What’s better than traveling for love? Nothing. Check out this guide to learn the top tips for planning a destination wedding.
Getting married? Congratulations on the big move but there is one important question to answer first: where will you hold the ceremony?
Sure, you could do a traditional wedding but why not go big with a destination wedding? It’s becoming one of the most popular trends today.
That said, there is a lot of legwork involved. There are a lot of things you need to take into consideration other than the venue.
You need to think about the ceremony timing, weather, and your guests’ availability. It might become an overwhelming task if you don’t take the time to prepare. But you’re in luck since this guide will give you some tips to help plan your wedding.
How to Plan a Destination Wedding
If you’d rather relax and avoid the stress of planning out your wedding in its entirety, get a planning service instead. These experts can help in ironing out the details. That way, you’ll get a more memorable wedding for you and the people you invited.
Here are some tips on how to plan your destination wedding:
1. Pick Your Perfect Spot
The wedding location will determine a lot of things for your wedding—mood, travel, time, and budget. This wedding element becomes the basis of the others and can affect the overall vibe. That’s why it should say a lot about your shared passions and style.
If you do this, you’ll ensure that all your guests will go home thinking that the entire wedding oozes with your combined personalities. For example, if you’re foodies, you can always gather your guests in places like the California wine country or Tuscany. You can always get the help of experts if you’re not sure what location works for your personal tastes.
It’s unfortunate that the best weather in the most popular vacation spots tends to attract more tourists. That means you’re likely to get a lot of crowds and scarcer hotels and venues. The worst part is that all your needs come with higher rates.
If you’re planning your wedding during this period, it’s best to use an online booking service as soon as you can. Otherwise, you can try opting for the shoulder season to save some time and money. Doing this will let you and your guest enjoy the great weather for your wedding.
The off-season means fewer crowds, but you’re gambling the weather. You need to consider that no matter where you are, this season means extreme weather conditions. For instance, the Caribbean’s hurricane season and the summer heatwaves in some European regions.
3. Give Your Guests a Heads-Up
Before asking your potential guests to attend, you need to notify them that it’s a destination wedding. This gives them a chance to give a graceful decline if their finances won’t hold up or if they need to secure work obligations in advance. Notifying them well in advance helps them get the best flight deals and hotel accommodations before prices go up the roof.
If possible, send the save-the-dates at least eight months before the wedding. But the most important part is to avoid getting upset if your closest loved ones can’t go. Even when you’re footing some of their bills, a lot of them might not have the means of keeping up for this adventure or have life circumstances complicate travel. Either way, it is best to divert those emotions in other directions.
4. Take a Planning Trip
If you’re able, you need to take two or three trips before your wedding. The first trip should let you check your key venues for the ceremony, reception, and hotels. It also helps in securing the rehearsal dinner venue and local vendors like catering and photography.
It’s a daunting process, but it’s necessary if you aren’t letting a trusted wedding planner do the job for you. After making your choices, you can try scheduling a taste session with your chosen caterer. You can also check for the sample bouquets from florists, a makeup session with the local salon, recreational activities for your guests.
5. Estimate the Extra Expenses
This type of wedding won’t cost more than a regular wedding when executed right. But no matter the case, you need to factor in some possible extra expenses regardless of destination. These things include:
Importing key vendors and décor
Guest welcome bags
Travel costs for you and family members
Always remember that choosing to fly-in your vendors means that you have to pay for their travel and accommodation expenses. That’s why you need to make a budget that considers these possible extra costs and fees associated with the experience.
6. Do Research on the Local Marriage Requirements
Getting married in a different country can get complicated when considering its legal implications. A lot of countries have a residency requirement. That means you need to stay within that country for a specific time period before your ceremony starts.
In most cases, it won’t go beyond a few days. But some countries will need you to stay for more than a month before the day of the wedding. A good example is France since their residency requirement is at least 40 days.
If you’re unable to make the wedding legal in your chosen destination, try making it official before traveling. It ensures that your wedding day will be with your guests without worrying about whether it’s the real deal.
Plan a Destination Wedding — Start as Early as possible.
A destination wedding is like competing in a wedding planning Olympics. It needs twice the organization needed for a local wedding. That means you need to think about everything even when you don’t have a lot of time.
It’s especially the case when you can only make a single trip to your destination. Do your research and set appointments online, email or by phone. Create a digital scrapbook of what you want to see and expect to experience. That way, you can focus on deciding once you arrive.
But why stop here?
If you need more wedding advice and planning tips, you’re in luck! Explore our other posts today and discover more guides! Need in person help? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s that time of year again — seems like everyone on the block is packing up and heading out of town for some type of summer vacation. How about you? Are you and your family getting excited for a road trip, a first visit to Disneyworld, a camping adventure, or maybe even just spending some time with the grandparents in Colorado.
If you haven’t yet decided what to do with your family this summer, maybe it’s because you sense — somewhere deep down, underneath all the to-do lists, appointments to remember, and worries about whether or not Hayden passed his algebra exam — that a one-for-all, all-for-one getaway just isn’t the best idea. At least for this year.
We’re going to take a look at some of the pros and cons of family vacations, to help you decide what it is that you really, really want. (Too bad you couldn’t make it to the Spice Girls reunion tour, huh?)
The Advantages of Vacationing A La Famille
There are numerous reasons to pack everyone up and head ‘em out, not the least of which is giving everyone a change of pace from the daily doldrums — and give you a break from the whining for the Wi-Fi password!
First and foremost, taking the whole gang is fun! Whether you’ve still got toddlers learning, wide-eyed, about how the world works, or your teenagers are fairly sure they know everything there is to know about life — including how supremely uncool you are — these are times that you will never again experience.
It’s also pretty special to show your short people some of the attractions you may have visited as a child, or to carry on traditions that you started long ago. Disney is like that for many families, but so are trips to the zoo, the beach, the Grand Canyon, and a campground. Of course, part of the charm is staying in the same quaint roadside motels or stopping for breakfast at that old-fashioned diner with tabletop jukeboxes and killer pancakes.
You might not want to mention this part to those teenagers, especially if you’d have to interrupt their Minecraft to do so — but being on vacation together and sharing new experiences is one of the best ways to bond with your kids.
According to experts, not only does traveling together provide a great experience in the moment, but — if you will pardon the cliché — it truly does create memories that last a lifetime. What’s more, family vacations can even benefit growing children’s’ brain development!
On the Other Hand…
Of course, there are a few disadvantages to vacationing as a complete family unit, as well. And it’s absolutely OK to be honest about that and make other plans. It can be hard to make wonderful memories when you’re seething with resentment over having to clean up that beachside condo, or playing referee over whose turn it is to choose the fast-food pitstop.
1 It’s Expensive
Vacations can be expensive. Kids are by their very nature expensive. Put the two together, and you might end up spending way more than you expected to — or not being able to enjoy yourself because you’re worried about money. And it’s no fun to have to scrimp on vacation splurges like souvenir T-shirts or enjoyable restaurant meals.
If your travel budget isn’t unlimited, choose your family trips wisely. Does it really make sense to spend thousands of dollars on plane fare, hotel rooms, amusement or water park tickets, meals, and souvenirs if your child is only a toddler and won’t remember any of it? Maybe it’s a better idea to rent an RV. Even with all the amenities, including motorhome extended warranty insurance, this can be a cost-savings over other types of trips.
2. It Certainly Isn’t Romantic
No matter how big your family tent is, it’s not quite big enough if you’re hoping to enjoy any adult time while on vacay. (And we don’t just mean sex — we’re talking about eating as many s’mores as you want or maybe even watching a TV show that isn’t Doc McStuffins!)
You and beloved need time together — away from your darling offspring. It will strengthen your relationship, reset your personal clock. It will also put a few deposits in your own emotional bank, so that you’re better equipped to be an excellent parent upon your return.
3. It Isn’t Me Time, Either
Ever hear a friend complain about how she “needs a vacation after her vacation”? That’s what we’re talking about. The benefits of getting away from it all don’t always extend to Mom, especially if she’s in charge of micromanaging the whole thing.
Don’t even try to pretend that you haven’t indulged in the fantasy of just getting in the car and driving until you find — well, ideally, a quaint seaside town that boasts delicious, fresh-caught seafood, a winery or two, and more than its fair share of handsome, mysterious strangers. But the Hampton Inn in the next town over would probably do in a pinch.
Why not make your fantasy a reality? Call in your family to babysit or redeem a raincheck from your bestie for a long weekend while you either get your solitude on (protip: Make sure that Holiday Inn Express has an in-room jacuzzi) or maybe get away for a girls’ weekend.
Whatever you and your spouse decide, don’t feel guilty about it. If you do choose to go away for a tete-a-tete, or even by yourself, remember that there are plenty of family memories yet to be made. Taking the kids along? That’s got plenty of perks too.
Let us know what your dream vacation is in the comment section!
Though home prices in Dallas have been at an all-time high in the past years, the trend is finally slowing down, and the area is increasingly becoming more accessible, especially for first-time homebuyers. With so many available homes and a thriving job market in the Dallas area, it’s the perfect time to buy a home here.
Dallas Skyline Credit: Huihui Zhan
If you’re looking for available houses for sale in Dallas, check out these ten great neighborhoods where you may find some luck laying down those roots.
Lakewood is a popular affluent neighborhood located West of White Rock Lake, near downtown Dallas. It offers a variety of beautifully and tastefully designed homes in Craftsman, Bungalow and Tudor Styles as well as new construction. Residents enjoy an active day across a range of recreational spots including Lakewood Country Club where members meet to play golf, tennis or dine with the family.
The Preston Hollow neighborhood is known for its big lots, quiet streets and is easily accessible to many top private schools as well as Dallas Community College and Southern Methodist University. The safe neighborhood offers a balanced mix of modern apartment complexes, single-family houses, and luxurious mansions. Families can enjoy a wide variety of amenities and facilities, such as restaurants, shopping centers, bars, and coffee shops.
Oak Lawn is one of the most livable neighborhoods in the area. There’s something for everyone in Oak Lawn, as the area offers lots of amenities and entertainment spots. Residents can choose from a variety of including single-family homes, apartment complexes, condos, and townhome styles. It’s a welcoming and walkable community with prices ranging from high $700s to $4,500,000 for different home styles.
Kessler Park/North Oak Cliff
Kessler Park is a beautiful residential neighborhood located in south Dallas. The area is nestled around lush landscapes, rolling hills, towering trees, and impressive lots. It offers residents a taste of original Dallas with many contemporary and older Craftsman style homes to choose from.
Greenland Hills/ M Streets
Another great area to purchase a home in Dallas. It’s perfect for active families looking for a place that offers a suburban small town experience with the added advantage of plenty of amenities. The homes come in a range of styles and are zoned to the Dallas Independent School District.
For those on the Fort Worth side of the metroplex, Arlington Heights is an ideal place to call home. The thriving residential neighborhood is relatively affordable and offers easy access to a variety of outdoor amenities in the Cultural District, including parks, museums, bistros, live music, and quirky artisan shops.
This is another desirable area with plenty of home styles ranging from traditional to mid-century and modern styles. Most of the properties sit on large lots with impressive terrain that includes ravines, creeks, and hills. It’s an ideal place for a buyer who wants a quiet location with easy access to Downtown Dallas.
Homebuyers looking for an affordable house with a yard not too far from the heart of the city will love this South Dallas neighborhood. Residents can choose a wide range of home styles mainly single-family homes from the many smaller neighborhoods including Bishop Arts District, Elmwood and more. The tight-knit and friendly community offers quick access to I-30 for an easy commute into Fort Worth.
Garland and Mesquite
Offering easy access to both Downtown Dallas and North Dallas, Garland is a great place for commuters. Neighborhoods like La Prada, Rugel and Town East have a wide variety of home styles in a variety of price points with all the big city amenities nearby.
You’ll find plenty of homes to suit most budgets at Bryan Place. It’s close to many of the area’s amenities including Dallas Farmers Market and the trendy Uptown district. Dallas has plenty of exciting neighborhoods to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a home in Uptown, Downtown or somewhere outside the city, any of these areas is sure to offer something new, exciting and unique.
Back in June, I received the fabulous news that I would be an ambassador for James Avery Artisan Jewelry. It is a brand that I’ve loved and been wearing since high school and has marked the special occasions of life since then. Graduating from college, my rededication after college, snagging a sought after internship, meeting milestones, and so many other, but no less significant moments since then. It’s one of the things that I love about jewelry. Each one carries a memory, a captured moment in time and typically bring a smile and the warmth of recognition and a little bit of me and time carried forward.
I didn’t know that James Avery is a company that calls Texas home, but it does make sense as the simple, versatile designs speak to the style, durability, aesthetic that Texas women love and those that I dreamed of as a little girl. In fact, they have five manufacturing plants here in the Texas Hill Country — one in Hondo, Fredericksburg, Kerrville and another two in Comfort. Their designs tell the story of faith, state love, beauty and the importance of marking an occasion.
That being said, if you’ve followed along on Instagram, you’ll notice what I adore about James Avery. The pieces go from running around with the kids to running to a store opening with ease. They also remind me of the things that are important to me like my home, my family and my faith in the small moments of the day. I also really love simple pieces that survive the summer heat and don’t add extra weight to an already hot day.
Simple, easy, striking and beautiful, solid Silver Texas studs — perfect for bringing a smile and reminding me of home wherever I roam. #TexasLove
And this small signet ring.
This Signet Ring is available here.
This Petite Signet Ring is Available here
I have discovered this has been my most worn piece this summer. A tiny signet ring embossed with a single T for my name. Simple, small, but personal and durable, ready for everyday life — unlike some of my more delicate jewelry. I love it. After my divorce, I was unsure of who I was and where I was headed, but I knew that I my name was Teia and that everything was possible and ahead for me.
Celebrate your moments and mark the milestone.
Find your new favorites from James Avery and discover your #MyJamesAvery here
Staycations make my kids happy. They also make me exceedingly happy because I always experience something that is familiar, but in a whole new way. So when Visit Mesquite Texas offered to show us another peek into my current home town during the Picture Yourself in Mesquite Family Tour, I couldn’t miss the chance to share it with Y’all.
Hampton Inn and Suites – Mesquite
We checked in around 4pm, and got settled into our rooms on a quiet hallway on the 3rd floor. While the kids were unpacking and plugging in their devices, I scrolled through the hotel guide and made a mental note to jump in the pool a bit later and maybe get up early and stop by the in-hotel workout space before the complimentary breakfast.
Every staycation begins with and ends with clean, relaxing, comfortable place to rest. I’m looking for a place that welcomes us with open arms and an environment made for making memories, the Hampton Inn and Suites in Mesquite (1700 Rodeo Drive, Mesquite, Texas 75149) was just the place. For this one, we brought along my sister and business manager, Tyra and my nephew, RJ.
I love that the Hampton Inn in Mesquite has the dreamy, cozy beds that Hilton properties are known for the world over. With room designed for ease and comfort, from the USB chargers near the beds, a mini-fridge for storing snacks to the smartly designed workspace, that was perfect for checking emails and the bathrooms with plenty of fluffy towels, it was exactly what I was expecting and the perfect setting for relaxing and connecting with my kids.
The first night, we ordered pizza and pasta from local pizzeria, Joe’s Pizza and Pasta. Decadent, cheesy goodness made everyone happy, and the kids drifted into their favorite quiet hotel activities. The little boys whipped out the tiny cars and Legos while the Bigs took advantage of the free time to play Pokémon, whip out their tablets and jump into the pool. Soon, it was time for bed.
At breakfast, a delicious self-serve combination of comfort and get-you-going-for-the-day favorites, I filled them in on the plan for the day. We would be taking a class at the Mesquite Arts Center and stopping by Downtown Mesquite for the Farmer’s Market before a picnic lunch then a tour at the gorgeous Opal Lawrence Historic Park. The day would be wrapping up with a fabulous BBQ dinner at the Mesquite Rodeo.
Mesquite Arts Center
Whenever possible, I foster a love of the arts and creativity with my children. It quite simply makes life easier and more beautiful. Not to mention that I adore seeing the work of their hands and the creativity that comes from the workings of their minds. I live in Mesquite, and one of the places that I have not spent nearly enough time at is The Mesquite Arts Center (1527 North Galloway, Mesquite, TX 75149) For this experience, we were trying something new for us — A DIY Screen Printing class.
Getting ready for the Screen Printing Class with my sister
The process and cool results of the DIY Class — we have to do this again! Credit: Teia Collier
It was such a fun idea. Printing shirts with your own custom artwork and designs to let you express yourself, in anyway that you choose. How awesome is that?! Our instructors were talented, cool and made the process of learning something new fun and engaging — even for my teen and pre-teen.
Fresh Berries at the Marketplace in Mesquite. (credit: Teia Collier)
One of my favorite activities is to tour historic town squares, check out the shops, grab a coffee and explore the farmer’s market. It’s fun, easy, and I always discover something new that makes me smile from the freshest veggies or a darling present. I never know, and that’s part of the fun. I also love seeing my short people choose their favorites, picking the best berries that get gobbled up on the way home.
Downtown Mesquite is home to a bi-weekly farmer’s market and a historic square that has been newly named part of Main Street America, a program that maintains, revitalizes and encourages community-based development of downtown centers.
Sean Belknap, one part of the husband-wife team at Bear Cave Coffee (Teia Collier)
We stopped by the darling indie coffee shop Bear Cave Coffee (214 West Davis, Mesquite, Texas 75149) situated inside The Corner Theatre on East Davis. The scent of freshly brewed coffee greets you at the door and the friendly smiles husband and wife team Sean and Hillary Belknap. Expect beautifully pulled espresso, locally made baked treats and sweet little play area for your littles. After a tour and an information session about more of the really cool things coming to Downtown Mesquite, we drifted to the market day.
Drawn by the scent of warm tamales and the happy sound of people milling around and soft music, we crossed the street to the Mesquite Marketplace. Sol had already seen the fresh berries being set out to display when we parked and had been giving me all the ideas of what we could do with fresh berries and cold ice cream.
Beautiful veggies from a farm near Canton (Teia Collier)
By time we made it to one of the farm stands, I didn’t need any convincing. The sweet scent of strawberries, peaches, plums and tomatoes warming in sun were calling my name. While Tyra was selecting potatoes and green beans, I was dreaming of cobblers, pies and the best additions for my morning oatmeal. After selecting our finds, we wandered to other stands and met some of the coolest local artisans.
Opal Lawrence Historic Park
Opal Lawrence Historic House Credit: Teia Collier
After a picnic lunch at City Lake Park, my Noah needed his afternoon breathing treatment, and we met the group at the Opal Lawrence Historic Park. As a board member of Historic Mesquite Inc., I’ve been to the Lawrence property monthly for the last few years. I’m always fascinated to see the grounds through the eyes of new friends and children. They always pick up on something that I might have missed and keep the love of history fresh and alive. Be it the questions about life in the early 1900s or my youngest son’s fascination with the Red Barn, it won’t be the last time we visit Opal Lawrence Historic Park.
Exploring A Historic Well
Grounds to Wander
Inside for Cookies and Tea
A Real Red Barn
Mesquite Championship Rodeo
After drifting back to the hotel to rest and being greeted a fabulous snack tray was so welcome, we rested and headed across the parking lot to the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. The little boys had been waiting all day for the Rodeo, and it didn’t disappoint.
The boys went down to meet the 4H animals and take peek at the bulls that were resting up for their part in the show. The happy chatter of 5 year-olds making discoveries followed us for the rest of the time. When the time came for the festivities to begin, we drifted up to the suites for dinner.
Nicely appointed with a great view of the show, it was such fun and allowed for easy conversation, a bit of privacy and was the perfect place to enjoy a traditional Texas Style BBQ dinner. Happily, we dug into sliced brisket, smoked sausage and yummy sides that were icing on a fabulous day.
Testing the Kia Telluride at the Mesquite Rodeo
Local and fabulous, this staycation reminded me that you don’t have to go far to create memories of lifetime. Thank you to Visit Mesquite TX for hosting us as your guests for this staycation. We appreciate it.
Snippets of the Staycation Weekend during the Picture Yourself in Mesquite Family Tour
When people start planning to get married, they tend to consider only the emotional and romantic aspects of marriage. However, it would also be wise to consider another truth of this sort of union, which is that marriage is also a business relationship. This is the reason why you and your future spouse should consider creating a prenuptial agreement to protect both of your financial interests and rights. Before you start looking for a family lawyer in Kent, here are some of the benefits that a premarital agreement could bring to a married couple.
Protects financial interests and assets
Few people enter marriages expecting to get divorced. In fact, most couples enter marriages hoping for the best and expecting their unions will last for as long as they both shall live, but the current data has proven that couples should still make it a point to protect each other and prepare for whatever might happen down the road. One of the most common reasons why people get prenuptial agreements is to protect their and their children’s financial interests, like when it comes to the inheritance rights of their children from a previous marriage or making sure that they can support the child using marital income. In addition, it can also protect your business from being divided or subjected to the control of the other spouse in the event of a divorce. For most people, entering into a premarital agreement is essential to maintaining the assets that they have brought with them into the marriage. Intermingling assets will only make things difficult in case that they choose to separate.
Keeps one spouse from being liable for debts acquired by the other
A prenuptial agreement can ensure that the other spouse will not have to assume the obligations incurred by the spouse with a significant amount of debt. This means that the debt-free spouse will be shielded from any liabilities that might arise from the debts of the other. This is especially relevant for those individuals who enter marriages with student debts and the like.
Makes future divorce less contentious
The financial clarity that comes with a premarital agreement may be able to reduce or prevent any conflict that might arise in the event of a divorce or the other spouse’s death. The arrangement can also put a cap on the amount of spousal support that one spouse will be eligible for following a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can also be helpful in reducing the tension that comes with the dissolution of a marriage and the inevitable determination of how their assets should be divided.
Addresses other aspects of marital life
More than a negotiation on the financial aspects of the married life between you and your partner, a prenuptial agreement can also be drafted to cover any details that concern the other factors of your life together. This may include discussions on how you’re going to share responsibilities along the way or how you’re going to come up with important decisions that are going to affect your future family.
In case the couple chooses not to enter a prenuptial agreement, their property will automatically fall under the jurisdiction of the laws of their state when they divorce or when one of them dies. This means that the division of property will have to follow the laws of your state, and that might not produce an outcome that’s favorable or equitable. To prevent this situation from happening to either spouse, it would be wise for you to have a clear discussion on what to do with your assets beforehand.