki
    Beginner November 2022
    Nikki ·
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    Yeah I’ve been watching some and a good bit of them had a planner.
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  • Mrs. Spring
    Master April 2021
    Mrs. Spring ·
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    My stepsister had a destination wedding back in August with only 12 guests. She established a venue first that was for sure still operating and they established a budget. The fewer guests, the less stress and money it will be.
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  • Llcool_Kay
    Expert July 2021
    Llcool_Kay ·
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    Try using a travel agent. 80% of them are free of charge and some specialize in destination wedding planning
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  • Sandra
    Dedicated September 2021
    Sandra ·
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    Puerto Rico is stunning! The Keys as you indicated as well. I personally love Key Largo/Islamorada area the best, far more than Key West. Playa Largo and Cheeca Lodge are both very nice resorts in that area. Amara Cay as well and more affordable. If you choose a resort I've heard they often come with wedding planning services I think? Good luck and congrats! Smiley smile

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  • Nikki
    Beginner November 2022
    Nikki ·
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    So far I think we’re possibly up to 13. I know some might not be able to go.
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  • Nikki
    Beginner November 2022
    Nikki ·
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    I’ve thought about it. The only downside is we’re driving down because he hates flying.
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  • Miranda
    Savvy October 2021
    Miranda ·
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    There is no.way I could do a destination wedding without some type of planner. I'm on the fence about a destination wedding as well. Mainly because of family though.
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  • Chrysta
    Master November 2022
    Chrysta ·
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    We are also having a destination wedding within the country. My best advice is to find a place that is all inclusive, or as close to it as you can get. LESS VENDORS =LESS STRESS The less vendors you have to coordinate with, the less stress it is on you, the fewer deposits you have to pay, and the less chance something will go wrong. We found a venue within a hotel that has a space for the ceremony and for the reception, an in-house chef and waitstaff, full bar, bartenders, tables, chairs, linens (although we plan to bring in our own table cloths, napkins, etc. because we did not want the standard white), seating for the outdoor ceremony space and outdoor heaters in case it gets chilly. They will do all set up, tear down, and clean up. The venue’s event coordinator and her assistant have also offered to act as day of coordinator, if we have not hired one. I think hotels are always the easiest venues when planning a destination wedding, because it doesn’t require your guests to rent cars, take an Uber or taxi, etc. to another location. They can get ready in their rooms and just walk downstairs for your ceremony. Our hotel also has an attached breakfast restaurant so guests don’t need to get up early and go somewhere for breakfast/brunch – they can just walk downstairs and get it.
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  • Chrysta
    Master November 2022
    Chrysta ·
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    Apparently I was too long-winded LOL I had to post this into parts


    make sure you ask lots of questions to find out everything the venue includes. The more includes includes, the easier it is for you and your guests! make sure you find an experienced Officiant - they can take charge of/lead your rehearsal in the absence of a wedding coordinator. Find one place that can do both photography and videography. and utilize your vendors knowledge! They are locals and have likely worked with a ton of other local vendors- they can tell you who does the best work, is reliable, etc. I found it super helpful to ask my female vendors who they suggested for hair and make up!
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  • Nikki
    Beginner November 2022
    Nikki ·
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    Thank you! We’ve looked into a few places already but they’re all in Key West.
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  • Chrysta
    Master November 2022
    Chrysta ·
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    In the end, I think the most important part of planning a destination wedding (especially one without a wedding coordinator), is your attitude. You have to be a laid-back, go with the flow, roll with the punches type of gal. You cannot micromanage a destination wedding like you can a local one. But, that is exactly why I wanted a destination wedding! I wanted it to be a week long celebration with our closest loved ones, rather than just one day or evening of stress. Just keep your decor simple, your expectations in check, and have a blast knowing your wedding is an entire experience that doesn’t hinge on one event going perfectly.
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  • Nikki
    Beginner November 2022
    Nikki ·
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    I’ll just respond to one of your messages lol. Thank you for all of your insight. There were a few places I looked at that were all inclusive but way out of our budget so I’m still trying to find a venue. Once I find a few that our in our range I’m going to contact them and get more information. Then go from there and hopefully it’ll go well. I’d like to have a planner it’s just not in the budget which is fine I’m just trying to figure this all out one day at a time lol.
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  • Nikki
    Beginner November 2022
    Nikki ·
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    Unfortunately having one isn’t in our budget so we’ll be doing all the leg work. I know it’ll be worth it in the end though.
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  • Chrysta
    Master November 2022
    Chrysta ·
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    I hear ya! I am not hiring a day of coordinator either- their prices are ridiculous for one day, and it seems like more people are disappointed with their DOCs than not. I looked at, and contacted, TONS of venues before deciding on ours. I suggest going a non-traditional route for finding your venue. When I just googled wedding venues in New Orleans, it came up with a ton of options, but they were all sooooo expensive. So I started thinking outside the box. I started searching hotels in the area and looking through pictures of them. When I found one I thought was beautiful that could work for our location, I contacted them to see if they allowed weddings. You will be shocked how many places have wedding packages that aren’t anywhere in Google searches! I also used Instagram to find locations. Just search Hashtags with your location plus wedding, wedding photography, wedding reception, etc. (for example, I searched #neworleansweddingphotography). Most people tag locations in their photos on Insta! It looks like you are having a very small guest list, so you should also look into elopement packages. Most of them just require 20 people or less, and they are sooooooo much more affordable!
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  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    We got married four hours from where we live. I didn't have a wedding planner so I planned everything on my own. We did travel a few times to the area though. Most of the vendors I found via The Knot and WeddingWire based on reviews and nearly all communication took place via phone or email. For in-person meetings, I made sure to schedule them within the same day so that we could get as much done as possible. While we did tour venues, I knew which venue I wanted just based on photos and reviews so we honestly didn't even need to tour them, but I wanted to be absolutely sure and have the touring experience.

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  • Nikki
    Beginner November 2022
    Nikki ·
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    So far all I’ve searched for was resorts in Key West. The ones the seemed decent then I looked to see if they had wedding options. One seemed absolutely perfect but the price was way over budget. So I need to keep looking lol.
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  • Nikki
    Beginner November 2022
    Nikki ·
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    Unfortunately I won’t be able to tour anything because I live in Pennsylvania.
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  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    I'm from PA and that's where we got married, but we live in Maryland. Anyways, a lot of venues now have virtual tours with Covid and everything so that might always be an option. While it is obviously not the same as a physical tour, it can still give you an idea of what venue you would want.

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  • Nikki
    Beginner November 2022
    Nikki ·
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    I’ll definitely have to look into that. Thank you!
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