Destination Wedding Rules Of Thumb
As a Destination Wedding Planner in Belize, you do start to notice trends in human behavior. You also learn a thing or two about weddings in Belize. As much as we all like to think we are truly unique, somethings are more predictable than you think. Following is a living document. When I find myself spewing these little “Rules” to my brides, I’ll endeavor to update this list.
Rule Of Thumb #1 – Determine your budget FIRST. The ENTIRE budget. I dont care how much you think you want to spend on the wedding, and then how much on the rehearsal dinner, and then how much on the snorkel day. That’s completely bass-ackwards. It’s significantly smarter to tell your destination wedding designer what your ENTIRE budget is. When i know your entire budget, then i can help figure out the right configuration of events, locations, players, and the like to create your entire wedding event. The pieces simply do not fit together when trying to back into the budget bit by bit. This is an altogether different approach than what would be used for a non-destination wedding.
Rule Of Thumb #2 – Your budget is directly proportionate to your guest list. Fewer guests, less expense. More guests, increased expense. Guests are exponential in their impact on costs. It’s not just one more place setting at dinner, it’s one more boat ride, welcome bag, snorkel tour, increased cost for transporting supplies to your event, more people to photograph, and so forth.
Rule Of Thumb #3 – 60% of your guests will accept your invitation. I know you think you know your guests, and who would want to travel for your wedding, but what you don’t know is how those people vacation. Yes, it’s your wedding, but many will say “what the heck, we hadn’t decided where to go for vacation this year, may as well go to Susie’s wedding in Belize and kill two birds with one stone!” Dear Old Aunt Betty that you had to invite, who is older than Methusila, has never shown any interest in you at all, but little did you know she’s been saving nickels in a jar since Eisenhower and it’s been her life long dream to go to Belize. Ya never know, so when determining your budget, assume 60%, you’ll save a lot of heartache later.
Rule Of Thumb #4 – If you give your guests too many hotel options, your brain will explode. We do not have phones in hotel rooms here, and there is no way to communicate with your guests. We do not have your Verizon Cloud thingy, and we dont have 4G that you can connect to. You will not be able to communicate with your guests, and you will need to. You will want to be able to reach them when they are late to the snorkel boat and your other 48 guests are waiting…on them. And you cant call them. You will spend 90% of your time on 10% of your guests. Better to pick a location that can either accommodate everyone, or provide one or two other options.
Rule Of Thumb #5 – Use your ‘weakest link’ as the common denominator when hosting group activities. I know that 24 of your 25 guests want to go Scuba Diving, but remember dear Old Aunt Betty? If you are hosting, remember that you are hosting all of your guests and must be a gracious host to them all. There are plenty of other super cool tours that will make everyone happy. (Rule suggest by Opal Enriquez)