DIY vs. Don’t Even Try: Let’s Talk International Destination Weddings

 

There are no rules with a destination wedding.  Not today, not anymore.  Freedom and style, especially for international brides, trump conventional ‘rules.’  The way it was done before still holds some merit, the only difference is that now it’s connected to deeper cultural traditions, the merging of different backgrounds and a real respect for new multi-cultural traditions. That said, it is pretty important when jumping into an international meeting with real brides about destination wedding plans to really get to the heart of what a bride needs to know must be established. Recently speaking to real bride Faz Abdul Gaffa, who intends on having a ceremony in Singapore and also one in New Jersey, it was important to break the ice and give her sound advice that can help her make a decision she feels good about.
So, at 10:00am EST and 10:00pm Singapore time, Faz greeted me on our first Google+ Hangout session with a bright and open twinkle in her eye with that blazing question that every bride-to-be should ask herself and someone else: do I really need a wedding planner? The answer is YES, an overwhelming yes. With limited time for our first e-meet-and-greet, we had plenty of territory to cover. As Faz had already decided on a private yacht in the Singapore harbor overlooking its skyline as her first wedding location, we moved on to the save the date announcements. I suggested that these be sent out as soon as possible, 9-12 months are ideal. The formal invitation should be sent out anywhere from two to three months ahead of your wedding date. Let’s not forget to list your URL on your invite so guests can go online to your wedding site and find out information on places to stay, special rates, location maps, airport transport, etc. Ceremony locations and timelines of your multiple events should be listed among other guest information. As you can see during the second part of our conversation I literally had so much to squeeze in to ensure she knew all that happens during wedding planning that you may notice Google+ Hangouts simply stopped switching the camera between us both and just focused on my attempt to fill her in.  With weddings, there is simply so much to consider.  Imagine, if one 24 minutes Google+ Hangouts session seems to be a lot, what happens once the ball gets rolling with vendors, flowers, guests, accommodations, officiants, etc.
Faz has a vision of a stylish, intimate to medium sized wedding and is considering inviting the same wedding guests to travel to both international ceremony destinations.  I felt compelled to let her know that what actually sounds like one wedding, in this case, is actually two and that this is why getting those save the dates out the door sooner than later was very important. Multi event locations can become very costly and time consuming for your guest and can take a lot of planning on their side as well. We do admire her pazazz but from experience we know that planning has frustrated countless brides in the past. Brides should be free of this burden because the level of stress is literally the opposite of what our bride should feel on her wedding day splendor. It’s a conversation that marks the beginning of a trusting relationship.
To hear Faz tell the story of how she met her fiancé, John, at a Halloween party shows the joy she feels about her approaching nuptials and the love she has for her partner, but I find it’s pretty important for brides to understand that there is a craft to wedding and event planning. Our job is to incorporate your personalities, vision and dreams into your wedding and to take care of every detail, so you don’t have to. Whether it’s day of coordination, partial planning or full planning, for anyone planning a memorable event, let alone planning a wedding (or two!), we don’t only create for the sake of the host or bride and groom to look their best amongst their family and friends.  We become the creators so that couples can enjoy guests and the magic they envisioned. Though the decision making process at this stage can cause some anxiety, it’s not as black and white as many think.  For brides who are reconsidering planning their own event (in lieu of articles like this), who don’t have access to a gratuitous budget, we actually created Weddings in a Box package, an all inclusive must-have kit for those deciding to elope or who prefer to have an intimate ceremony with a special touch but without the ongoing details of a full scale wedding.  With this option brides can keep a close relationship with an upscale planner but from a consulting perspective.  Ahhh, the power of choice.
Faz is a young professional in love, who should be absolutely hassle free on her big days.  Directing her own multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-destination wedding when she’s never done it before is like refashioning the engine of a rare car without all of the parts.  With one year from her weddings, Faz will now have to decide if she will weather the DIY wedding planning storm or if she’ll consider other options.  She can pick up where we left off once she chooses a date. Well, two dates.

About Marc Wilson:

Marc Wilson is the Guest Lifestyle Editor of World Bride Magazine, a 2013 Big Apple Award nominee and the Founder and Creative Director of Weddings by MWD Lifestyles.  Marc’s company, MWD Lifestyles (formerly Marc Wilson Design), is a full scale wedding, event design, production and planning company with destination partnerships and capabilities and has grown to be the name in the decor and events, weddings and destination industry it is today.  Marc’s fifteen years within the events industry has resulted in national and international recognition and, to date, MWD Lifestyles has worked with Rolex, Hugo Boss, Martha Stewart Weddings and MGM Metro Goldwyn Mayer.  Marc’s work has been published in Grace Ormond Wedding Style, Design Bureau, New York Weddings, Manhattan, Essence, Weddings by Design, The Knot, Brides and Town&Country. FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest.

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Location Location Location – The Carlyle Is All That Jazz

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The Carlyle Hotel in New York City has to be one of the most historically fashionable hotels to date. Besides having a history of housing some of history’s most influential people, it has also been known to be one of New York’s jazziest nightspots. Some of our favorite iconic performers have walked these grounds and performed in the night club, including Eartha Kitt, Rita Moreno, Bobby Short, and most recently, iconic bassist, Ron Carter  (accompanied by world famous guitarist, Russell Malone).

My first experience with The Carlyle was some 10 years ago, visiting the late Eartha Kitt before her performance. Her brilliantly decorated and perfectly maintained in-house apartment was astounding. From the doorman who greets you at curbside to the elevator operators, ALL of the staff lavish you with the white glove treatment. Literally. Frequent there enough and you will notice that they will know your name. Which, to me, speaks volumes.

The rooms and suites are some of the lushest environments you will want to call your home, whether it is for the night, the week, or you tie the knot. Your guests will be enchanted by the impeccable service they will receive. The comfort of their beds and the exquisite dining, be it an in-house restaurant or room service, will not leave them disappointed.

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Recently, I had the opportunity to host an event at The Carlyle, and we have to say that everything was first class and polished to perfection! We are sticklers for great customer care. We value the treatment of our readers, thus the reason why we are very hands-on with every business and service we recommend in writing. If it is not inspected and experienced by one of our writers, it won’t be written about. No exceptions.

 

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So, with great pleasure, we present The Carlyle Hotel as a location to consider for your wedding reception and honeymoon stay.  You will not be disappointed.

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The intimacy that the event space provides makes it worth every dime. When you’ve waited your entire life for this moment of love, the magic you want to create with your new mate should begin in the same fashion you want it to be for the rest of your relationship: With style and elegance. What better way to send that message to each other and share it with your loved ones than at The Carlyle?

Make no mistake, this is not a cheap date. It will cost you, like anything of value which is meant to be cherished. So, when planning your wedding or honeymoon, you will need to evaluate what is more important to you in the grand scheme of things.

But I think you can appreciate that some experiences in life are just worth having and checking-off from your to-do list.

 

Reasons Why

The three most important things for a person looking to plan any event are (1) location, (2) location, and (3) LOCATION! Why is that so important when planning your wedding? It will not only become a factor in your wedding plans, it will also set the tone for the kind of wedding your guests can expect, even before they arrive.

Location will determine how your guests will arrive. They will need to plan ahead based on where they live.

Location will determine the parking situation for your guests. They will need to plan for whether parking is available on-site or off-site, and the cost involved.

Location will set the tone for your guests and the kind of wedding you are having. That includes the dress code, theme, and the ambiance that the space provides.

These are some things you should take into consideration when planning your nuptials. So, for your jazz lovers and history lovers, The Carlyle just might be the piece of history you have always wanted to have for your wedding day!