It’s been a very busy week here at Weddings in Vieques! We’ve got five weddings this month, beginning with Nicole Jerner and Andrew Carlson from New York tomorrow at sunset. They’re here with just their parents for a very simple, elegant ceremony and wedding dinner, but they planned a really great week for everybody in much the same way as you would for a larger group of guests. Last night they did a private kayak tour of the bio-bay, and tonight they went on a horseback trail ride at sunset. Tomorrow’s the big day, so Nicole will be busy getting beautiful while Andrew has the day to relax. It’s a wonderful way to get married. I’ve done a lot of free initial consultations this week with brides who want to have a destination wedding, but are dealing with smaller budgets because of the economy. Brides and grooms who would really like to host big Caribbean destination weddings in Vieques are dealing with budgets that just can’t support the visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads. With that said, for many of them, getting married at home isn’t an option because hosting a larger wedding in any major US city is more expensive than getting married in Vieques. So what’s a bride to do?
Don’t panic! There are a few options for you. First, obviously, you can chuck the whole destination wedding idea and have a smaller wedding at home. I know that’s a funny thing for me to say when I need the business (in this economy, we all need business), but there’s a certain reality to budgets in wedding planning. I will never lie to a bride and tell her she can afford something she cannot. I will never set a bride up to leave her wedding thousands and thousands of dollars in credit card debt. I think it’s wrong. If you think it’s mean to talk turkey about the numbers, I’m the wrong person to call.
Second, you can elope. For significantly less money, you and your fiance can come to Vieques and have a beautiful wedding ceremony and wedding dinner, you can tour the bio-bay, enjoy our fabulous beaches, snorkel, sail, ride horses or whatever, and you can have a few days for a mini-moon on a nearby island if you want to go someplace else after the wedding night. Remember, your wedding is all about you guys. There is nothing wrong with doing the deed alone and then going back home where your families can throw a party that is significantly less expensive than any planned wedding reception.
Third, you can bring up to eight friends with you and still take advantage of a specially-priced elopement package, as long as you budget to pay for the additional people when it comes down to meals and activities.
A small wedding is no less important or significant than a large wedding. In fact, lots of brides tell me they’re glad they didn’t bring everybody they knew with them because they had time to spend with those they love the most, time they usually don’t have together because of life and busy schedules.
If you see yourself in the description above, take a moment to think about what I’m saying here. Sit down and talk with your fiance about what is really important to the both of you. Make the decison together, but don’t base it on what his parents want or what your sister wants or what other people think you should do or have. Do what you know is right for you.
I’m keeping this brief because I need to go make Nicole’s bouquet now. It’s a beautiful combination of Cymbidium and Dendrobium orchids and I’m excited to go play with the blooms. Next time, I’ll fill you in all the fun details of their big day. But until then, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!