Getting engaged is a whirlwind, trust us! From the moment your partner pops the question to the thrilling day you get to tell your loved ones the news in person. It can be easy to let the excitement overcome you, I mean you have waited all this time for this exact moment! Being engaged is such a special and memorable time in life. There is truly nothing like looking forward to walking down the aisle to the love of your life. With all of the emotion of what to look forward to, it is important to consider what your top priorities should be after getting engaged. The process of what comes next is generally the same for all couples, but some may want some more time than others to relish in the joy of being a fiancé and slowly move along in the wedding planning process. When you are ready to start thinking about the next steps, and answering those 1,000 questions you’ve undoubtedly been asked, our suggestions below may be the best starting point for checking things off of your list.
How long would you like your engagement to be?
This question may be the easiest one to answer straightaway. Some couples may be looking for a 1 year engagement, the ideal time to plan a wedding at home or in destination. On the other hand, there are many couples out there who are in no hurry, and may have other life commitments such as education, a future job change, or littles ones that take top priority for time and financial commitments.
Is there a particular or special date you are hoping to be married on?
This of course is going to navigate your decision making too! If you’ve dreamed of a quirky date like being married on Leap Day, or having your dating anniversary land on the perfect summer Saturday, your wedding planning and budgeting may very well revolve around this.
How many guests are you estimating?
While this seems odd to consider right at the start, it is really important! The total number of guests is ultimately going to determine two very important things: one being your actual wedding venue, and the other the wedding budget itself in total. You’ll want a firm grasp of about how many people you think would attend or be invited. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a venue that holds 150 guests if you are thinking 200 may join. In regards to your wedding budget, the total number of guests is going to determine the total cost of everything from food and beverage to décor rental.
What are the parameters of your wedding budget for expenses?
Yup, this question. I know, it’s a tough one. It’s the one that no one enjoys talking about. Let’s be honest for a moment here, weddings are expensive. Whether you are getting married in destination or in a rural barn, you’re likely going to invest a good chunk of change. Have ‘the talk’ with your families and your partner right away. Remember that today, tradition is tough to carry on and even more challenging to navigate through. Who pays for what can vary greatly across family to family and couple to couple. Go into each conversation with patience, understanding, and gratitude. Any financial help a family member is able to give is truly a gift. If finances are tight, consider asking for assistance with their time or talents to make your special day memorable. If you’re struggling with how to get started with formulating what you can afford for a wedding, begin by talking with your partner openly about savings, budgeting, income, expenses, and expectations. Your goals for the future also play a big part in this as well. For example, if buying a home or traveling extensively is your top goal in the next year or so, this might greatly impact your overall budget.
Where do you want to be married?
Married in Mexico or married in Milwaukee? To get started, I suggest making a list of top options: Eloping, Destination Wedding, Local Wedding, or Local Destination Wedding. You and your partner will likely decide very quickly which one fits your vision the best. Having a firm idea of the where will help you navigate to the when and how much questions above. Of course, if you are considering a destination wedding we hope you’d contact us to get you started!
What is more important to you, time of year or cost?
While it may seem a bit repetitive to the questions above, this is still a great one and offers a new perspective. True both locally and in destination, the time of year will generally dictate the cost. For local US weddings, we know that peak wedding season usually lays between May-October in many areas. The pricing for weddings during these months tend to be high compared to November-April. In contrast, couples considering hosting a destination wedding should also remember that while the cost of the wedding itself is generally the same throughout the year at all destinations, the cost of travel does vary. Travel is traditionally most expensive from Christmas through Easter week and over any major holiday. If you are looking to save some serious cash, it is suggested to keep an open mind to being married in the off season wherever it may be.
When did you get engaged?
When you got engaged can really determine a lot! It really sets the stepping stones for how fast or slow you may be able to go in terms of planning. For instance, if you get engaged in April, planning and successfully executing a wedding for September of that same year may be a bit of a stretch. The biggest factor aside from financial capabilities, is that most dates are going to be reserved already. As a general rule of thumb, we see peak wedding dates for both destination weddings and local weddings get reserved about 12-14 months in advance. Another example of this might be, if you get engaged over the holiday season, consider looking two peak seasons from now. Many couples who become engaged at Christmas of 2018 are likely considering summer of 2020 for their big day. As with everything, planning is key!
Are you in that nebulous time between getting engaged and figuring out if a destination wedding is right for you? We’re sure you have a ton of questions! While destination weddings are amazing, you will find that not all of the answers to your questions will be exactly what you wanted to hear. Before you make the decision to have a destination wedding, we’re here to be straightforward with you and give you some hard truths that you will need to consider. If you can accept these, then you’re ready to have an awesome destination wedding!
Your wedding package isn’t free.
Yep, that is right. The days of having a free wedding no longer exist. Do some resorts advertise for a free wedding package? Sure! But it is important to keep in mind that there are restrictions to these packages as well as add on costs, so the chances that you and your group actually fit into the qualifications of a free wedding are slim. It’s safe to say that nowadays, nothing is free. Be prepared to pay for your wedding, just as you would for any other services, but find peace in knowing that your wedding will still cost a fraction of what it would in the continental US.
Not all of your guests are going to make it.
This one is tough to swallow for some couples. Of course, when couples first begin telling friends and family that they plan to get hitched on the beach somewhere a million times as beautiful as what could maybe be found at home, everyone, and I mean everyone, will say they are joining. However, reality will quickly set in and things like time off of work, a couple extra thousand dollars, and sacrificing the opportunity for another vacation causes a lot of people to RSVP regretfully with a no. The best advice we can give couples is to go into a destination wedding with the mindset that not everyone will come, and this includes some of your nearest and dearest friends and family. While it is really tough to not take it personally, remember that this day is about you and the beginning of your chapter as newlyweds. As a rule of thumb, plan on about 50% of guests you invite being able to join. Of course, if you pick a more affordable time of year that doesn’t interfere with major holidays or vacation season, you may find that more guests are able (and more willing) to commit to joining the celebration.
Plan on staying at least 4 nights in destination.
Once in a blue moon we get couples who are truly looking for a quick in and out experience with their destination wedding. They want to fly in the day before the wedding, and fly out a day or two after. Whether the reasoning be for costs, saving time for a separate honeymoon, or simply to keep it simple, there are a few important thing to remember. Ultimately, couples must always arrive at the very least, 2 business days before their ceremony date. If you are considering a legal ceremony, resorts will require at least 3 business days of arrival in advance. The reason for this is simple, time is everything. You need time to meet with your onsite team to review the details. In addition, it is always best to budget extra time for flight delays or cancellations. For the legal ceremonies, you need time to complete your papers and participate in any national requirements for your wedding.
It is easier to take care of your legal paperwork in the USA.
This has never been more true. The type of ceremony for destination weddings is always one of the most confusing topics at the beginning. Many couples ask, well, why wouldn’t I just take care of the legal paperwork in destination? Some may say, We really want our wedding date to be our ‘actual’ wedding date. While that all absolutely makes sense, we’re here to say think twice! As mentioned above, hosting a legal ceremony in destination requires an advance arrival which means more time and money out of your pocket. In addition, legal ceremonies require mailing of confidential and fragile documents such as birth certificates to be sent to another county. Keep in mind, you may also need your legal paperwork translated to English (more time and money). For all destinations, you can expect an additional fee for a legal minister, and if you want to get married in Mexico, don’t forget about the mandatory blood testing that is required for legal ceremonies. Last of all, a legal ceremony is required to be performed in the national language, and it offers no opportunity to use your own officiant or personalize your wedding day. Basically, I suggest setting a date day to visit your local county clerk to arrange for your legal marriage to be documented and taken care of here at home. Trust me when I say, you’ll thank us later!
The weather will never be ‘perfect’.
You read that right, and it’s okay to take a few seconds to have a mini-meltdown. Of course, no matter when or where, every bride wants ideal, picture perfect, make-your-skin-glow weather. The truth is that even in the Caribbean, this likely won’t happen. You are against mother nature in one way or another, but this all boils down to your perspective on things. Will the sun be too bright for photos? Maybe, but just be sure to schedule your wedding ceremony for 4pm or later depending on the time of year and sunset. Will the wind be obtrusive and blow your hair every which way? For sure, but if you style your hair up, and keep this in mind for your reception décor details, you won’t notice a thing. Will it rain? Nothing is impossible, but remember you are in a tropical climate and rain might take place more in one time of year than another. Will you sweat? Probably, but you didn’t pick to get married in a destination for the cold weather, right?
There is no such thing as a private beach ceremony.
Few and far between will you truly find a private beach ceremony. I’ll keep this one simple: be prepared for onlookers. Your onlookers may be hanging out on their patio, or in a beach chair 20 yards away, and they will all be thinking the same thing, “Wow, how beautiful.” While I know that every bride would much rather prefer that strangers aren’t joining as guests, just remember that this is simply a part of the destination wedding experience. 99% of the time, these on lookers are respectful and you likely won’t even notice because you will be completely and utterly fixated on the fact you are about to marry your person. If you have nerves regarding the thought of strangers watching, or walking near your ceremony for photography purposes, I would encourage you to firmly express this while you are at your onsite meeting with your hotel coordinator. Ask if it is possible to have someone available to re-direct beach walkers to go around the ceremony rather than behind it. Just remember, the later in the day your ceremony takes place, the less amount of people on the beach.
You should still tip the staff, even if you are at an all-inclusive resort.
Many times you will hear that gratuity is included in an all inclusive resort, which is semi-correct. I am here to tell you that when you realize what your ‘included gratuity’ boils down to as take home pay for the staff (practically nothing), you will quick realize that tipping extra, makes a world’s difference. The rule of thumb is, if you would tip the vendor in the United States wedding, you should ideally tip your vendor in destination. The Weddings by Funjet Team has an entire blog regarding who to tip and what to tip which can be found here.
The wedding couple doesn’t stay for free.
Sad, I know, but it is ultimately wishful thinking that your travel costs would be free because you are getting married. It seems to be a common myth that couples travel for free if they bring other guests to the resort for their wedding. While you can potentially earn cash back, let’s remember that the hotels will not be footing the bill for you just because you are bringing them some business. At the end of the day, the 40+/- guests that join your celebration are not the reason the hotels can keep their doors open. Instead of offering a complimentary trip to a wedding couple, the hotels offer extremely competitive pricing on wedding packages, the potential to earn credits towards your wedding package, and also the option to earn cash back for reaching a certain number of rooms or guests in your group. I tend to find that couples are pleasantly surprised at the amount of cash and incentives they earn back, which makes for a sweet surprise right before the wedding. If you would like more information on what type of cash back and perks you can earn for hosting a destination wedding, feel free to ask us.
Having a destination wedding does not eliminate family opinions.
This is one of the myths that is often the first to be debunked by couples once they begin telling their loved ones that they are planning a destination wedding. Many times couples hope that by hosting a destination wedding, opinions, concerns, and whacky ideas from nosey relatives are eliminated. Unfortunately, this is false. Sharing the news of beachy vows can quickly stir up concern, unwanted opinions, and much more. My best advice is to keep your pre-planning ideas private and don’t survey your guests prior to booking your date and venue. Remember that this is your day. Pick a destination and date that means a lot to you and your soon-to-be spouse, because you just cannot make everyone happy. It is important to be mindful of details such as cost and time of year however. While you will always be encouraged to do what makes you happy, I also don’t suggest picking a destination that will drain the savings of your guests or choosing a date that lands over a major holiday.
All of your guests are entitled to a plus one, to all events, even if you don’t know them.
The etiquette of plus ones for destination weddings is much different than what would follow tradition for a stateside wedding. You simply cannot, and should not, neglect allowing a guest a plus one to your destination wedding. Let’s have a moment of honesty here, would you want to travel by alone, take time off of work, and invest well over a grand to attend a wedding and not have someone to enjoy it with all while surrounded by romantic scenery? The answer is probably ‘no’. Let’s not ask your guests to do that either. Yes, your wedding costs will increase a bit by having a few single guests bring an additional person, but this isn’t going to break the bank on the wedding budget. At the end of the day the general rule of thumb is that any adult traveling for your wedding should be allowed to bring a date if they’d like. And last of all, it pains me to even have to say this, but you should never, ever, consider asking your guests to pay for the cost of their plus one.
It’s the best opportunity to spend a lot of time with a lot of people.
To wrap up this painstakingly honest gathering of thoughts, I wanted to end with one that will bring you a lot of relief. A destination wedding is truly the very best way to make the most of your wedding time. No traditional stateside wedding will compare when it comes to the amount of quality relaxing time you will get to spend with guests. From flying together, to drinks at the swim up bar under the sun, and reminiscing on the crazy after reception party two days later, you won’t regret a thing about all of the memories you make. Many times couples debate whether a destination wedding is right for them. My best advice is this: If you value time spent with guests above details such as décor and the dinner menu, then a destination wedding is right for you.
When many were bracing to start the winter season curled up at home, Brittany and Dejaun were enjoying the warm Riviera Maya weather celebrating their love. Their friends and family all came together to share in their celebration at the beautiful Royalton Riviera Cancun Resort on December 4th, 2018.
Brittany and Dejuan’s love story spans 12 years. These high school sweethearts enjoy their time together with quiet movie nights or exploring new local restaurants in their home town of Atlanta. After another low-key night at home with their two fur-babies, Dejaun surprised Brittany with a proposal. Brittany was not expecting it, thinking it would be just another normal week night at home. Now with a wedding to plan, it was time to explore their options.
One thing was clear, with family coming from Atlanta and California, the couple were sold on the idea of a destination wedding. They wanted to bring their friends and family together for a vacation and enjoy each other’s company in the lead up to their big day.
As is common with couples wanting to throw a destination wedding, Brittany came with a few destinations that had caught her eye. She needed help finding the right fit with so many options and came to Weddings by Funjet to bring it all together. After exploring options in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos, it became clear that Riviera Maya, Mexico was the perfect fit for them and their guests. Now that their destination had been decided, it was time to find the right property.
Royalton quickly became the property to beat. Ultimately, the gorgeous view from the sky terrace for their ceremony sold them. They also loved that the property offered both a family friendly section and an adult’s only section to meet the needs of all their guests. Within just a few weeks, their date was confirmed. Over the next year we worked closely to bring their vision to life.
The day of the ceremony, the bride looked radiant as she was escorted to her groom. Her bridal party looked straight out of a Hollywood premiere. The emotion and love between Brittany and Dejaun was palpable as they shared their vows.
The couple maximized their venue, hosting their ceremony, cocktail and reception at the sky terrace. The couple married at 2pm on that Tuesday afternoon followed by a wonderful cocktail hour. The festivities were paused for a brief break for guests to refresh and the resort to set up for their private reception and evening of dancing.
As they begin their next chapter together, they will always remember their big day. The resort was resort was gorgeous and, in their words, had the best food they have ever had. They can’t pick just one favorite memory because everything was so perfect for them.
It is that coveted time of year again when the flowers bloom, the buds return to the trees, and every bird has a song to sing. It’s SPRING! To truly capture the essence of this season you need not look any further than its colors. Its mixture of soft hues and vibrant shades makes Spring one of the easiest seasons to draw destination wedding inspiration from. With winter melting away and Easter around the corner, let’s take a look at the prettiest Spring colors for destination weddings!
Do you remember when you were a little kid and and gazed enamored at a bride’s gown on the big screen? Let’s be honest – we all still do that! In all this admiring, we’ve found there is a fountain of destination wedding inspiration in our favorite films because movie wedding gowns are always dazzling and unique, just as a traveling bride wants to feel. So here are just some of our favorite movie wedding dresses that we believe are consummate destination wedding gowns.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
No rule says you can’t wear long sleeves to your destination wedding! There’s a simple elegance to Bella’s gown in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 that pairs perfectly with the laid-back feel of a destination ceremony. This design works best if your ceremony location is air-conditioned, but an open back will keep you surprisingly cool even if you’re a beach bride.
This look always has us singing! Amanda Seyfried’s Sophie glows in this ethereal gown from Mamma Mia!. From the empire sash to the flower crown veil, we can picture this bohemian ensemble on any golden sand beach.
Katherine Heigl in 27 Dresses proves that a wedding gown does not need to be elaborate to wow. Destination wedding brides know the power of accessories, like her character does here with the skillfully placed flowers in her hair. The exposed arms and dramatic V-neck also make this gown apt for sunny outdoor weddings.
The wedding dress from The Notebook, even though it only makes a short appearance, is absolutely iconic. The off-the-shoulder gown with its illusion buttons and allover lace is pure classic elegance. This is another great example of how destination wedding brides can have a dress with a traditional style and make it wearable in a tropical climate.
Yes, we’re cheating a bit on this one! This may not be Laurey’s wedding dress in Oklahoma!, but that doesn’t stop it from giving us major destination wedding vibes. The sheer ruffled shoulders have a feminine touch that elevates this dress to wedding worthiness. Just add flowing locks and a flower crown and you’ve got yourself a modern version of vintage charm.
The Great Gatsby
The glamour of the 1920s will always inspire us and it’s in no shortage with Daisy’s dress in The Great Gatsby. We could go on and on about how amazing pearls look with beach photography (very Ariel from The Little Mermaid on top of the 20s look).
Romeo + Juliet
Have you ever seen a more 90s wedding dress? Claire Danes proved the material and cut could carry the whole gown. Plus we love the short glove pairing. Just a caution, a satin gown won’t breathe incredibly well, so we don’t suggest bell sleeves here!
Keira Knightly can truly pull off anything. This sheer ensemble from beloved romantic movie Love Actually is definitely eccentric, but we feel destination weddings are the perfect environment to go daring with your wedding gown. Remember, whether you go modern or classic, have fun with it and pick a gown that is uniquely you!
It’s been just about two months since Adrianna and Marcel escaped one of the worst winter storms Wisconsin has seen in years, to jet off to beautiful Puerto Vallarta to get married. While the snow was piling up and the temperatures were dipping down at home, Adrianna and Marcel soaked up every ounce of sun and every blissful moment with their loved ones as they tied the knot at Iberostar Playa Mita All Inclusive Resort on February 1, 2019.
Marcel and Adrianna came to Weddings by Funjet thanks to a wonderful referral. (If we have never mentioned it, we, like any other wedding vendor, LOVE referrals!) For them starting off with the search of where to go was the most challenging. They have a short list of requirements: somewhere beautiful (easy!), some place affordable for guests, and somewhere that would be great to host a group with ages ranging from early 20’s to mid-30’s for the most part. February was their ideal time of the year to get married, and knowing this, the search was on!
Ultimately, after considering several beautiful destinations, Puerto Vallarta was the one. Deciding on a hotel was the next step, but there was one resort that stood out among all the rest: Iberostar Playa Mita Resort & Spa. It seemed to have everything this newly engaged couple was looking for: gorgeous venues, great guest rates, reasonable wedding pricing, superior reviews of the onsite wedding team, and of course, vibrant pools and a large beach! We should also note that the cigar bar and the late night disco were also a huge hit! Iberostar Playa Mita’s wedding team is no stranger to Weddings by Funjet. Together we have worked to host many wedding groups in the past, each one more successful than the last. Onsite coordinator Adriana C. is a dream to work with, and she has such a sincere level of care for each and every wedding couple.
Over the next year, Adrianna, Marcel, myself and Adriana worked together to bring the wedding vision to life. As with most couples, the biggest challenges were determining the final guest count, and balancing the budget. As a team, we were able to fulfil Adrianna’s dream wishes all while staying in budget. Getting to know Marcel and Adrianna was truly such a treat, they are genuinely beautiful inside and out, their kindness radiated through the entire wedding planning process.
Adrianna and Marcel’s day was nothing less than perfect. The details of their wedding were simple, sweet, and romantic. The bridal parties got ready in separate rooms prior to Marcel and Adrianna having a first look.
When it comes to first looks, there is just so much to appreciate. The raw emotion and private time together to see each other for the first time on your wedding day is something so special. It’s a time to whisper those sweet nothings, and likely a time for groom’s to shed a few tears in awe of their bride’s beauty. Seeing the reaction from the groom is always my favorite part. Here’s a sneak peek at Marcel and Adrianna’s first look:
The wedding ceremony took place at the ocean front gazebo at five o’clock, just the perfect time to ensure a jaw-dropping sunset at dinner. Surrounded by their closest family and friends, Marcel and Adrianna committed their lives to one another, and had the best day ever.
As for Marcel and Adrianna’s wedding reception, we’ll let the pictures do the talking. The sunset was one for the record books, and in my opinion, I think it is the perfect start to their newest chapter in their love story. Congratulations, Marcel and Adrianna!
An incredible amount of gratitude is given to Hyler Media whom Adrianna and Marcel had travel with them from Milwaukee to capture their wedding day on photo and video. The Weddings by Funjet team encourages you to watch the beautiful video of Marcel and Adrianna’s wedding day here.
Of the beautiful Xcaret by Mexico parks, Xplor is one of the most adventurous, right next to adrenaline-filled Xavage. As the most visited zipline park in the world, Xplor is jam-packed with exciting activities for the whole family. My husband and I explored (pun intended) the park on our honeymoon and we had the most amazing time! While I was there, I couldn’t ignore how ideal the park is for a wedding group excursion, with its wide range of experiences and family-friendly appeal. If you’re interested in Xplor for your next trip, here are all the things you can expect!
Our trip to Xplor Park was during our honeymoon in Riviera Maya. This was our first time at an Xcaret by Mexico park, although I knew much about them from my position here at Weddings by Funjet. We were looking for a fun excursion for the middle of our week, and Xplor caught our eye because of the amphibious vehicles that our Amstar tour representative pointed out (more on those later). We arrived there in the morning after a short drive from our resort and entered through the park’s extensive cave system. Immediately we were wowed by how different this felt from other parks we’d been to. Right from the get-go you could tell that the natural environment played a large part in the park’s theme. We purchased a photo package so we didn’t have to lug around our phones and dropped off our things in one of the lockers. For a largely outdoor park, we were amazed by how clean it was, and you can tell right away how much pride the park takes into giving guests a great experience.
Our first stop was El Corazón (pictured below). It’s truly the heart of the park with its center location and is a perfect meeting point for families or just an easy way to remember where things are. In this area you will also find the activity board. Next to each ride, there are red, yellow and green light bulbs. These lights indicate how busy each attraction is. If it’s red, you know you might be better off hopping on to something else in the meantime. It’s a brilliant way to maximize your time.
The morning hungers came in, so we made our way to the juice station where an assortment of cookies, juices, and smoothies were waiting to give us energy for the park. All of your food and drinks are included in your visit, just don’t expect any alcoholic beverages. It’s a nice, safe family park with activities that you want to be sober for!
Our first activity after eating was the Underground River Swim. Because we were there quite early, there was hardly anyone else in the park yet and we had the whole river to ourselves. For that reason, I suggest doing this activity first if you’re a couple looking for something romantic to start off your day. The water is a little chilly upon entering, but you warm up quick and the underground caves are breathtaking. It’s also a relaxed experience, so from little ones to grandparents, all guests can enjoy it.
Then there were the amphibious vehicles… oh, the amphibious vehicles! These were our favorite. There was never a wait for this ride, so we went back-to-back a few times. The trail you follow is not like your hometown go-kart track. Both trails had us driving for a solid 15 minutes, if not more! They wound through the jungle, barreled over streams, and dove into caves. We felt like giddy little kids on them and it was fun whether you were the driver or the passenger. These were honestly worth the price of admission in themselves.
Following our amphibious driving spree, we were famished, so we strolled over to El Troglodita restaurant for a buffet lunch. The meal was fantastic! There were a lot of options, everything was fresh, and the breeze that blew through the open-concept dining area was so refreshing.
Now the moment you’ve been waiting for! How was the ziplining? I’m happy to report it holds up to its high standards. There are two tracks totaling over two miles and each with varying intensities. For beginners, a lower track is offered, while those looking for more of an adrenaline rush can ride the higher line. Being our first time ever ziplining, we chose the former. There are six lines total in this one, with a waterslide in between and a final line leading to a drop in the water. My husband decided he really didn’t like heights after the first line, so it’s good to keep in mind that once you’re on the track, there isn’t a way to get off until the end. If you want to feel like you’re flying through the air, then you will definitely love this!
For those that want a little less intense version of the ziplines, the Hammock Splash is a blast. Another ride with short wait times, it’s a great little dip into the cenote. I would definitely suggest bringing water shoes, which are versatile enough for the Hammock Splash as well as all the other rides.
Along with a secluded kid’s zone, there are plenty of ways to relax as well. After we’d hit the trails with the amphibious vehicles about a hundred times, our old selves were happy to walk leisurely through the miles-long cave system. I can’t even explain how beautiful the caves are in person. It’s a part of the natural beauty of Mexico that we tend to forget because the white-sand beaches and tropical jungles tend to keep our attention. It was an amazing experience and we can’t wait to go back!
I would definitely suggest Xplor as an excursion for wedding groups. It has a little something for everyone from thrilling adventures to low-key exploration, is almost completely under jungle cover so less worry of sunburn, and it’s easy to get to it from virtually anywhere in Riviera Maya. For even more excitement, Xplor Fuego offers their fun activities at night! Twilight Ziplining? Yes, please!
Feel free to send us an inquiry form to start your wedding group travel today, and check out more Xplor photos below!
We get it ladies! This is the most important day to be captured forever. Take a deep breath. This doesn’t have to be a Mission Impossible moment. Our experts at Styling Trio have compiled a list of 5 essential tips to help you create the romantic look you’re after for your wedding day. These simple, straightforward tips will get you down the aisle looking romantically fabulous in no time.
A picture says a thousand words, but you need to say some too! Speak up. Makeup artists and hairstylists are not mind readers! However it is their job to listen and nail the look. The more information they have, the better chance they’ll get it right and the sooner you can feel at ease. Take time to explain the romantic look you desire. Don’t forget to communicate likes and dislikes. For example, if you hate the way you look with eyeliner on the bottom waterline (inside portion above your lower lashes), then your makeup artists needs to know that! Be detailed and pleeeease avoid broad terms like “I want it to look natural” because that means different things to different people. Remember, you’re aiming to get that look that will last a lifetime (in photos)!
Tip: Bring photos or a vision board. Stylists are artists and artists are visual. Bring a visual representation of your wedding inspo. Clip photos, create a collage, digitally save photos to your phone, or pin the looks you love to a Pinterest board. Be sure the images closely represent the look you want. Don’t bring too many different looks because that can make it confusing. And lastly, bring the looks that you definitely don’t like to be sure the artists has the whole picture.
Oh the hair! Every romantic look starts with a base curl. Specify the type of curl you’re looking for. Shiny and loose? Bouncy ringlets? Bring photos of curled “down looks” to ensure the final result is what you desire. Braids are a good idea, but only when done properly. Nothing against Acapulco but according to Styling Trio, the infamous “Acapulco braid” is definitely out! To get that romantic style, you’ll want to keep hair loose with big pillowy braids.
Wispies are a signature part of a romantic look. Soft hairs falling down and sweeping the neck screams romance. But again, only when done correctly! Keep wispy strands starting from the front of the ear and falling back to the neck. With wispy hair, you also have to take into account how windy it is that day. These wispy bits of hair love to get caught in your lipgloss and it can be a royal pain! You’re ultimately trying to achieve an effortless look that gets nothing but great shots for the camera.
If you’re looking for volume but your hair is on the shorter side, opt for extensions. Be sure they’re 100% human hair as the unnatural hair blends don’t stand up against the heat of the styling tools.
Tip: Definitely take into account what hairdo goes with the style of the dress and neckline. Ask your hairstylist’s opinion as they’ve seen many dresses and have matched styles to attire for years. They can certainly guide you.
Let’s keep this part of the makeup fresh with a little glow in the right places. So often we end up with a mask of unnecessary amounts of concealer and foundation. If you don’t normally wear that much, then why would you do that on your big day? “But wait, you need more makeup for your wedding day for the photos, right?!” FALSE. No, you don’t. Why? Because back when the camera lens was created you needed a full coverage foundation and lots of contouring and accentuation of features. Nowadays photographers use HD lenses and filters (like what you see on Instagram!). The photographic technology is far more advanced now and with the magic of proper lighting, heavy “stage makeup” is no longer needed. In fact, it’s considered out-of-style according to the experts at Styling Trio. In the end, why cover up when you can enhance!
Now onto the tone and finish. Dewy? Soft radiant glow? You need to know your color theory. This wonderful system allows you to correct and create beautiful skin without the weight. If you don’t know or are not sure, see #1. Communication! Discuss your color theory with your artists, include any skin issues you might have like discoloration of the skin as with melasma or rosacea. Also tell your artists what type of and how much makeup you normally use on a daily basis. This way he or she can guide you towards creating the most naturally flawless look for you.
Tip: If you’re considering a spray tan for your big day, be sure to find a company that uses organic-based formula and ideally have it done two days prior to the wedding.
The eyes have it! Let’s talk eyeliner and eye color. We all wear it in our own way so tell your artist about that. Maybe you have an eyeliner look you’ve wanted to try but never knew how to execute it. Now is a great time to try it out before the wedding. If not, stick to your classic look. Just be you! As for color, black eyeliner is pretty standard but if you go for a bronzy or a deep plum liner, please just take into account your eye color and chosen color theory before moving forward.
Let’s talk cheek. The first thing you’ll probably think about is blush color. Today we have so many options when it comes to cheek colors and tints. Don’t forget to think about contour and highlighting as well. Highlight color? Will you go bronze, pearly bronze, shimmer or matte? Sure it’s overwhelming, so just stick to what feels good for you as cheek color and highlighting, there are no rules, but don’t overdo it when trying to achieve a soft romantic glow. When in doubt just check with the artists to make sure it goes with the rest of the look/color theory.
Tip: Use a cream blush product first before applying your final color on top in a powder form. You’re then guaranteed to look cheeky all night long!
Such a delicate topic. Styling Trio Founder, Adrian Guerra says, “I remember way back to my cosmetic store days when I could be there all day with a client trying to pick out the right lipstick. It’s such a personal and emotional element. It speaks to a person’s mood and what they want to say.” Generally you want to think about what kind of lip color gal you are. Are you: Chapstick? Full on rouge? Glossy glam? Vampy? Nudey sheer? Pinky peach?
Then take it to the next level. You probably know what works best on you, but still, bring your entire lip collection! Have your artists help you narrow it down to find the ideal mix for the big day! You could even ask the artists to recommend a color to purchase beforehand. Once again, ladies, lips are so important. Just remember to keep it real. Your wedding day is no time to “experiment” with outrageous colors, effects, or shades.
As someone famous once said, “it’s all in the details.” Well we say, it’s all in the accessories! From headpieces to babies breath, stud earrings to hoops, so many choices today for every type of bride. Choose them wisely. Accessories could also be a good way to include a family heirloom.
Tip: Bring all the accessories you have in mind with you to the trial or wedding day. This way you and your glam squad can figure it out together!
This is a team effort so make yourself part of the process. You know yourself better than anyone and your task is to share it with your glam squad. This does not mean you’re being a bridezilla either! It just means you’re trying to get it right so you can relax and go get married! This is going to be a monumental moment in your life, so treat it as such.
Being a recent bride myself, I know how much wedding couples want to show their friends and family a good time and how much you care about them. They are joining with you to celebrate this amazing day in your life, and you want to return the favor and show them some love, too! Having a destination wedding gives you unique opportunities to let your friends and family know how thankful you are for being a part of your big day. Read on for some of our favorite ways to show your guest some love at your destination wedding!
ASSEMBLE GUEST WELCOME BAGS
Welcome bags are such a sweet way to show your friends and family appreciation right when they walk in the door. They should include small, thoughtful gifts as well as information about your wedding events. For tips on what to include, check out our blog! Resorts will deliver the assembled bags to your guests’ rooms so you don’t have to worry about handing them out, and they set the tone for your guests that you are thinking about them and are happy they are there!
Along with welcome bags, bottles of wine (or tequila, rum, champagne) are a great way to send thanks to your guests right off the bat. The bottles might be pricey, so these can be just for your VIP guests, especially ones who have helped you with the wedding like parents and grandparents. They’ll appreciate enjoying a glass of wine on their oceanfront balcony!
GIVE YOUR CLOSEST LOVED ONES ROOM UPGRADES
You would be surprised how many all-inclusive resorts include the potential for room upgrades in their wedding perks. Normally you can earn one upgrade for every so many rooms your group books. We see many wedding couples give these upgrades to their parents, grandparents, and other close relatives and friends. Those that receive the upgrade are always so thankful! No doubt getting an even cooler room is supremely exciting.
RENT BEACH OR POOL CABANAS FOR YOU AND YOUR BESTIES
We find that a lot of wedding couples will rent a row of beach or pool cabanas for them and their group for a day, and we are loving this! It’s an awesome way to keep the party going and lets guests explore the rest of the resort as they please while still having a spot at the pool to come back to.
SCHEDULE MOM AND DAD A SPA TREATMENT
Who needs to relax at a spa more than parents who have been helping you with your wedding for months? This could go for any VIP guests who have supported you during this process or are just there for you whenever you need them. Resorts have world-class spas, so this is a treat they won’t forget!
HOST A WELCOME EVENT
Welcome events are super popular for destination weddings. Because your loved ones have come a long way to join you for your big day, many wedding couples want to make sure the guests are getting the bang for their buck party-wise. Of course, a big welcome event is not in the budget for everyone. That’s why we love intimate welcome dinners with your close family and wedding party hosted at the resort’s private wine cellar or chef dinner venues.
ATTEND RESORT EVENTS WITH YOUR FAMILY
Sometimes just the simple act of spending time with your loved ones are what they want the most! Everyone wants to get their share of the wedding couple. Attending daily resort events with them can be a fun way for everyone to get together with you. Resorts have rum tastings, morning yoga, cooking classes, nighttime shows, and so much more!
ARRANGE KIDS’ ACTIVITIES FOR YOUR GUEST WITH KIDDOS
Finding special activities for kids is a nice way to show your guests with children that you are happy that they made all the way with their family. These can be on-resort activities or one of the many tour options that they can take off resort.
DO A “FIRST LOOK” FOR YOUR PARENTS
Probably the most heartfelt option, a “first look” for your parents is one of our favorite ways to show some love. One or both may have been there to help you get ready, but for the other, having that personal moment where they get to see their son or daughter for the last time before they get married can mean so much.
Your wedding is a momentous occasion for your mom. She’s the host for the big day, so she wants to feel pretty, too! Having her makeup and hair done professionally will make her feel like a million bucks. Plus it’s one less big thing she has to worry about for the day. She can just sit back, relax, and get pretty (well, prettier)!
ARRANGE A GROUP EXCURSION
Group excursions are guest favorites! Check out our blog on what an excursion adds to your wedding. We always say you can’t go wrong with a sunset catamaran or snorkeling. Anyway you decide to show your guests a good time will be much appreciated!
It’s officially the season of loooove! Though Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap for being too commercialized, we admit we’re still suckers for it, especially for its aesthetic. Valentine’s Day has a distinct look that is undeniably romantic and harmonious with weddings. That’s why we were excited to draw some inspiration from this amorous day of love and passion for some alluring wedding designs. Here are our favorite Valentine’s-inspired wedding ideas to help us wish a Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! XOXO