By Steven Hill of Simple Maui Weddings, Provider of Maui Wedding Packages
So you want to get married in a beautiful wedding destination you are not that familiar with, now what do you do?
Whether you want to get married in Hawaii, the Bahamas, Mexico or any other destination location you need someone who you can trust to take care of the major details of your wedding planning before you arrive and a wedding package is an excellent way to do just that. The obvious most important details are: venue/location, photography, floral, minster and licensing you need to make your wedding legal.
To find quality destination wedding locations start your research by searching for just what you want on major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. When looking for what you want be specific in your search terms. For example if you are looking for a ‘Simple Maui Wedding’, or a ‘Bahamas Beach wedding’ search for that exact phrase and you have a better chance at finding exactly what you are looking for.
Once you have found a site that looks like it will meet your needs look carefully at these key areas: Photography, Ministers, Floral and licensing assistance.
Check to make sure the photography is up to the quality standards you expect. Some specific things you want to look for are: editing quality, lighting quality, and rich portfolio.
- Editing Quality: Are there things in the background of the photos that should have been removed such as: shoes, dogs, purses, ugly debris and intrusive people? Do they use a lot of finishes that look like they could go out of style very quickly: funny tones, black and white with single color elements, wonky Photoshop textures?
- Lighting: Are the photos over lit or under lit? If the photos seem to be grainy it is usually because the light was too dark and they needed to use too many editing tricks to bring the pictures back to acceptable standards. Are the photos dark and they just left the photos alone? Are the photos so bright that you have a hard time seeing details in the images?
- Rich Portfolio: Do they have a good variety of images with different couples and locations to show they have experience? Does their portfolio have a variety, such as: close ups and intimate shots, shots with wide open shots showing of the beautiful location. After all, a large part of your destination wedding is about the destination.
Make sure the photography is of excellent quality. You don’t want look at your wedding photos 10 or twenty years from now and see dated images with poor lighting and funny perspective. These are your photos for life, so make sure you are going to get what you want.
The minister plays an important role in your marriage and you want to make sure you haven’t gotten someone doing their first wedding; you don’t want to be the guinea pig. Here are some important things to look for: is the minster included in more than one wedding shown on the sites portfolio, do the sites minsters look good in photos, does the minster have his/her own website (this adds to the validity and professionalism of the minster)? Does the minister share your religious or spiritual views?
For beach weddings, floral is often the only decoration included in the ceremony so you want it to look amazing. Take a look at the sites floral selection, do they have what you are looking for. If they don’t have any style you like can they adjust existing styles to meet your needs or custom make floral for you. Also does the wedding company create the floral themselves or have a professional florist create the designs?
When figuring out how to get a marriage license for a specific destination you need some help. Make sure the vendor has a specific plan to help you with getting a marriage license that seems easy and strait forward. Also some locations, although public may require permits, so be sure your wedding planner knows the local laws.
When planning your wedding in a destination you are not familiar with you need to do your homework. Look carefully at all your options and make sure you have a trusted adviser on your side. Email the company you plan on using before you book so you can see the quality of their customer service, this will ensure smooth sailing all the way until you say ‘I DO’.