3 Great Tips to Help You Navigate your Post-Covid Destination Wedding Plans  Without Causing Even More Stress and Worry

3 Great Tips to Help You Navigate your Post-Covid Destination Wedding Plans Without Causing Even More Stress and Worry

You’re newly engaged.  Congratulations!  What a crazy time to start planning a wedding, am I right??  Perhaps you’re even thinking,  we really want to have a destination wedding, how is this going to happen?  Perhaps you’ve set a wedding date or close to picking a date, and now you find yourself social distancing, staying home, and anxiously trying to make decisions about when, where, and how to start planning your wedding as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. To say these are uncertain times is the understatement of a lifetime. But… you have a lifetime ahead of you, and God willing, you get to spend it with your newly betrothed. That’s something to celebrate and think of what you’ll tell your grandkids someday!  And I firmly believe that when we’re all on the other side of this, there will be no more meaningful experience than a social celebration. So here’s my advice. Start planning! Here’s how… 

 

 

Tip #1: Pick a wedding date (or dates)

If you haven’t already, it’s time to determine when you’d like to be married. And then you need to select a few alternative dates. Now more than ever, flexibility is critical. Even if you’re planning an intimate celebration of less than 50 people, you may very well confront a shortage of available Saturdays in 2021. In many wedding markets, Saturday venue availability can be hard to come by in normal circumstances. That’s particularly true in coveted wedding destinations. That hardship may be amplified in 2021 because so many 2020 weddings have already had to postpone and reschedule into new 2021 dates. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself of the following:

  • The day of the week does not change the value, purpose, or meaning of your marriage, or of the way that you celebrate that marriage.  In fact, if you’re planning a destination wedding, depending on where you want to have it, might very well end up on a day that is most advantageous to your travel plans.  For example, you decided on a cruise and you’d love a beautiful beach wedding while you are at port.  Well if your ship is at that particular port on a Tuesday then your wedding will be on a Tuesday!
  • When we all emerge from our current reality, the world will be very different. Like you, your guests will also be craving meaningful social celebration. If they can make it happen, they will be there to celebrate you… on a Friday, a Sunday, or maybe even a Thursday.  The great thing about a Destination Wedding is that if everyone is there to celebrate your wedding, they are also there on vacation and that doesn’t mean confining yourself to a weekend in the slightest.  

Tip #2: Decide when you want to be married (as in married married, legally)

Do you want to be legally married this year?  That’s the first and most important question, and there is no right or wrong answer.  If the answer is yes, you want to be married, no matter what, there are several ways to approach this:  You can choose to forge ahead with your current wedding plans and prepare for how you might react if you are restricted to a smaller or different style event.  Or…You can decide to take a proactive approach and postpone your big party to next year. This is a good option if you find yourself obsessing over the news or constantly worrying “what if.”  This approach has been a popular choice among couples, as there are still a lot of unknowns – stress has no place in your engagement season!  With this option, you can still create an intimate wedding ceremony this year with a delayed reception in 2021, and something really amazing to look forward to!  Even if you are married in a small ceremony this year, you can still share a ceremonial exchange of your vows in front of your larger group of guests at your delayed reception in 2021.  And if you want permission to wear your dress twice, you have all our blessings!   If you’ve decided it’s safest (and less stressful) to postpone your original wedding plan (ceremony, party, and all) to a new date in 2021, an extra year of engagement may just mean extra joy on your wedding day!

Tip #3: Hire a Destination Wedding planner

This is the step that most mainstream wedding media articles will skip over. After all, it’s a luxury to hire a wedding planner, right? Yes it is. It’s also a luxury to hire a photographer, caterer, band, hair and makeup artist… and the list goes on. Have you ever heard the saying “Failing to plan, is planning to fail”? Well, it’s time to take that to heart.

Since quarantine measures were put in place, destination wedding planners have seen a steep rise in the number of couples reaching out, frantically seeking advice. Many couples have been forced to navigate uncharted territory of decision-making, contingency-planning, rescheduling, contract negotiations, cancellations, and extreme anxiety on their own. This is happening for couples of all budgets.

The bottom line is this: couples who have a full-service wedding planner have found themselves in a much better position. The rescheduling process has been smoother, more efficient, and grounded in expertise. Couples who do not have a planner have had to fend for themselves – or they’ve had to scramble to find someone to hire who can help them.

There are ample reasons to hire a destination wedding planner, but most people think the reasons to do so are just so that the wedding will be “organized”, “beautiful”, or “stress-free”. This is especially important when you are dealing with locations that are unfamiliar to you and you might not even see (or at most see once) before your big day.  In addition to your destination wedding planner being able to help you coordinate all the details for the actual ceremony and reception, she also can coordinate not only your travel needs, but also those of your guests so you are getting the most value for your (and their) budget.

We understand that a successful destination wedding or honeymoon, doesn’t just depend on a beautiful location, but also must have impeccable service, great restaurants, romantic suites and rooms, plus make your wedding and honeymoon a priority. That’s why every single destination wedding and honeymoon we design is perfectly matched to a resort and location that is based on your unique personality, dreams and vision as a couple. There are no cookie cutter experiences with us, and that is why we have a 100% success rate at giving our couples what they want.  Click here to request a free 30 minute consultation with me to discuss the destination wedding and honeymoon of your dreams without the stress and worry.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

XOXO,

Arielle

Top 10 Perfect Day at CocoCay tips, secrets and tricks

Top 10 Perfect Day at CocoCay tips, secrets and tricks

Drone shot of Perfect Day at Cocoa Cay 

Royal Caribbean’s private island in The Bahamas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, has become one of it’s favorite port destinations in the Bahamas with all of the great activities and things to do since it’s complete $250 million overhaul in 2019.

Here are our top ten tips and tricks for visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay for when you are planning your own visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay!

1. There is lots to do that costs nothing extra

There is a lot of attention for the activities on Perfect Day at CocoCay that costs extra, but there is a lot of fun things to do that costs absolutely nothing extra.

First and foremost, you can walk around Perfect Day at CocoCay without paying extra.  Just like any port of call, you can walk off the ship and explore on your own.

Here is a list of things that is included with your cruise fare when you visit Perfect Day at CocoCay:

  • Splashaway Bay
  • Captain Jill’s Galleon
  • Skipper’s Grill
  • Chill Grill
  • Snack Shack
  • Oasis Lagoon pool (Beach  chairs, umbrellas and towels)
  • Chill Island (Beach  chairs, umbrellas and towels)
  • South Beach (Beach  chairs, umbrellas and towels)
  • Sports Courts
  • Fitness Classes
  • Freshwater showers
  • Tram service
  • Beach access wheelchairs

However, if you are going to spend some of your hard earned cash on some experiences while at Coco Cay…

2. Buy an admission to Thrill waterpark before the cruise to save money

If you want to go to Thrill Waterpark, make sure you pre-purchase it before your cruise, you will absolutely save money vs buying passes onboard the ship.

Royal Caribbean sells its waterpark passes via the Cruise Planner site and regularly puts the tickets on sale.  If you want to save money (who doesn’t?), buy your tickets before you board the ship.

3. Best times for shortest water slide lines

Thrill Waterpark is home to Perfect Day at CocoCay’s incredible water slides, and as you might imagine, a lot of cruisers are going to want to try them all.  While lines for the slides are usually quite manageable, here are the best times to try the slides to have a minimal wait:

  • Before 11am
  • After 3pm

4. Your drink package works at Perfect Day at Coco Cay

If you purchase a Royal Caribbean drink package for your cruise, you can use the drink package benefits while at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

This means if you have the Deluxe Beverage Package, you can enjoy unlimited alcoholic beverages, along with bottled water, sodas and more. Likewise, the Refreshment Package and Soda Package benefits extend to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Just like on the ship, souvenir cups or drinks served in pineapples/coconuts are not included with your drink package benefits.  If you have the Deluxe Beverage Package, you can get a discount on the souvenir cup.  Or you can ask for the drink in a regular cup to pay no additional charge.

 

5. Your Voom package works at Perfect Day at CocoCay

If you have a  Voom internet package,  you will have internet connectivity at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

WiFi coverage extends across the island, which means you can stay connected and share photos or videos with friends back home.  You can even post updates and pics in the comments below!  We’d love to see you photos!

6. Secret menu item at Snack Shack

Snack Shack serves up some great food, but they also have a menu item that is not listed on the printed menu. If you ask nicely, you can get a chicken parmigiana sandwich that is essentially a cross between the crispy chicken sandwich, mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce.

7. Free tram service around the island

Keep an eye out for the complimentary trams that are found around Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Beginning when you walk down the pier, you will find tram service to take you down the pier to save some steps (you will have plenty at Thrill Waterpark).

Once on the island, there is complimentary tram service that can take you all corners of Perfect Day at Coco Cay.

8. If you want a quiet spot, go to Chill Island

If your idea of a fun day is quiet time getting away from it all, head to Chill Island.  Chill Island is accessible via the green pathway that is towards the left side when you walk onto Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Once at Chill Island, keep to the left side of the area for pristine ocean views that has no music or the sounds of people at the pool or water park.  Instead, you will find only the sound of the ocean waves.

 

9. DIY Ice cream sandwiches

You will find self-serve soft serve ice cream machines at Perfect Day, along with chocolate chip cookies…I bet you know where I am going with this.

Grab two cookies, dispense ice cream between the two and voila!  The perfect treat!

10. Keep an eye out for chickens, iguanas and birds

This is a fun tidbit, but Perfect Day at CocoCay is home to more than just beautiful views.  If you walk enough of the island, it is not uncommon to see wild chickens roaming the grounds, along with iguanas that sometimes get close to the dining areas to see if any scraps of food rolled away.

Seagulls can also be found flying around, so be sure to keep an eye on your food.

Regardless of the animal, please do not feed any of them.

 Need some help with wedding planning stress? Click HERE for my free video “The Top 5 Things You MUST Do When Planning a Destination Wedding.